important life skill

As I sit with a teenager and newborn at home, I’ve been reflecting on important life skills. And while I appreciate the wisdom and personal growth I’ve been through, here are the 3 important life skills I wish I’d learnt at school.

I’ve also included some great resources for those of us who still need a little help with these fundamentals!

1. Financial Literacy

Do you hate budgets or get stuck on the basics of investment, taxation and superannuation? Well, you’re not alone. After all, we are never taught this fundamental life skill as part of our formal education.

But being financial literate is assumed knowledge for every responsible, contributing adult. And it’s even more important for women, given we retire with significantly less wealth than our male counterparts after years of being underpaid for equal work.

Here are some of my favourite down to earth and easy to digest financial resources:

  • Fierce Girl Finance – Belinda’s ability to relate finances to Beyonce and Tay Tay keeps me not only entertained but educated
  • The Barefoot Investor – spend the $25 because it is worth every cent. (Or borrow it from the library)
  • Follow @thefinancialdiet to get easy to digest advice on how to live better with what you have⁠

2. Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman popularised the concept of emotional intelligence in the mid 90’s, with 5 key components: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.

All these elements are important and worth learning at a young age. But I think the first two: self-awareness and self-regulation are fundamental life skills for any happy, high functioning adult. Mastering these two things is a game-changer and it all starts with accepting that our thoughts shape our lives, not our circumstances. Once we take responsibility for our thoughts, we have control of our actions and outcomes.

3. Cultivating a Growth Mindset

Let’s be honest, your high school results are only really relevant for the few years after you leave school. Beyond that, your decisions, experience and personality start to count for more than your high school transcript.

And the truth is, having a growth mindset is far more important than being academically talented. Because in the long-run, it is belief and willingness to evolve that marks successful people in every field.

Having a growth mindset is a vital life skill. It provides a framework to grow, take risks and adapt, knowing we can always change and improve. This builds resilience and confidence.

And the good news is, we can change our mindset at any time so if you want to know more, check out this TED Talk by Dr Carol Dweck.

What important life skills or lessons do you wish you learnt at school? Share in the comments below.