I am most known for helping others create their best selves or what I refer to as YOU or your future self. Why have I spent my whole life researching and learning how to create your future self? Because it is your future self that has the answers you seek, knows how to make your dreams come true, knows how to get your needs met, etc. This future self requires a new set of “operating instructions” to be able to live and thrive in today’s world.
It’s not a secret we all need life skills to be able to enjoy life and handle whatever life is going to bring us… known and unknown situations. And, it’s no secret life is complex and overwhelming these days leaving us breathless, and not in an awe-inspiring way. So this month I thought I’d share seven essential life skills + 1 must have skill needed to thrive in today’s world, and skills your future self or best self craves. We can’t just keep “winging it” and “relying on what worked in the past.” Life is vastly different now and we need an updated skill set! You update your iPhone all the time, so why not update your skill set?
As you read each skill, perhaps ask yourself if you have this skill? Do your children? Your co-workers? Your family? If not, is now a good time to learn and stop living life as if it is somehow going to change on it’s own? Life is what you make it, and there is no one out there that is going to make life better for you except YOU.
Something else you may also know… I read A LOT of 📖 and love to share the wisdom to help you learn in less time. This list I’m sharing is adapted from the book “Mind in the Making” by Ellen Galinsky with a bit of a “Kristi” spin.😊
1). Paying Attention or Focus:
In an attention economy, can you manage distractions and stay focused on pursuing your life’s dreams or do you do everything society says makes you happy? Are you seeking a good life or a good mood? There is a huge differencd between those two. Do you constantly feel you have no time and find you focus on superficial, quick fixes because you don’t have the skills to pay attention long enough to create the result you really want?
Where attention goes energy flows, as the saying goes. What this really means is life will give you more of what you focus on or pay attention to (for better or worse)… and for so many of us we are not consciously choosing what we pay attention to day to day… your smart phone is.😳 Your mind will bring you more of what you focus on PERIOD. So choose consciously and choose wisely or your days could be filled with a lot of busyness, but not meaning and joy.
2). Perspective Taking or Seeing Many Sides:
Can you be open to negotiation without expectation or control… or is it just your way or the highway? This skill is closely linked to the ingredients to create true partnerships in life I talked about in a previous newsletter. The simpliest way to do this is to end “either/or” thinking and embrace “both/and” thinking instead… especially if we want our children to do this.
Haven’t you ever wondered why your children do the opposite of what you want or ask of them (or others)? Then you proceed to get mad at them for not listening to you!?😩 Well… it is our nature to see only our way unless we consciously make an effort to see other ways and then discuss pros and cons. It may take a bit more time at first to wire in this “both/and” thinking, but it saves a ton of upset down the road. (I know you may think you don’t want your way and you are flexible… but really, you want your way… am I right? Just be honest with yourself,l and then take the time to learn a new perspective😘.)
3). Communication… both Written and Verbal:
This is the number one skill most employers say is missing in our children, perhaps in yourself as well. Can you express your wants and needs and be heard and understood? Or are you frustrated all the time thinking no one is listening to you? Brene Brown’s new book “Atlas of the Heart” is a great resource to start to learn how to communicate more clearly and understand what words mean instead of just having a limited way to communicate that says, “I’m glad, sad or mad.”
I am learning how to communicate my needs daily these days, not assuming others know what I need day to day. AMAZING… who knew that I was assuming others understood me and what I was thinking or needing just by seeing what I do all day. I mean really… ask not assume is a big game changer for everything. And Brene Brown’s book is helping me communicate so much more directly so there is not misunderstandings or upsets!!
4). Pattern Recognition and Making Meaningful Connections:
Seeing how random things go together or can be used in new ways is an essential life skill to thrive. Being able to apply the knowledge you have in different ways to get your own needs met, be creative and end blaming the world or others when life isn’t working is something our world needs now more than ever. We aren’t limited beings, stuck with the same old same old anymore. We are creative human beings who can learn to unlock our brain’s abilities to find new solutions in an abundance of ways!
