Five Important Life and Career Success Skills

Successful people have mastered certain life skills that put them at an advantage. These life skills can be learned in their most basic form at a young age. Then, over time, these individuals can build upon the foundation of wisdom laid in their youth. They always see to it that they always do their best from looking for a job up to asking for a promotion.┬áThe result is a structured life that’s both disciplined and purposeful. Listed and explained here are five important success skills for every stage of life. The earlier these skills are learned and become a part of your everyday life, the better.

Learn to Assume Responsibility for Your Choices

Ineffective, unsuccessful people often drift through life blaming everyone but themselves for their failures. Their tendency to shift responsibility onto other people becomes a never ending, vicious cycle. They go through life with a chip on their shoulder. As a result, their assumption that others are out to get them becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, because others either begin to avoid them like the plague or treat them with contempt. On the flip side, successful people are those who learn early in life that they are responsible to make the most out of the hand they’ve been dealt in life. Their lives may not be perfect. They may have some life circumstances that could be characterized as lemons. But they learn to turn those lemons into lemonade.

If you want to become one of these successful people, refuse to play the victim. Though you may have been legitimately victimized at some point in your life, don’t allow that victim status to define you. Choose to study hard, to work hard, and to follow through, in spite of challenges. Never limit your potential even as you face those struggles. If you’d like to take an engineering management course, you have to push through. Refuse thinking that it is a complex thing to do that you will soon regret. It will all be worth it in the end. If you make a mistake, own up to it and do what you can to make it right. There’s power in learning to assume responsibility for your choices and your future. As a child, this can be as simple as learning to clean up your own messy room and apologize for bumping into another child. As an adult it can mean admitting you were at fault in a fender bender, or choosing to get your project done ahead of time at the office.

Learn to Make Wise Financial Decisions

Financial literacy is absolutely essential to living a successful life. As a child you could start out by learning the importance of hard work through earning a weekly allowance. As an adult it’s about learning how to budget, how to save, and how to spend money carefully on necessary items with few frivolous purchases. Learn to live within your means and not fall for the latest fads and trends. You can derive satisfaction from knowing that you’re prepared to face the future free from fear of want. Such peace of mind can help to curb any lingering appetite you may have for wasteful overspending.

Learn to Choose Your Words Carefully

Rather than speak the first thing that comes into their minds, successful people learn to consider the way their words are going to affect those around them. They learn to look at life from other people’s point of view and speak accordingly. Such cautious reflection leads these people to hold their tongue unless they’re reasonably sure that their words are necessary and suitable to the occasion at hand. With a child, this skill can be learned by facing clear consequences for lying, gossip, slander, and back-talking authority figures.

If these negative speech patterns are dealt with consistently in a child, the child can grow up to be an adult who thinks before they speak. Even if you did not master these skills as a child, you can learn them as an adult. Run your potential speech through a mental grid, asking yourself questions before you speak. Ask yourself, “Is the person I want to speak to about this situation emotionally mature enough to handle what I have to say?” “Is what I am about to say meant to build someone up or to tear them down?” “Is what I am about to say based purely on emotion or does it also involve logical thinking?” “Do I have all the facts, or will I be spreading rumors?”

Learn to Care about Other People

In some sectors of society, cutthroat individuals who claw their way to the top are wrongly labeled “successful.” Though there are some people in the business world or other walks of life who manage to rise to the top by stepping all over others, these people are not truly successful. Such selfish behavior leads to inner misery and often to horrible personal relationships. Truly successful people learn to truly think about the needs and feelings of others. That’s often one of the major keys to their success, because they like to pull others up with them on their way up the ladder of life. As a result, they develop strong relationships that benefit them in the long run.

A child can learn to care about others by being put into situations where they’re able to demonstrate kindness to those in need. This can be as simple as baking a batch of cookies to take to a lonely neighbor, or raking an elderly grandparent’s leaves. The more service opportunities a young person is involved in, the more they see the value in living an unselfish, caring life. Whether you were raised this way or not, you can learn to show compassion by looking for creative ways to show concern for those around you. Ask yourself, “Who do I know that could use an encouraging card or phone call this week?” “Is there anyone who needs physical help that I can provide for them?” It’s amazing how much joy you’ll find when you learn to get your eyes off of yourself and onto the needs of others.

Learn to Stop Worrying and Just Take the Next Step

One crucial element of success is learning to break the stranglehold of worry. Worrying has been described as a rocking chair. It keeps you busy, but doesn’t get you anywhere. Learn to expend the energy you waste worrying on healthy, productive endeavors. As a child you can learn not to worry when your parents reassure you with an optimistic spirit. Optimism, like pessimism, is contagious. No matter what age you are, make it a habit to prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. It’s okay to be realistic. You don’t have to live in a Pollyanna la-la-land where nothing bad ever happens. But try to calmly and deliberately focus on what is good even in difficult circumstances. You’ll find that keeping a positive attitude and refusing to give in to worry will help you to take the next necessary step toward overcoming the challenges you’re facing.

Success isn’t always easy to achieve. It takes discipline of the mind, body, and soul. But when you employ these five basic skills at each stage of life, you can learn the attitudes and habits you need to find yourself well on the way to a happy, successful life.

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