How to Have a Successful Life?
Aah.. the million dollar question… and here’s a million dollar answer.
Every so often I receive a contributed post that’s so brilliant I wish I had written it myself. This is one of them. ENJOY!
7 Skills Needed to Live a Successful Life
Apart from, “what do I want for breakfast today?”, there is one question that people ask themselves on a tri-daily basis more than any others and that’s, “what does it take to succeed?”
Most of the time, the answer boils down to a positive outlook and a go get ‘em attitude, but that’s not going to be enough on its own.
That’s not to say there isn’t a huge amount of truth to in books like The Secret because the Law of Attraction is definitely a thing no matter how far-fetched and hysterical it may sound. It’s a concept that has a way of kicking us into action, giving us something to focus on and the persistence to keep hunting it down.
However, without said actions, the Law of Attraction is pretty pointless. That’s to say, it won’t do much.
This is because success – no matter how you might define it – is all about taking action. Actually, scrap that. It’s about taking the right action and that requires a lot more skill than people are at first aware.
The good news is: a lot of these skills are taught in places of formal education. You know, like schools and colleges and whatnot.
The bad news is: not enough of them are taught to us. Of course, this is partly because some skills can’t be taught in classrooms; they have to be picked up on the job, in the workplace and, most importantly of all, while wandering through the terrifying labyrinth of life.
Anyway, we have pulled together a list of general skills that will help you find the Holy Grail of success no matter what you do, what sector you are in, what niche you have chosen or what hobby you have taken up. Of course, every field has special skills that will make your search for success a whole lot easier, but we’re focusing on the kind of life skills that transcend across every single discipline you can imagine. Not only that, but they are skills that can be learned by pretty much everyone.
So, without further ado, here are the skills you should start working on as soon as you can. Trust us, they will make a huge difference to your life.
1. Learn How To Write & Write Well
The greatest invention of all time is the written word and that’s why it takes the top spot on our list of epic skills to have in your arsenal.
The written word is what took ideas and helped us document them, save them and savour them.
Instead of us having to remember everything, we suddenly had a new way of keeping records of them and passing them onto other people. That’s what writing did when it first came along.
Nowadays, though, good writing gives you a whole host of benefits. It makes you better at selling products, ideas and even yourself, which is especially important now with so much content splattered across the bathroom stalls that is the internet.
Of course, learning how to write well doesn’t just mean knowing how to use an Oxford Comma.
It means learning how to organize your thoughts, write with emotion and target a specific audience in the best way possible. Learn how to do that and you can open up doors in pretty much every field imaginable.
2. Speaking In Public Is A Gift
If you’ve ever seen a list of the most popular TED Talks, you’ll already know the desire to master public speaking ranks highly on people’s lists.
Why? Because it is one of the most devastatingly incredible skills anyone can ever hope to develop. It’s that idea of being able to speak – whether that’s to one person or a room of a thousand – and have them listen to what you say; really listen; engaged as if there is nothing else going on the world.
The issue is, well, not everyone has that unrelenting self-confidence to talk loudly, clearly, persuasively and (to an extent) forcefully.
The trick is practising. Yes, it might take time, but it will be time well spent because those who are great at speaking come across as more comfortable with themselves, more confident, and more attractive to be around – that’s good for everyone and anyone.
That’s good for selling products, selling services, selling ideas, ideologies, concepts, worldviews, yourself, everything. Basically, it’s how you get that next promotion, that bigger client and that investor.
3. Always, Always Be Learning
The aim of the game is not to know everything there is to know because that’s not possible.
Even if you had a million years to kick around this world, you still wouldn’t remember everything (which is probably because you’ll start suffering from memory loss around 120 years old).
Even if we narrowed this down to your field, you still won’t know everything there is to know. Not even close.
Luckily, you don’t need to know everything – you just need to be really good at learning what you might need to know in order to become more successful.
If that’s having something extra to stand out on your Resume, then learn what that could be, from taking the Basic Life Support test to adding Blue Peter badge winner.
If it’s just knowing where to go for the answers, then make sure you know how to use the Internet to its full-potential, know your way around the local library, subscribe to blogs in your field, read the right publications and have the right people on speed dial.
