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What They Didn’t Teach You In School: 5 Important Life Skills For Survival

Photo by Oussama Zaidi on Unsplash

The picture creates nostalgia, isn’t it so? The good old school days were the best. Starting from the struggle of early morning rising and then constant tussle between you and your mom for everything, be it bathing or eating your breakfast.

Remember how you kept on watching TV while your mom kept shouting to get ready and not miss the school bus. I have a fond memory of my mom trying to wake me through her strategy of time travel. Yes, time travel, since I woke at 7 AM only to realize it was 6:30 AM.


The real challenge was post-waking when you were under the prying eyes of your mother while you tried dodging her the entire morning only to fail. Fail, as it was you found at school an hour later with your crisp school uniform. Invariably the moms always won the morning battle, the exception being the days when you got ill (like really).
As if this wasn’t enough, morning milk glass sealed the deal for me.


Indeed, the school days are the stepping stones in everyone’s life.
The point here is, “Is the school education good enough?”, or a better way to ask would be: ” Are life skills taught in school?”
The answer would be an astounding NO!


The school education should emphasize on life skills. While you were busy learning sin theta, differential calculus, or about some battle that you don’t remember, somewhere a school or college dropout made a fortune with business. I am not suggesting to take that path or discard school altogether. Schools are an integral part of the social fabric and child development.


They teach us a lot of stuff. On the face of it, I’d say there is a lot that gets drilled down our brains, but what they don’t teach us is critical to success in life.


While you memorize financial recessions in the world, you are ignorant about how to write a check or draft for yourself.


While you read about riches plundered across the globe, you are unaware of how to manage your five bucks.


Various analogies may describe the plight of students faced at the supposed cradle of knowledge.
I’d say the school life prepares you to be mere readers of books and guides only to follow instructions later in life. We become the most glorified ignorant learned people on the planet.

We will discuss the critical life skills ignored at school. The points are rounded up with actions and recommended books. I would strongly advise obtaining a few of these books. Gift yourself some of these literary treasures.


5 Crucial Life Skills For Survival They Don’t Teach At School


Self-Worth or Self-Awareness

You are not your mistakes; They are what you did, not who you are.-Lisa Lieberman Wang


Remember how you felt on failing to answer a question by your teacher or scoring low on your tests. The truth is schools, as supposed to uplift, do the contrary and make you uncomfortable for imperfection.

Students fear writing exams or even class tests since they link their failure in these as loss of worth. Aren’t we supposed to learn things that we are ignorant of rather than feeling constant pressure of proving our self-worth?

Your performance at school has nothing to do with your worth. You are worthy, regardless of grades or income, and you should cherish that worth.

Read Ikigai: How to find purpose and transform life

What to do

Always spend time with yourself as the world is crazy around you. Stop and take a halt in this daily madness. Look out for yourself. If only you can quiet yourself, you can hear the disturbance around you.
Some suggest journaling your thoughts; I’d say keep track of what and how of your thoughts.
Journaling demands discipline. Hence, start with tracking your thoughts about yourself and generally.

Recommended books

The Art of Talking to Yourself: Self-Awareness Meets the Inner Conversation

I Like Myself!

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery

Stress Management

When at school, you don’t have many responsibilities. Life is pretty simple and scheduled.
You get up, dress up and march(read stroll) to the temple of knowledge. Then comes your morning prayers, and the learning(gulping) starts. The sweet sound of the bell that tells you- it’s over, no more trauma. Bells after bells and your day ends. Pretty much the same everywhere. You are in safe custody, not much to think or do.

The problem starts when it all ends. You need to look out for yourself in the real world. Alas! You have no idea what that is. Life was good between those bells when all you had to do was bide time.

Read How To Find Inner Peace In Life: 7 Things You Can Do Right Now

What to do

The critical part is to understand what causes stress. People seldom pay heed to what causes stress, but vocal about being under pressure. It’s time that you pay a visit to good-old anxiety and duress and put a stop to it.

