“Life skills” – These are abilities that aid a person’s life. They are useful for a smooth ride in this journey of life. They may be as simple as tying your shoelaces or as complex as future planning. However, the benefits of life skills are immense.
Previously, one learned these mostly by the experiences life threw at him. I don’t remember my teachers teaching me these in my school. But, hey, this doesn’t mean they couldn’t and shouldn’t be.
I will list down a few life skills and you say a “yes” or a “no” to authenticate their importance. Reading the clock, communicating, coping with stress, financial management and problem-solving. I am certain all these received a resounding “yes” and we would be glad if we had them.
Benefits of having life skills
1. Personal Benefits
a) Financial literacy
How I wish I learned to manage my budget, do my taxes, know-how compounded interest worked before I became an adult and was overwhelmed by it. The importance of financial literacy far exceeds our imagination.
b) Numerical ability
Many kids drop out or don’t go to school at all. For them to survive in a money-centric world, it is important to have basic numerical abilities to prevent confusion and fraud.
c) Digital literacy
Digitization is touching our lives more than ever. Payments, bookings, orders, information, services, etc. are all online. A person not skilled in this would feel alienated in this digital age.
d) Future Planning
This ability differentiates the best from the rest. The ability to predict your future, make detailed plans about them and then execute them are abilities that only a few have. These skills can, however, be taught at an early age to maximize personal development.
2. Educational Benefits
Life skills are an add-on to the formal education that is provided. It leads to the smooth learning of the taught curriculum, promotes harmony, motivates teachers and induces discipline.
3. Benefits in Employment
While good grades get you shortlisted for many jobs, there are additional skills that employers seek while finally accepting you. These skills include:
This is especially true for jobs that are non-routine and require complex decision making regularly.
There is only so much that one individual can achieve due to his limited skills and time. Thus, working in teams is the modern-day work ethic and if you are not a team player, you don’t go far in the job.
c) Time management
The benefits of time management as one of the life skills are many. People have different reserves of money, talent, and opportunities. The number of hours per day is equal for all and one who manages it effectively, stay ahead of the curve.
It is well established that some leaders are born, while others are made. How to grow an effective leader? Leadership is a trait that one can be hone. To give the organization and the world leaders, this life skill must be developed from an early age.
Many talented prospects are rejected due to a lack of this life skill. An effective communicator is an effective influencer. Because, they can get their thoughts across smoothly without any confusion. Communication should span oral, verbal and non-verbal aspects. Imagine an organization filled with such effective communicators and the efficiency they bring to the work.
f) Appreciating others
Being tolerant of others’ opinions, finding happiness in others’ success, aiding co-workers, etc. go a long way in effective teamwork and a cordial work environment.
g) Flexibility and adaptability
The 21st-century work environment is volatile and employees who aren’t able to keep up with it lose out.
h) Coping with stress
Stress is the added perk that no employee wants, but has to deal with. Stress management is an important life skill that one must inculcate at the right age to prevent frustration, depression and promote mental health.
4. Socio-Political benefits
a) Governmental function
If kids know basic governmental parameters such as elections, work done by government officials, constitutional positions, fundamental rights, and duties. This will make them informed and responsible citizens. It will also aspire them to run for elections.
b) Value education
Most of the social turmoil wouldn’t arise if kids were sensitized about issues like gender equality, race and religion brotherhood. Also, about caste equality and ill effects of social evils.
c) Cultural education
How many of us know the dance forms, architectural marvels, paintings, pottery, languages, etc. in our glorious country? Know-How of these instill pride about the nation and promote nationalism.
Now that we know the importance of Life Skills. The next step is to find ways of imparting them at an early age.
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