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In this age of cut-throat competition, people are hyper-harried and rush to stay ahead of the game. The insecurity makes them feel that if they slow down for a while, someone else will whip by in a blur. This attitude has made many skilled doctors, engineers, and entrepreneurs extremely successful. However, it may not be the best quality when it comes to life skills.

We’ve compiled a list of essential life skills that you should learn as a kid.

The 80/20 Rule

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Have you ever noticed that you probably make most of your phone calls to a selected number of the people from your contact list, or that you spend most of your time with only a few people from the entire pool of acquaintances in your life? It’s because those few people add value to your existence. That, my dear friends, is the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule, named after French-born Italian engineer Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto.
It means that 80% of the results you get is from 20% of your activities. A lot of what you do is probably not useful or even necessary to do as you may think. If you can either drop or decrease the time you spend on a whole bunch of things, you will be able to devote more of your time and energy on things that bring you value, happiness, and fulfillment.

Mistakes and Failures Are Good

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Life is like the game of Mario; you might miss the mushrooms to reach the next level, but that doesn’t end your journey. Similarly, it is important to keep telling yourself that it is okay to fail a test or not be able to score that goal. Making mistakes is the only genuine way to learn and the sooner you realise that, the better it is.

Kids are often taught not to make mistakes from a young age, but that attitude might just keep you away from a lot of profound experiences. It will make you reactive and stop you from being proactive. You will end up in a destructive cycle, where you keep asking yourself “What if I fail at doing this?” or “Everybody will laugh at me.” It is crucial to get out of this cycle and do what you want to. Perhaps, people may not like your actions. That should be inconsequential to you as far as you are level headed.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

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We often beat ourselves black and blue for our defeats. People give up after a few mistakes or failures because they think they are not perfect. You must understand that your expectation of being able to do everything perfectly all the time is impossible — you are, after all, human.

Give Yourself a Break and Relax

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It’s very easy to get caught up with things. But most of the things you worry about are trivial. And what may seem like a big problem right now, you may not even remember in three years. Taking yourself, your thoughts and your emotions too seriously causes unnecessary suffering. So, relax a little more and lighten up a bit. Dabble in some fun activities and take a breather. Whether you love playing video games, listening to music, going out for a walk with your friends or reading, make sure that you carve out a schedule for some indulgence and rejuvenation.

Money Management

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The three golden rules of money management are:

  1. Spend less than you earn.
  2. Invest wisely.
  3. Be prepared for financial contingencies.

Once you learn these basics, you’ll be prepared for the worst in your life and remain strong.

Make Memories

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You will look back on the days you spent laughing in the park with friends or Diwali evenings with your family when you are older. Your younger years are those which shape your personality the most, so make memories and cherish them. They will encourage you to make an effort towards self-reflection and learning.

Time Management

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The thumb rules of time management:

  1. Effective Planning: Plan your day well in advance. Prepare a to-do list or “task plan”.
  2. Set Goals and Objectives: Working without goals and targets in an organisation would be similar to a situation where the captain of the ship loses his way in the sea. Yes, you would be lost!
  3. Create Deadlines
  4. Delegation of Responsibilities
  5. Prioritize Tasks

Read about time management hacks for competitive exams here.

Parkinson’s Law

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Sometimes, you tell yourself that you’ll find a solution within a week. In this situation, have you noticed that the problem may look more difficult, and you’ll spend more time trying to come up with a solution?

Parkinson’s Law says that a task will expand in time and ‘seem’ complex depending on the time you set aside for it. In simple terms, you can do things quicker than you think. So, focus on finding solutions, and give yourself a limited time to do so. It will enable you to focus on a particular task at hand, instead of having some looming task in the back of your mind.

Live Without Regrets

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“Everything happens for a reason,” may sound like a cliche but it is true. This mantra helps you accept your mistakes and not regret any decision. It makes your life a lot more guiltless and stress-free. Always remember that everything you’ve done has taught you something and not understanding this could tear you apart.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

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We have to understand that what people present to the outside world is usually an edited version of themselves. They are less likely to reveal their negative emotions and flaunt only their positive emotions.

So, the next time you compare yourself to someone else, ask yourself if you know everything about that person or situation.

A Wrong Attitude Has Consequences

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One of the most important steps you can take towards achieving your potential is to learn to monitor your attitude. Analyse its impact on your work performance, relationships and everyone around you. We all have a choice. We can choose self-encouragement and self-motivation, or self-defeat and self-pity. It’s a power we all have. Each of us encounters hard times, hurt feelings, heartache, and physical and emotional pain. It’s not what happens to you that matters; it’s how you choose to respond.

If you change your attitude, you change your reality. When you have a positive attitude instead of a negative one, you start to see things and viewpoints that were invisible to you before.

The Art of Gratitude

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Focusing on your reasons for gratitude means focusing on the things that make you happy. It will also give you a more optimistic outlook. Practicing thankfulness will give you a sense of perspective. You’ll be more equipped to handle the frustrations of day-to-day life with more wisdom and see the big picture.

Learn to Say ‘No’

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When you are saying NO to others, you are saying YES to yourself and the things that are important to you. So, don’t ever feel guilt tripped into doing something you really don’t want to do.

You could also read about Problems You Will Face When You Turn 25 to be better equipped with life skills to tackle them!

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