Constant scrutiny, lack of time management skills, and over expectations are general causes of stress. Consistent identification with our pasts, while anticipation of the future is the root cause.
Start living in the “now” or “present” for a happy life.

Recommended Books

Zen as F*ck: A Journal for Practicing the Mindful Art of Not Giving a Sh*t (Zen as F*ck Journals)

Who moved my cheese? Dr. Spencer Johnson

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping (Third Edition)

Finances or Managing Money

Everybody wants money, yet only a few know how to earn or manage it.
Money won’t buy you happiness, but being sad under a roof in a cozy bed is better than being poor and sad at the same time.

Life experiences, vacations, movies, and medical bills are all covered by money. It is the root cause of evil, yet it is the most potent weapon in your hand.
What they don’t tell us in school is how to manage it or even how to earn it. We are prepared with a limiting mindset of fixed earning sufficing survival.

What to do

A good start would be to track your expenses. Know where your money goes. How do you expect the money to work for you when you are unaware on how you spend?

Track your expenses and understand what needs attention. Tracking gives you insight into your spending pattern. You will be surprised once you do this. I have been at it recently, and to my amazement, it takes little time while giving perfect results.

Money is energy available to all. If you believe that you can’t make more money, you’ll never be able to create a perfect reality.
Start believing in plenty theory, and you create it.

Recommended Books

Think & Grow Rich: THE 21st CENTURY EDITION

The Soul of Money – Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life

The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need

People Management or People Skills

It is such a crucial skill to survive in this world. I wonder why schools chose to ignore this aspect. Primary skills as:

Communicating Skills– You should know how to communicate what’s in your head. Unless you know this, it won’t make a difference.

Listening Skills– Doesn’t refer to doing what you’re told. Learning how to listen to others, hearing what they say, and understanding it.

Negotiating Skills– Life is a daily negotiation. You either sell something or get something, either way, you negotiate.

What to do

Try understanding others. We only listen to respond these days. People skills come from practical experiences. Put yourself in situations that demand using these skills. Observe where you lack and work on them. Take feedback.

Recommended Books

How to Win Friend and Influence People

People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others and Resolve Conflicts (A Spectrum book)

Games People Play: The basic handbook of transactional analysis.

Value Of Failures or Mistakes

Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently- Henry Ford

Failures and mistakes are an invaluable part of growth. There is a phrase “fail forward,” which was popularized by John C. Maxwell in the book Fail Forward.

Imagine if teachers can change their students’ perspectives on failure. All I remember is a dreaded mouthful or a stick on hand, making mistakes at school. The right way would be to teach how to embrace failure rather than a kid shuddering from it.

What to do

Appreciate that failure and mistakes are valuable to your growth and that you learn from them. These are an integral part of your journey, and accepting them will empower you.


Recommended Books

Fail Better: Design Smart Mistakes and Succeed Sooner

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

Embracing Failure: Harness the Power of Fear in Life and Business

To sum up, the skills mentioned above are crucial to success in life. While there are many other competencies to inculcate within, you can start with a few and bring changes in your life. Join any course or read various books on them. Check out the recommended books mentioned in the article and read them. It is always a good start when you take that first step. The first step is winning half the battle.

Do like and share with friends and colleagues if this all makes sense to you.

You can purchase the recommended books directly from clicking on them. I suggest reading these books for your benefit and a new perspective to the discussion.

Drop your comments and let me know about your views or connect with me socially on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Sincerely

thewriterhead

8 Comments »

  1. So very true. Kids lack time with their parents and miss out on learning slot of practical things and life lessons. My 15 year old son sees that he learns hardly anything useful in school. He simply goes because he has too. We cook together and talk finance, politics and spirituality on the weekends to try and fill some if the gaps. He also does slot of his own learning and research to discover things he actually cares about. We are lucky I have time to do this. Not all parents in our overly busy age get the same opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Issue being, even the parenting is in auto-mode these days. There is a lack of concerned effort from parents to instill values or skills into the young ones. Sadly, they seem to be busy with their own mess while a kid fetches all wrong or incomplete info from the world.

      Like

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