August 16, 2023
The other day, someone asked me about essential skills for success in their career and life.
This got me thinking. Could there be a universally prescribed skill set that applies to all?
Definitionally, a skill is an ability acquired through deliberate practice to get better at doing something. So, sure, there are some specific skills one can develop to cater to individual personalities and interests. If you like being alone and enjoy writing code, honing your programming skills must be your focus. On the flip side, if you derive joy in interacting with others and your role demands engaging with people, you are better off developing your people, communication, and persuasion skills.
Your context must determine what skills you must develop.
But regardless of who you are and where you want to go, are there some universal life skills we can all look to develop that would make us better at whatever we do?
I can think of a few.
- Ability to stay positive and optimistic.
- Ability to convey to others what you think and feel.
- Ability to decide based on facts while not falling prey to emotions.
- Ability to visualize a process and break it down into smaller steps.
- Ability to Introspect and understand your own strengths, fears, and biases.
- Ability to empathize with others.
- Ability to adapt and improvise to deal with challenges.
- Ability to ask for help.
- Ability to think for yourself without depending on others.
- Ability to sell- your ideas and your point of view.
In the end, while specific skills may vary depending on individual paths and interests, some universal life skills can enhance our effectiveness in any pursuit. It’s not just about mastering a few prescribed skill sets but about intentionally harnessing a range of abilities that can contribute to personal and professional growth.
Unfortunately, none of these skills can be taught. They need to be learned-through deliberate practice. That’s the key.