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Being educated, intellectually skillful and creative work is only one part of the smart way of living a life. The other one and most important one is having “Life Skills/ Life management skills. Because being just smart and well educated doesn’t make you and correlate with making good choices in life at all. Developing life skills is very crucial especially early in life.

What are those Life Management Skills or Life Skills to be precise?

According to Wikipedia, Life skills are abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable humans to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of life. This concept is also termed as psychosocial competency

Unfortunately, we don’t learn these life skills at school, and from our parents and siblings in most cases. First, theses skills are so rare, that is why not many people know how to manage their lives properly and to work smart. Luckily with an internet connection and Books, smart people sharing their knowledge. So now all the information is accessible which we need for developing these rare life management skills.  Because Life is not a rehearsal; you need to get it right the first time.

 Essential Life Management Skills

As per UNICEF Evaluation Office -UEO “there is no definitive list” which may be referred psychosocial skills. nevertheless, UNICEF suggests few psychosocial and interpersonal skills that are essential and generally well-being oriented, alongside literacy and numeracy skills.

Certainly few skills may be more or less relevant to everyone depending on peoples’ life circumstances, their different cultures, beliefs, age, geographic location, etc. However, the World Health Organization-WHO recognized six key areas of life skills in 1999 that are

1. Interpersonal skills & Communication:

The term interpersonal skills and communication generally defines the skills we need to get on and work with other people. And helps us to transfer and receive verbal and nonverbal messages efficiently.

2. Problem-solving and Decision-making:

This describes the skills required to understand problems, find solutions to them, alone or with others, and then take timely action/decision to address them.

3. Critical thinking and creative thinking:

This skill helps to think in different and unusual ways about any situation and problems, and find novel solutions, or generate new and creative ideas, coupled with the ability to assess information carefully and understand its relevance.

4. Self-awareness and empathy

are two important aspects/parts of emotional intelligence-These skills help us to understand ourselves and be able to feel for other people and understand their problems as if their experiences were happening to you.

5. Assertiveness and equanimity, or self-control:

These skills are needed to take a stand for ourselves and other people and remain calm in difficult times even in the face of considerable provocation

6. Resilience and ability to cope with problems:

which describes the ability to recover from setbacks, and treat them as opportunities to learn from those experiences.

Besides, it is also true that different life skills will be more or less relevant at different times in your life. For example:

  • When at school or university, we need “Study skills”, to pass exams, write reports and make presentations, etc.
  • When buying a house or anything expensive, we need to employ “Negotiation skills” along with patience and good temper
  • We need to work on your employability skills to get a job.
  • When we have a job, we need to develop leadership skills. (To Lead teams/groups and grow professionally)
  • We need financial management skills to learn about money handling and investments
  • When we start a family, we’ll need Parenting skills.
  • We also know that Time management and Organizing skills are also important in life, which are ancillary to all other Skills.

But, perhaps the most important life skill is the ability and willingness to learn.

Learning new skills, help us to understand the world around us, how it works, why people behave the way they do, etc. It also equips us with the tools and techniques to live a more productive and fulfilling life. It helps in finding ways to cope with the challenges that life, inevitably, throws at us.

Most people assume that learning means formal education, but the truth is learning is a lifelong process that enhances our understanding of the world and improves the quality of our life.

-Shoaib Ahmed

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