Call it a phenomenon, a term, a field of study or just two words but 'Life Skills' never correctly respond to just a single aspect, rather it's a combo with many flavors and myriad facets which one appreciates gradually.
You may be polishing your life skills at the market place in terms of using your skills to negotiate a bargain, in terms of your presentation, on the stage with your communication skills or even in the simplest things like table manners and the way you greet people.
The effect of these two words is subtle but comprehensive, persuasive and all-encompassing. 'Life Skills' is not limited by a single definition but is related to the abilities in an individual in the ways in which he carries himself in a variety of situations, which benefits him in all respects but at the same time, does not lead to any conflict or inconsistency.
“So the bottom line is enhanced interpersonal relationships and more forward looking self.”
Are You Born With Life Skills
Now the question which surfaces is whether life skills are inborn, latent within the individual or do they develop over time. You cam broadly classify them into three phases:
1. Parents & Childhood
Scientific study tells that, in the first phase of a child's life experiences the major parental influence is in terms of shaping of nature, behavior, communication, confidence and a number of other life skills.
Some skills are taught by parents and some are incorporated through observation, a skill every child possesses. Building the child's confidence, which is one of the primary life skills, is very much in parental hands. If they unknowingly try to suppress their lad's confidence, by extra strict behavior, they are laying the foundation for future problems for their child. It is at this phase when the child learns to greet, to interact and moreover, he tries to work in the same manner as his parents do.
This phase also initiates the process of learning academic skills.
2. Late Childhood & Teenage
Phase two, is the 'MAGNA-CARTA' of life skills development. The child, now a teenager is exposed to the real world, the world which is harsh, unlike their cozy bedrooms and warm parental touches.
What he Gets Affects Him
Ruthlessness & Roughness
Some teenager become silent, they do not share or talk about their experiences and in the process they lose their luster, lose their metal, and become introvert. This happens when the environment outside takes its toll on them. But, it can have its positives in some cases!
Getting bullied, jested around and mocked at school can either break a child or make him so strong and street smart, that there is no stopping him. Some teenagers tend to face these problems and come out very well. When facing such stuff, they incorporate skills of strength, courage, wit etcetera.
In the process they themselves become ruthless and rough for the harsh world out there.
Ah! The vice among men and women… Surprisingly jealousy can lead to the incorporation of competitive spirit which is very essential in the modern day world. Though persisting jealousy is a certain vice and should be taken care off before it becomes a permanent trait.
Friends and company are the most influential entities in a person’s life. Skills like humor and wit are closely incorporated among friends. Abstract skills like loyalty, honesty, brotherhood, compassion also in their first instances arise among friends.
“A man becomes like the company he keeps”
Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Skills like communication, self-confidence, Self-esteem, Friendliness etcetera are boosted up in the right company of friends.
SOMETIMES IT’S OUR SENIORS….!
A sibling rivalry at a young age and Peer Pressure later on cultivates various skills in a person. While on one hand it may lead to bad habits like smoking or drug addictions on the other hand if handled well… a sense of pride in oneself is cultivated, confidence boosts up, competitive skills are advanced and a wholesome better personality comes into shape
The third phase brings in the ultimate life-skill MATURITY, but people will continue to learn things even after they mature, so there is nothing to feel sad about.
Now, experience plays a major role and leads birth of:
Experience gives us to power to judge people, choices, methods and what not! The skill of judgment can only come with hands full of experience.
The ability to differentiate between right and wrong
The Power of Observation- The skill we are born with
This is the only skill we are born with. It is a god gift to us. Without observation a child cannot learn to smile, a kid cannot make friends, a boy cannot learn to ride a bike in fact… no one can do anything without observation.
It should be our prime practice in life to use and extract the skill of observation to the maximum. Observation is essential for survival.
Scientists observe and publish results
Economists observe and publish papers
Theorists observe and put down assertions
Workers observe and put forth unions
People observe and lead a life
Observation is a primary skill.. it is never lost. It is always present in every individual in every state of body and mind.
It is the harbinger of all the skills that come into a person’s life.
The power of observation
“To acquire knowledge, one must study;
but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.”
―Marilyn Vos Savant
Where do we use Life Skills?
The skills which develop play a vital role in all the walks of our life
A boy uses his negotiating skills at the grocer's shop to save a dime or two.
A young lad uses his wit and humor to impress his date.
Ones presentation and personality skills are tested a practical interviews
An orange seller uses his convincing powers to sell you one pound extra!
The way you talk to your boss
The manner in which you read this hub
The way you will interact with your children
From writing RESUME to the organizing of a party, I can go on and on about infinite examples… probably make 100 hubs about them but the point is.. the use of Life Skills is in every single thing you do and the way you do it!
Skills like planning help you decide your probable future, isn't it?
Self exploration is also a skill, which helps you to work upon that thing and excel.
'Practice', another primary life skill is required for every little or big work- from sewing a button to solving complex mathematical computations.
Thinking and imagination help an individual at the work he does.
Time management helps one cope up with pressure, as a student and as a professional.
Other skills which help us throughout our life are patience, discipline, concentration, determination, good nature, firm character, and our way of talking. Moreover if you dance well or sing well, that's also your life skill. No one can really classify
How Do We Come Across Life Skills?
The three phases make us come to a conclusion that most life skills are born out of
Therefore it may be possible that a boy learns his table manners when he is fifty.
No One Can Have It all…
I am reminded of Bard of Avon's words
"No perfection is absolute that Impurity doth not pollute it."
Indeed, no one person can have all the skills and must never look for all but only what he is best at. When you look into the ocean of life skills, you will find them so numerous that capturing a quantified number of them is an insurmountable target. Life skills, once again are a vast multitude and we inculcate only a part of them with time and experience. To each one his own set of skills and no one is really without a smattering of some of them. That is impossible.
To conclude, let me give you a fact. You were practicing your life skills while reading this… go ahead explore, learn, observe and incorporate