Basic Life Skills: Critical Factors for Success

Fact: Real and enduring success comes from within. It is not something “out there” that needs to be found. It is something that is self-created by developing basic life skills to their fullest potential and putting those life skills into action. Questions to explore:

What is success?

Achieving great wealth? Fame? A perfect body? Winning a marathon? It could be any of these things because success definitely includes achievement. However, truly satisfying success also includes some degree of inner peace, joy and self-fulfillment with regard to purpose and/or dreams. Therefore, success could be defined as achievement that involves personal development and growth, as defined by the individual. What one person defines as achievement or personal growth and development may have no meaning to another person.


Is there a secret for success?

The answer is yes and no. It is always fun to imagine magical and mystical success secrets that guarantee instant happiness. Many dream of how they could change the world if they could just win the lottery.

Realistically, a secret could be defined as a fact we have not yet discovered, or an exciting new detail of a fact we already know. In this sense, success secrets most definitely exist and may well lead to increased success and happiness. This is particularly true in areas such as self-reliance, self-control and self-esteem.


How do you measure success?

Just as the meaning of success is subjective, so too is the way each of us measures success. Developing strong basic life skills (personal skills - relationship skills - project skills) helps us create a realistic yardstick for measuring our personal success. The opinions of others really don't matter. What's most important is whether we feel we are successful or not.


What are basic life skills?

Basic life skills, which could also be called life management skills, are the strengths and skills that make us unique as individuals. And move us from one point in our lives to another. In effect, they are the skills that help us survive and thrive by increasing our self-worth and confidence.


Why are basic life skills important?

Basic life skills help us to be resilient – able to bounce back from difficult situations. If we are not resilient we cannot survive. If we truly believe we cannot overcome our current situation, we could stop trying and give up completely.

Strengthening basic life skills not only builds hope for the future, it also increases chances for enduring success. Seeing ourselves as strong, confident individuals allows us to see mistakes and setbacks – no matter how big – as challenges, not failures.

Putting life skills into action gives us more control over our lives and our future. They enable us to improve our relationships and provide a solid foundation for overcoming challenges, such as anger/conflict management, dressing for success and speaking to a group.


What are examples of basic life skills?

• Personal skills (or strengths) that increase our sense of identity could include character, self-confidence, personal goal-setting, self-discipline and stress management.

• Relationship skills that increase our positive interactions could include good communication skills, assertiveness, conflict resolution and cooperation.

• Project skills that save time, energy and money could include organization, persistence and problem-solving.


How can I start building basic life skills and a better future?

The first steps in achieving future success would be to assess current strengths, address current barriers to personal growth, determine what additional skills might be helpful, and create a plan for putting skills into action:

• How can I build on “what’s working in my life?”

• How can I eliminate or correct “what’s not working?”

• What else do I need to know?

• How can I use skills to make day-to-day life easier?