Ten Life Skills That Are Tough To Learn But Will Pay off Forever
Invest in them and you will have great success in life.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.” — Aristotle
If we want to improve our lives, we have to take a look at ourselves and be willing to engage in habits that will positively impact our mental and physical well-being.
Psychology teaches us many things, but its best lessons allow us to use our minds in a much more effective way.
Here are ten mental skills that may be hard to master, but soon enough, you’ll find yourself being a lot happier, more fulfilled, and in control of your life.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that is becoming very popular these days.
This mental skill allows us to live in the moment, appreciate everything in our lives and truly listen to our inner thoughts and desires.
It also includes being mindful and attentive of the feelings of others, allowing us to practice sympathy and truly connecting with our peers.
Mentalization is sometimes described as thinking about thinking.
We can use mentalization to understand the root cause of certain behaviors, whether those behaviors are our own or someone else’s.
In many cases, understanding why we think and act in certain ways is massively helpful.
Go and ask yourself: Why did I react the way I did? What triggered me? Why do I think about a certain topic in a certain way? You can take any topic from family, health, money to life purpose.
This technique helps us address the sources of our insecurities and weaknesses.
3 Public speaking
Speaking in front of a crowd isn’t for everyone, but in our lives, we will definitely be interacting with a variety of people and you want your voice to be heard when you speak to them.
Public speaking often helps with our careers, our overall sense of self-confidence, and our ability to convince others.
There are many ways we can improve our public speaking, such as specialized courses or simply repeated practice.
I suggest going out and exposing yourself to it. Sign up to speak at an event, prepare yourself and present it in front of a mirror.
It will help you in all areas of life.
Heuristics is essentially an approach that favors taking mental shortcuts.
A heuristic approach might involve using a rule of thumb, common sense, or an educated guess.
This approach is best suited for situations that seem impossible or impractical to solve.
It also works great when you don’t have much time to make a decision.
The answer isn’t always guaranteed to be accurate or even correct, but sometimes it’s better to learn how to make quick decisions rather than hesitating and fretting over which path to take… Just go with your gut.
Learning how to negotiate correctly is definitely an art form, and it has the power to help your life immensely down the road.
Negotiation is often associated with haggling and trying to get a lower price for a purchase.
But this skill can also be used in diplomatic situations, in our relationships, and in many other moments in our lives.
You’d improve your negotiation skills by taking courses, reading books, or simply practicing.
6 Becoming multilingual
In this day and age, many people can speak multiple languages.
This is a great skill to learn and it helps in all kinds of different situations.
During high school, I did an exchange to the US and it opened my eyes to see the beauty of this world.
Being multilingual helps from traveling especially when meeting new people.
Also, learning new languages could potentially help ward off Alzheimer’s and dementia.
7 Learning how to play a musical instrument
Music has amazing effects on the brain and learning how to play a musical instrument comes with all kinds of unique benefits.
As a musician, you’ll have a wonderful creative outlet, but you’ll also enjoy reduced stress, higher levels of happiness, and increased self-confidence to name but a few.
When I was younger, I learned to play the piano and even today I feel extremely calm and happy when listening to piano music. My favourite artist is Ludovico Einaudi.
8 Keep a dream diary and learn how to interpret your dreams
Our dreams are often trying to tell us something important.
Our subconscious expresses itself in unique ways during our dreams and these are often difficult messages to translate.
Keeping a dream diary is one way to help you remember your dreams.
In addition, you might also learn how to interpret certain reoccurring themes and symbols that occur in your sleep.
These symbols have been widely studied in the world of psychology and you can discover a lot about your true self by analyzing your dreams.
9 Critical thinking
If you really want to succeed in today’s world, then critical thinking can help in many ways.
This wide-ranging discipline is useful in all kinds of different situations.
With critical thinking, you can identify flaws in certain arguments; you can put your ego aside and examine the facts.
Especially in times of fake news, having a critical mindset is more important than ever.
10 Developing great learning skills
Most people never think to teach themselves how to learn.
Instead of trying to educate themselves with various skills, we might want to take a step back and improve our own learning methods.
When we do this, everything else we learn in the future becomes much easier.
You can start off by trying different visual, auditory, or kinesthetic aids to see what kind of learner you are.
I personally like to take notes of everything I learn in notion. My friend Adrian made me aware of a knowledge management system called “Second Brain”. The YouTuber Ali Abdaal recommends it as well and here you can see what’s it all about.
So there you have it, ten life skills that are hard to learn but really pay off in the end.
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