There are a lot of useful skills, and in such a diverse society it is possible to breeze through life by becoming an expert in a certain niche, or field. We may specialize in astrophysics, and technically it would probably be possible to live a life without learning much else. You could work, get paid, and outsource all other tasks, including looking after the house. Similarly, if you were good enough at juggling, or circus skills, then you could probably specialize in this department, and do little else. That would not make for a very well rounded life though, so it is perhaps a better idea to be well skilled across a wide range of activities. A balanced person has many talents, and is always working towards learning something new. Here are 7 top skills you can teach yourself for a better life:
- Learn To Cook
I absolutely love to cook! I think our quality of life is drastically improved if we take pride in meal times; in preparing, cooking, and eating nice foods. Cooking is not a difficult skill to start to learn; you can follow the directions in recipes whilst you get the hang of it, and then from this rigid point begin to experiment with flavors and variations. Over time cooking has become something of a passion for me. I love playing with the balance of flavors until it is right, and I love to serve up several courses to friends and family. Learning to cook makes every day enjoyable, meal times become a treat, and it is much easier to eat well for less money, than when we buy frozen foods, and ready-made foods. Cooking also gives us control over what is in our food; what ingredients we use and where they are sourced from. When we become familiar with food we learn how to combine the foods that we are craving, into a healthy and tasty treat.
This is not a skill I admit to having mastered yet, but I have a friend who can take most things apart, and put most things back together again, and it basically means he has to fork out less often for something new to replace things. Some basic repair skills can save a fortune and a lot of hassle, and it feels great to be able to take care of an issue without having to call for back up. If you own a car then that is the first thing to learn to repair; learn some basic mechanics. Electronic goods, and computers, are also a very useful avenue, given our increasing reliance on technology. If you are good at repairing electronics there might even be a part-time dime to be made too!
- Sewing And Knitting
Often considered a bit of lady’s skill, but in a modern world a skill that anyone should learn; sewing and knitting are a type of repair that deal with fabric of all varieties. You wouldn’t believe how many hats, bags, tents, coats and t-shirts my girlfriend has been able to save, through her ability to quickly make sewing repairs. She can also make hats, scarfs, and gloves among other warm and cosy products, which I have enjoyed immensely over the cold winter. A few stitches in some old clothes is always better than going out buying more. It means I can spend no money, and don’t have to consume irresponsibly.
There is nothing sinister about negotiating; it is simply a game we play when we enter into a discussion with a merchant, especially in a less formal setting like a market place. In this game, the seller has a minimum price they are willing to sell something for, but they are trying to get the maximum. It is the job of the buyer, to bring the seller down to the minimum price, without overstepping the mark and causing offense. When the two have found their balance, a deal is born, and both parties shake hands happily. Bartering is not as much a part of our culture as it used to be. It is however still very much a part of other cultures, and is still a standard part of market-place transactions. Ebay is a great way to try a bit of negotiating. Negotiation skills are also needed in business, where the same situation applies, and both parties want to find their balance. We also negotiate in our relationships, whether we like to admit it or not. Part of negotiating well is keeping it light hearted and not disrespecting the other person involved. This means we must also be willing to compromise our position for the other.
- Learn An Art (or several)
Art is that activity which involves our expression, and a creation of something from our own efforts. People tend to have different inclinations towards different manners of expression; whether it be drawing, painting, writing, playing music, dancing, theatre, or one of the many other artistic endeavors. Art is therapeutic, and good for the soul, and so is always worth the time. Art is done for art’s sake, and so it is an activity we can all enjoy without the usual pressure that we find from our jobs. Art, like everything else, requires practice to improve, and you should enjoy every step of the way, because the expression is more important than the results. Try your hand at a variety of arts, and learn to play a musical instrument too! The more art you can infuse into your life, the more enjoyable and rich it will become.
- How To Handle Money
Learning how to handle money is definitely a skill. When I was first let out of the nest, and into my own house, I was oblivious to money, and it was all still a joke to me. Gradually I came to realize that I had to take more control over my finances, be more organized, and more able to stretch money to make it last. It came with experience, and it is something I am still pretty terrible at! Life is definitely better without money stresses, so learning to handle it, and staying out of debt and away from overspending, is much more beneficial than blowing the lot and wondering what on Earth happened.
- A Second Language
When I was at school I didn’t see the point in learning another language. In typical British fashion I just used to think that everyone spoke English, and that there was therefore no point. I failed french. A few years later I found myself living in France, unable to speak a word of it! I had to learn while I was there, and endure the challenges along the way. Now I know the value of speaking more than one language, even if it is only a little je peux parle. Not only does it help when visiting native countries, it can also be used in countries where it is the second language. Other people from Europe often speak two or three languages, and if you have a second or second and third, then you will more common tongue between you. Apart from anything else it gives you a deeper understanding of language itself, and it allows you to travel with more of a charm for locals.