Some Unvarnished Truth

Nothing about what you are about to read is exciting.  Life skills are not glamorous.  However, they are the basic square root of all else that we do.  By failing to grasp basic life skills, larger and more complicated tasks become unmanageable and unnecessarily complex.  Life skills are our building blocks. Can you balance a checkbook?  Can you open a bank account?  Are you on time for your appointments?  Can people depend on you?  Do you keep your word?  Are you able to feed yourself?  Can you cook?  Who decides for you when enough is enough?  Did you get dressed today, or wander into the world in your pajamas still?  What does that communicate?

The Basics

Life skills are diverse and all over the map.  Basic ones seem to elude many of us the most.  Think about this.  You are in an interview situation and you stand up suddenly and walk out of the room.  In your mind, you have to go to the bathroom.  However, the interviewer would be perplexed and offended that you just walked out.  It sends the wrong message regardless of what your true intention was.  Life skill: let people know, communicate.

Punctuality is an important life skill.

Making your words mean something.

Being truthful and impeccable.

Honoring the perspectives of others.

Establishing personal boundaries and limits.

Personal discipline.

The last two are vital.  If you have no idea what your limits are, you are lost.  If you fail to discipline your actions and words, society will do it for you, in the form of prison, mental institutions, the military, or poverty.  It is only through personal and chosen discipline that we find freedom and spontaneity!  Imposed discipline manifests as tyranny and slavery.

Life skills are very much like tactics in chess.  You do not need a master plan if you are tactically sound.  Being tactically sound means practicing basic life skills.  Let’s try to work towards cultivating life skills this week.