There are no universal truths in life but there are fundamental skills that can help every functioning adult thrive in life. Those skills can be acquired with experience and time. Success is subjective but whatever your definition of success is, these essential skills can help you achieve it faster.

  • When to trust your gut and when to double-check with your rational mind.

Albert Einstein has been widely quoted as saying, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Most of the time, people know what to do long before the rational mind steps in — we can just feel it. That’s intuitive thinking. You rely on intuition when you make decisions without concrete proof, scientific facts, psychological evidence, or active reasoning.

  • In the age of unlimited distractions, self-control is a superpower!

Once you’ve decided that something is important, can you fully control yourself and persist in in doing it, without letting bad habits get in the way?

Self-control is an inside job. It’s the ability to abstain from doing unproductive, momentarily more gratifying tasks, so you can do the things that really matter.

  • How to communicate with anyone (even those who disagree with you)

“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” ― Roy T. Bennett

Communication is an art. The ability to communicate clearly in speech and writing ensures that everyone understands what you’re telling them. Words are the source of misunderstandings — if someone doesn’t understand you or you don’t pay attention enough to understand what they are trying to tell you, you will both misunderstand each other.

  • The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” ― Confucious

Wisdom is good judgment in social situations. It’s applying knowledge to your life in a way that adds meaning and promotes the common good. Learning from past experiences is one of the best ways of acquiring wisdom — experience is how we become better functioning adults.

 

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Charu Joshi

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