Most of the problems we face today are due to our lack of life skills. Life skills have nothing to do with your degrees or doctorates but it is about how practical you are and the level of common sense you have developed.
Most of the people struggle with life because of their inability to face life practically. They go to the extends of divorce, committing suicide, killing others etc. because they don’t know and they have not practised life skills. You can think of yourself or a friend of yours in the following circumstances.
Practice life skills with me. The most important life skill is decision making. Only a few people can make the right decisions at the right moment. Most of the people hesitate to make their own decisions and always depend on somebody for help. There are people out there who seek advice even for crucial things like selecting the partner for life. If you are intelligent enough you should know what kind of a person you will marry, when, where and why. It is advisable to seek your parents or elders advice if you feel so. But depending too much on others to make decisions for you is not a good thing. When we practice life skills, we can make our own decisions well and correct. It does not say that you always have to make the right decision. No, but your decision should be balanced with minimal damage to you and the other parties involved. Decisions taken in haste would not produce good results most of the time. Take time when you want to make a decision. Think about all the possible advantages and disadvantages. Most importantly follow your gut and interest. If the decision you make is not interesting or encouraging for yourself, you will be disheartened on the way.
Problem-solving is the second most important in the list. We all have our own problems despite where we live, our age, our career and family background. But remember, every problem has a solution. A great thing that I have learned and experienced in my life is, No problem is a problem until you make it a problem. Any problem is just another problem until we take it seriously. There is no need to take them very serious because once you solve one problem there would be another waiting for you definitely. So, let the life flow without you trying to deep dive and kill yourself.
The other factor regarding problems is there are various ways you can develop your problem-solving skills. Problem-solving is a skill that we have to master if we want success. It should be done consciously. When you come across a problem of any type, first, you should not get panic, excited or disheartened. If we think it is a family problem, a problem between the spouse, you should be able to see through and analyze the reasons for the problem.it won’t take much time because it is a very speedy process when you practice it. When you take the time to see what the problem really is, half of the problem is solved. Listen carefully before you speak. It really works. When you take time to think and rethink over the problem, you will nicely see there is no problem to worry at all. Time allows us to find the best solutions. Try this, if you felt I’m lying.
If you can forgive and forget, there you have the answer to all your problems.
The third skill is critical thinking. This is something that we cannot practice very easily. It takes time and effort of yours. Thinking is a huge process that happens within us consciously and sometimes unconsciously. Critical thinking can be applied to conscious thinking. When we make plans of any sort we think deeper. At those times we have to make it critical thinking. In literature, critical thinking is called ‘analytical thinking’ and ‘creative thinking’ as well. When we think critically, we see both sides of the coin. Let it be good and bad or advantages and disadvantages. If we don’t think critically we see only what we want to see in everything. It is like the story of the blind people describing an elephant. Don’t you think that we are mostly practised to think the way we want to see the things? But it may not be the way that we should see them. So, we have to think critically. We have to practise ourselves to see both sides of the coin. The way we are practised to think and the other side of that thinking pattern. Because of this reason we name some people as ‘traditional thinkers’. Life is easy when we don’t make our own frames. We have to be open to ourselves and others.
Next important skill is Healthy inter-personal relationships. Relationships of any sort can be an inter-personal relationship. The relationship between friends, siblings, co-workers, neighbours, spouse, lovers etc. We do have lots of relationships. But are they all healthy relationships? Having thousands of friends around the country doesn’t make you a sociable person. The number of good and active friends you have friendships with is the real matter. We should always remember to keep away from bad relationships because they will always bring no good to us. Having a few healthy relationships is always good for us.
Sometimes, you have to put an effort to make the relationships healthy. It won’t always come from the other party. You have to start it. If we take two lovers, one person should always be with the understanding of the other one and make the other understand each other. In any of the healthy relationships, there are rules. You should be able to listen actively, help each when needed, emotional support, few sacrifices on behalf of the other are few to mention. When we are in a healthy relationship we feel it. We are so relaxed and happy. We seek their company more and more. There are no unimportant arguments, no angry thoughts towards each other etc.
Stress Management is the next in the list to improve. What is the first thought that came to your mind when you see the word ‘stress’? Is stress really a bad thing? In the present society, people are over-stressed about everything. They are stressed about their family, job, relationships, statues, health and all of the other things. Stressing over something or somebody can be a good sign and a bad sign as well. Sometimes we need stress to achieve our targets. We work hard towards our goal when we are stressed. We will be insecure if we were not stressed when we have an exam next week or an interview tomorrow. But over stress? That is a bad sign. When we are over-stressed we cannot achieve our targets. I have seen some students struggle to answer the questions in the paper, though they have studied well.
That is why we need to practice how to manage our stress. Having separate time allocations for our work, being organized, being punctual are some of the tips to manage stress. I am going to talk to you separately about anger management in my next article.
Participate in life actively. Enjoy even the minute things you do every day like going to the office, shopping, cooking for your family etc. Even having a bath is something you can really enjoy. Go on a picnic with your family and friends once a month. Go to see your parents and sibling. Don’t ever say that I’m too tired, I don’t have time, I have important work to do etc when it comes to enjoying your life. If you can have a walk with your kids or spouse in the evening, that would really freshen you up. Remember, ‘working’ will never end. But you have found ways to manage your work and find your LIFE. Whenever you are doing something, do it with your heart. Accept and face the changes and challenges in your life. Talk with somebody about what you did every day and you will feel content and you are a worthy person on this earth.