The act of learning is every bit as important as what you learn. Believing that you can improve yourself and do things in the future that are beyond your current possibilities is exciting and fulfilling. Still, your time is finite, and you should dedicate yourself to learning skills that will yield the greatest benefit. There are skills that I believe fit the bill because they never stop paying dividends. These are the skills that deliver the biggest payoff, both in terms of what they teach you and their tendency to keep the learning alive.
Here are skills you should definitely learn and will pay off forever.
1. Knowing When to Shut Up
Sure, it can feel so good to unload on somebody and let them know what you really think, but that good feeling is temporary. What happens the next day, the next week, or the next year? It’s human nature to want to prove that you’re right, but it’s rarely effective. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you and the relationship severely damaged.
When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right. The vast majority of the time, that means biting your tongue.
2. Getting High-Quality Sleep
We’ve always known that quality sleep is good for your brain, but recent research demonstrated exactly how so. When you sleep, your brain removes toxic proteins, which are by-products of neural activity when you’re awake, from its neurons. The catch here is that your brain can only adequately remove these toxic proteins when you have sufficient quality sleep. When you don’t get high-quality deep sleep, the toxic proteins remain in your brain cells, wreaking havoc and ultimately impairing your ability to think—something no amount of caffeine can fix.
This slows your ability to process information and solve problems, kills your creativity, and increases your emotional reactivity. Learning to get high-quality sleep on a regular basis is a difficult skill to master, but it pays massive dividends the next day.
3. Staying Positive
We’ve all received the well-meaning advice to “stay positive.” The greater the challenge, the more this glass-half-full wisdom can come across as unrealistic. It’s hard to find the motivation to focus on the positive when positivity seems like nothing more than wishful thinking. The real obstacle to positivity is that our brains are hard-wired to look for and focus on threats.
Today, this mechanism breeds pessimism and negativity through the mind’s tendency to wander until it finds a threat. These “threats” magnify the perceived likelihood that things are going—and/or are going to go—poorly. When the threat is real and lurking in the bushes down the path, this mechanism serves you well. When the threat is imagined and you spend two months convinced that the project you’re working on is going to flop, this mechanism leaves you with a soured view of reality that wreaks havoc in your life. Maintaining positivity is a daily challenge that requires focus and attention. You must be intentional about staying positive if you’re going to overcome the brain’s tendency to focus on threats.
4. Public Speaking
Public speaking is a skill and an asset that will last for years. You may feel uncomfortable doing it because it is a skill that can’t be learned in a day. With persistence and consistency, you will become perfect in it, and it will pay off in the future.
This one should be easy. If we’re not talking, we’re listening, right? Well, not exactly. A lot of times, we think we’re listening, but we’re actually planning what we’re going to say next. True listening means focusing solely on what the other person is saying. It’s about understanding, not rebuttal or input. Learning how to suspend judgment and focus on understanding the other person’s input is one of the most important skills you can develop.
Listening is a bit like intelligence—most everyone thinks they’re above average (even though that’s impossible). We talk to provide feedback, explain instructions, and communicate deadlines. Beyond the spoken words, there’s invaluable information to be deciphered through tone of voice, body language, and what isn’t said. In other words, failing to keep your ears (and eyes) open could leave you out of the game.
6. Focus On The Present Moment
Being in the present moment is where you will have the greatest control, where you will feel the most at ease, and where happiness flourishes.
There is a super tight connection between happiness and the ability to live in the present moment. Staying present is the skill of having your mind in the moment, not in the past, not in the future, but right here.
7. Saying “No”
Research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, showed that the more difficulty that you have to say no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Saying no is indeed a major challenge for many people. No is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, avoid phrases such as I don’t think I can or I’m not certain.
Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them. When you learn to say no, you free yourself from unnecessary constraints and free up your time and energy for the important things in life.
8. Being Honest With Yourself
Whatever you are doing, you must be brutally honest with yourself, especially in business. Always know that you compete with no one; run your own race. Know what you know and also be aware of what you do not know. Just focus on being good at what you do and continue to learn.
2. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
EQ is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigates social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. EQ is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.
Emotional intelligence is the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. It’s a powerful way to focus your energy in one direction, with tremendous results.
Bringing It All Together
Lifelong learning pays dividends beyond the skills you acquire. Never stop learning. How do you keep the learning alive? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Article Credit: https://humansofuniversity.com/university-life/8-skills-that-are-hard-to-learn-but-will-pay-off-forever/ https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2016/11/01/7-skills-that-are-hard-to-learn-but-payoff-forever/?sh=7fc273c641f8