In recent centuries, the school has become a reservoir of information, a mere instrument to transmit the knowledge that humanity has accumulated over time. In this way, in school, we learn Mathematics and Physics, Geography and History, but they do not transmit us the really important learning, they do not prepare us for life.
School often becomes simply an instrument to limit our minds. Instead of promoting autonomous thinking and the search for knowledge, it becomes a series of recipes composed of ancient laws and theorems that we must learn by heart. In this way, we run the risk of losing some of our most valuable capacities, such as creativity and imagination.
Some of our most important abilities are neglected. It is as if we hire a gardener and he is only dedicated to pruning the plants, forgetting that they must also be watered, fed and protected. By following this strategy, it is highly unlikely that the garden will grow and prosper, to the maximum, it will be able to survive.
10 Essential life skills
In conventional schools there is practically no room for negotiation, it is the teacher who decides everything. In this way, the idea is transmitted that there are winners and losers, people who rule and others who must abide by the rules without question; so it is not strange that when we are adults, we approach interpersonal relationships in terms of win / lose. However, the ability to negotiate is essential, and not only to obtain a discount in the price but, fundamentally, to be able to relate and avoid social friction. There is a skill that could save us a lot of anger and headaches: learning to focus on commonalities, instead of increasing differences.
2. Follow a passion.
One of the watchwords of the school, and also one of the ones we hear the most throughout our lives as a student is: “duty.” They teach us from a young age that there are things that must be done, even if we don’t like them. In this way, they completely kill our sense of happiness, make us believe that duty is at odds with pleasure. So it’s not uncommon for millions of people to do a job they don’t like and live a life that doesn’t satisfy them. Nobody taught us that when you find your passion, what motivates us and we know how to do well, sooner or later it will end up becoming our job and a huge source of satisfaction.
3. Embrace the mistake.
The school harshly penalizes mistakes, conveying the idea that making mistakes is not right. The ratings do not take into account the effort or the person, only the successes and mistakes made. After several years, it’s no wonder we end up feeling a real dislike for mistakes. Some people are even unable to move forward because the fear of being wrong has crushed their motivation. However, in real life, most learning comes through trial and error, we must make mistakes to learn. Therefore, errors simply tell us that we are one step closer to achieving our goal because we have discarded a path. Mistakes are learning that allows us to grow, not heavy stones that we must drag to generate a sense of guilt.
4. Manage emotions.
Society, as a whole, does not teach us to handle emotions, but rather to hide or repress them. By labelling emotions as positive or negative, wanted or unwanted, we assume that something is wrong with us when we get angry and irritated, or when we feel sad. The demonization of some emotions and the exaltation of Positive Psychology have made many people feel inadequate. However, emotions are part of us and they are not positive or negative, they are simply indicators and, as such, we must assume them. The important thing is not the emotional reaction, which in many cases is automatic, but how we handle that anger or sadness later.
5. Deal with adversity.
Sooner or later, adversity will knock on our door. When that happens, you better be prepared. However, no one has taught us to face problems with a good face or told us that each crisis also contains an opportunity. The resilience is an essential ability to not collapse and emerge stronger from the problems, but it is something we learn to chance, after receiving the blows of life. However, it has been appreciated that people who perceive problems as opportunities to grow from the outset face obstacles better. A study conducted at King’s College Hospital of London revealed that faced with the same clinical conditions, people who face cancer with a fatalistic attitude and impotence have a worse prognosis than those who show a combative spirit and behave in a resilient way.
6. Self motivated.
The school encourages us to use willpower. However, no one has told us that it is a limited resource. A very interesting experiment carried out at the University of Utrecht shows us this. In this case, they subjected some dieters to gruelling psychological tests, which required a great deal of willpower and self-control. Then they were given different foods to choose from. Those who had exhausted their willpower chose the most caloric options, those who performed the simplest tests opted for the healthiest foods. For this reason, more than betting on self-control and willpower, it is convenient to learn to be self-motivated, find good reasons that help us stay on the road, especially when it is uphill.
7. Find the balance.
School teaches us to push ourselves, to work hard to get better grades. However, it does not teach us how to balance the rest of the spheres of our life, to feel more satisfied. Therefore, it is not strange that there are people completely dedicated to working, who do not have free time and who neglect their families. When we do not have a sense of balance, we do not know how to prioritize and we run the risk of neglecting precisely the areas that can provide us with the most satisfaction. However, living in a balanced way is an essential skill to achieve happiness, to develop our full potential to the fullest. Otherwise, we become a sad and limited version of what we could have been.
8. Feel gratitude.
The gratitude is a well-kept secret, is one of the roads that lead directly to happiness, although most people underestimate. When we can experience gratitude and express it, we are much happier. It is not just about thanking someone when someone does us a favour, which is what they teach us at school but about actively looking for reasons to be grateful. It’s about learning to focus on what we have, rather than bemoaning what we don’t have, about learning to value the little things and feel grateful for them.
9. Value time.
Time is the most valuable possession we have but, curiously, it is also something that we let go of with amazing ease. Of course, it is easy to forget the value it has when we go to a school every day where we learn content that does not interest us and that has no practical applications. However, when we begin to think in terms of time, our life can take a radical turn as we can give each thing its proper measure. Knowing how to organize time and plan day today is one of the most important skills that we can develop throughout our lives.
10. Discover yourself.
Over the years, we play different social roles, we become friends, parents, professionals, neighbours. In this way, it is easy to lose our identity, forget what our dreams and aspirations were. It is not unusual for one of the social roles that we interpret day after day end up growing so much that it appropriates our “I”, weakening and silencing it. However, to live fully, it is necessary to be in tune with that most intimate “I”, which continues to caress passions and be amazed at life. If we lose that “me”, if we let social roles stunt it and dictate what we should do, we will simply be digging our own grave.