Here’s the best part… your brain will do the work of making connections for you if you learn to ask yourself questions you want answers to. Yep! Ask and it is given. You see, our brains are made to see patterns and find solutions and our hearts then can create the meaningful connections we need to thrive! That is a beautiful relationship to culitvate… the one between your head and your heart… for meaningful connections.💕
5). Thinking for Oneself:
I have been witnessing a world full of unconscious, no thinking, behaviors lately. We seem to be fed a diet that says don’t think for yourself, and instead follow what I say (even when what one says is something one doesn’t do in their own life). Thinking for oneself does require you to connect to YOU, and know YOU, and have a voice of your own that is used to bring more love and compassion into the world, not more anger and fear. Thinking creates your life, your experience and your future. What you think IS A BIG DEAL. Get to know your thoughts and you will see how they are creating your life.
Something I have been very vigilant about with my own children is to help them think for themselves and make decisions based on what feels right to them so they can trust their intuition or gut. I would rather they make mistakes from their own thinking and learn, than to follow someone else’s thinking and make a mistake and feel regret or blame. We all need to trust our true yearnings by paying attention to the nudges we get so we lead lives of our choosing, and not just follow the status quo. Last time I followed what the world said would bring me happiness… I ended up more unhappy than when I started. 😔
6). Be Able to Handle Life’s Challenges:
If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that life will give you challenges to help you grow and evolve. Challenges are not to be avoided, but embraced and seen as a blessing to help you let go of perspectives that are limiting, be able to let go of the past, and be able to learn new ways to live that support life’s awe and wonder etc… Each challenge can be seen as an obstacle or as an opening to a new life… a life YOU love is on the other side of the challenge. Really, I promise!!
Oh how I have been handling life’s challenges recently, and dare I say thriving!! Every challenge that came my way was an opportunity for me to use my gifts and my talents to overcome them!! In the process I learned more about myself and my strengths… it was as if life was giving me a way to experience more of my goodness and share it with others. The obstacle is the way, as the saying goes. This is a learned skill, and is something I now teach others to do too!!
7). Love of Learning:
We are meant to be life long learners. We are now able to have access to ways to learn and more information to learn than we will ever have time for in our technologically advanced world. The question is are you pursuing learning in ways that fuel your growth and development so you become a more conscious human being? Life is the school you are enrolled in, and we aren’t stuck with boring ways to learn anymore. As Elinore Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing that scares you everyday.” That is living!
Well, this skill is definitely one that comes easy for me I must admit. I’m a teacher at heart, and a lover of education. For some reason though I was not taught that life is one big learning experience. Somehow I was under the impression that after school life was just going to be ok… boy was I mistaken. I did not learn one of these skills in school!! It’s a pity I learned how to get straight A’s and pass exams, but I was not taught how to thrive in life. Once I realized we are here to learn, here to grow and evolve and become the next best version of ourselves day after day… learning became a daily to-do. I learn something new every single day that helps me thrive!! Such a blessing.
8). Love YOURSELF:
This is a Kristi addition.😍 I don’t know any way to love your life if you don’t first LOVE YOU. I learned this the hard way! I never really loved me and was always trying to change me to figure out how to have the life I wanted! Ha! Then I learned that to create a life YOU LOVE you have to LOVE YOU first. LOVE YOU and YOU LOVE go together like peanut butter and jelly, and the moon and the stars. So even though this skill is listed last in the list… it is by far THE MOST IMPORTANT skill to thrive. I saved THE BEST FOR LAST!!🏻
Ok… that’s a wrap!! There is nothing we are here to do except learn to thrive… no matter what circumstances life gives us. But we have to take the time to learn how to do that. I have been dedicating my life to this vision by having everything I do BE MEANINGFUL so I can experience my unique essence and shine bright. I hope you do too!!😘