If we look back at the past decade, it should not come as a surprise that things are changing at an increasing pace. Never in the history of the world has there been so many major changes that have influenced our way of living, in a short period of time.
A major reason for the speed at which things are changing is the advancement in technology. Every few months there is something new coming into the marketplace that, in previous generations, would have taken years, if not decades, to accomplish.
In order to keep up with an ever-changing world, we have to be consistently developing ourselves and learning new skills. I know some of the things I was doing, even three years ago, are no longer as important or relevant today.
Those who are not willing to develop new skills will:
- Find themselves being left behind by those who are continually developing themselves.
- Find it more difficult to stay relevant in the workplace.
- Experience more frustration or angst at not being able to do something.
- Lack the confidence to attempt new things.
- Feel like they are stuck or drifting though life.
While there are so many things we can give our attention to, knowing what are some of the vital few things we can focus on, is extremely valuable. Knowing what skills to develop should always come after knowing what we want to create, experience, have and be in life.
Clarity of purpose, mission, vision, passions, dreams and goals should always be our guiding post or compass. Once we know what they are, then we can decide on the appropriate skills we need to help us get to where we want to be.
Here are five skills that are worth developing, especially for those who have a message to share and want to reach more people. Although there are an infinite number of skills we can develop, focusing only on a few until we’ve mastered them, can bring a lot of long term benefits.
- Leveraging online platforms. There are so many options available today to reach people either through written words, video, audio or via visuals. Instead of being tempted to be on all of them, we will be better served to pick the few that can connect us with those we want to quicker and faster.
- Speed reading. The ability to read faster and retain information is a critical skill to learn. Reading emails, articles, books or social media updates is something most of us do every day. The amount of time we can save just by being able to read faster can reap huge benefits over the long run.
- Staying focused on one task at a time. Being able to stay focused is the most important skill we can develop in our ever-increasingly distracted world. There are so many things competing for our attention every waking hour, and as new technology is introduced, they all add to the amount of distraction we have to deal with. Those who can block out noise and just focus on their highest value work will be the ones who will be more productive and effective moving forward.
- Communicating clearly and explicitly. We live in a very noisy world and it is a lot harder to get our message out to those we want to reach unless we are more intentional in how and what we communicate. Learning to speak better, whether it is in front of a live audience or on video, is one way to improve our communication skills. Improving our writing skills will also be beneficial as this will influence how our readers connect with our words.
- Taking time out to reflect. The ability to pause, reflect and make the changes we know we must will bring huge benefits throughout the course of our lives. Oftentimes, the best thing we can do is to give ourselves some time out from what we are doing, and reconnect to our objectives. This will often help us refocus on our priorities and what needs to be done next.
Skill development is something we must give constant attention to. Those who will intentionally cultivate new skills and enhance their existing skills, will be the ones who will reap the most benefits with the changes we are currently experiencing in the world. Those who don’t, will find themselves straggling to keep up with the new world.
Question: What is another valuable skill we can learn to improve our lives?
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