Now think back over your life and the skills you wish you would have had. What skills rise to the top? (Hint: These likely now exist as regrets.)
Sure, our individual lives and personalities impact the skills we need, but many skills remain universal too. Regardless, we certainly gain wisdom from learning about the skills others view as important. We can gain insight by going through the act of listing these skills, of taking the time to process the regrets and the successes both of ourselves and others
These are skills I think would benefit everyone.
- How to read and play music. I gave up learning music too early in life and have missed out on opportunities to serve through music because of my lack of skill. For this reason, I mightily encourage this skill in my son, who has an aptitude for and interest in music.
- How to outline thoughts & ideas. The ability to organize thoughts helps in seemingly unending ways. From giving a presentation to coworkers to discussing a problem with your spouse to giving your testimony, the ability to outline is invaluable. I’m so thankful this skill exists naturally in my repertoire.
- How to do math. Math does not come easily for me. I wish I would have pushed more in this area and further developed these skills. Maybe I wouldn’t need my fingers to add and multiply. Because of this gap in my life, I encourage my youngest all the more with his similar struggles.
- How to play sports. I would like to have developed this earlier in life. I see the confidence it gives both my boys (one naturally athletic, the other not), and I realize the benefit it could have also given me at their ages.
- How to be healthy. I call this an ability because it’s something everyone can develop. An ability to understand and apply health and wellness knowledge allows us to be our best physically, so we can be our best mentally and spiritually too.
I realize these skills may not interest everyone, but being interested isn’t always that important. In fact, I wish someone would have pushed me as a kid to develop skills I wasn’t interested in at the time. Doing so helps develop us in ways that make our natural abilities stronger and amplify what we do enjoy.
For another point of view, the November 2013 issue of Real Simple lists the following 5 skills as ones everyone should have: (1.) How to be alone. (2.) How to take a compliment. (3.) How to keep a conversation going. (4.) How to ask for feedback. (5.) How to remember names.
All good skills to have! In fact, when I read the Real Simple list, I want to throw out my list and take theirs as my own. This shows the value of sharing these ideas. So, let’s do just that!
DISCUSSION: What 5 skills do you think everyone should have?
One more thing… As I over-analyze, which I can’t always stop from happening, I see how un-spiritual I am with my list and the ones I desire from the Real Simple list. Then I realize these skills – all our skills, really – exist for us to use as tools, tools to communicate and to connect with others. Aha! There’s the connection!