There are so many ways knowing how to learn effectively will make your life easier.
4. Networking Is A Mega-Skill
Buzzwords have a way of becoming totally misunderstood and that seems to have become the case with the word “networking”. People think it’s just something you do to find a new job or a new client, but that’s not the case.
Networking is one of the most amazing ways to come up with new ideas, advance ideas and witness them flow to life, which is super-duper important because the modern economy thrives of innovation and ideas. It’s the new currency.
Don’t look at networking as just something to do when you need to get something new; accept it is one of the best ways to become a part of something exciting – idea-sprouting relationships.
5. Decisions Are There To Be Made
Everyone knows how important it is to analyse things. You need to analyse data, you need to analyse why you did what you did when drunk last night, you need to analyse how to get from here to there. Analysis is life.
But it’s effective decision-making that takes you from analysis to action, which means being able to look at the information you have available and then knowing what to do with it in the best possible way.
Oh, and quickly too. Yeah, speed is definitely a key part of good decision-making.
It’s being able to see something and respond fast, instead of waiting for more information or over-analysing or not being critical. It ain’t easy, but then being a doer and not a wannabe was never meant to be easy.
6. Relaxation Deserves A Nod Here
Nothing good ever came from stressing out. Nothing.
Decision-making goes to pot, mouth ulcers erupt, sleep becomes a longshot, thinking gets murkier, networking feels trickier and death seems imminent.
“What’s the answer?” We hear you shout. Knowing how to relax.
But this isn’t just something you need to do to prevent your other skills from feeling the heat; it’s something you deserve to do. Working yourself to death is pointless if you never give your chance to enjoy the fruits of all that hard work.
Of course, like everything else on this list, learning how to relax is a skill that needs to be learned and the best way to do this is to set aside some time each week, each day, each morning – whatever – and do something you love doing.
Trust us, it will help you operate in the most effective and productive way possible.
7. We All Need To Manage Ourselves Better
All the skills we’ve chatted about above are there to help you succeed. They are the actions that will make success less of a pipedream and that little bit more attainable.
That said, action is only possible if you know where to focus your attention at any given time. It’s only possible if you know where your focus is needed the most.
That’s the secret to success, which means self-management is hella important. We’re talking about better organisational skills, having the right habits to boost productivity and the kind of self-discipline that would put the Karate Kid to shame.
Improve in all of these areas and you will find yourself staying on the highway to successville – no detours, wrong turns or crashes.
We’re almost sure this isn’t a complete list. It can’t be. There have to be other skills out there we have forgotten about.
Hmmmm. Like umm… ummmm… Basic accounting and math and critical thinking and that sort of stuff.
Not to mention the more specialist skills to suit your role. But, like we said somewhere near the beginning(ish), these skills are the ones that transcend the nitty-gritty details to make success more possible.
What skills would you add to this list?
Are there any particular skills you’ve adopted or learned to ensure you lead a successful life?
I really like this post and especially the networking section. If anything I would add a little to this section. I feel that knowing when you need help is very important to be successful. No big feat is ever accomplished by one person. It is important to know when you need someone else’s expertise to push your project further. Networking is key to finding the right expert.
Aah, Julian. Thanks! That’s a very good point.
Hey, thanks for this article! I can tell the author has been studying skill No.1! I feel like you have to be careful when balancing Skills 6 and 7; I know in my own experience I feel I am ‘managing’ myself by giving myself time to relax, but sometimes it’s just an excuse. It’s hard to allow yourself to relax without indulging yourself but if you can schedule in relaxation within your work then you are going to be much more efficient! On the other hand, if you can’t schedule in any work time with your relaxation you won’t!
Hey i really enjoyed this article, i do agree with your points. I am trying to improve my content on my site so i can start bringing in more traffic because i really want to succeed. But i am also trying to fix things in my personal life that has been distracting me from reaching my success. Hard work must be put in now so i can relax and enjoy life later.
Hi Justin, glad to hear you enjoyed it. I agree, it’s definitely worth putting in the effort to build a foundation that can support you in time. All the best to you.