Seven Real World Skills to Flourish in the 21st Century

Each one of us wants our kids to have the best of everything. We want our child to be independent, well mannered, creative, have a strong ability to fight failures and above all we want them to learn something new every day, which will eventually lead to future success. As the world is changing, new opportunities and threats are popping up every day which require additional skills to deal with them in an effective manner. We as adults need to rethink what a 21st century kid needs to thrive. According to researches, the traditional schooling system is not enough in any way to inculcate these skills in children.

1) Inside skills:

These include self-awareness, self-management, focus and attention, related to control over one's own thoughts, feelings and actions. Surprisingly it can be developed easily in a 3-year-old children. Self awareness is key to developing mindful and responsible children.

As Rumi said, “Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself."

2) Outside skills:-

These include skills such as social interaction, communication skills, empathy, listening skills, teamwork, collaboration, etc. In short the set of skills required to make effective interactions and strong connections. These skills can be developed in 9 month old infants or even before. Since so much of our time is spent around people, these skills are important not just for good relationships but also to make our work more enjoyable.

As James Humes (author and presidential speechwriter) puts it, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”

3) Discovery skills:-

These include skills such as curiosity, inquisitiveness and the quest to explore and find answers rather than just knowing them, which helps in understanding things better. This is a skill common amongst kids as they constantly question everything around them. But is often lost in adults because we are scared of being laughed upon or looking like a fool whenever we ask a silly question. Hence it's important to parent children in a a way that their quest to know more never dies. Putting it in simpler words,

“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.”-Bernard Baruch (political consultant of Franklin .D. Roosevelt).

4) Backbone skills:

These skills are related to the forces which drive us to get the job done; it's the motivation required for efficient and smooth functioning of everyday tasks. Motivation is of two forms, one that comes from outside; for example punishing children or rewarding them with sweets or toys. But this form of motivation doesn't work in the long run. The motivation should come from within to get one going. For example if a child loves sports, he or she will always be super excited to attend sports classes, you’ll never have to push them for what they love doing.

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential, these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence” – Confucius

5) Hustling skills :-

These are skills related to physical restlessness. It is scientifically proven that most of the innovators, thinkers and entrepreneurs are physically restless. According to Sherrie Campbell ,"Restlessness is a feature of highly creative people." Little kids are usually restless but it is never described in a positive sense, because we want them to be calm and still. Children know how to suck since birth and hence they want to feel everything to know about the world around them. But for our convenience we want children to not to touch and grab stuff, but reaching out for objects and being fidgety is a trait of highly successful people.

6) Jump back skills:-

As the name suggests, these are a set of skills which help fight failures that is to brush ourselves and get up every time we fall. We all know that people at the top today are the ones who never gave up even after failing a huge number of times. For example, Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas star city because he lacked imagination according to his editor but he created Disney movies which are the most celebrated cartoon movies of our childhood.

Also, Thomas Edison made 10,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. In Edison’s words, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

7) Inventive skills:-

These are the set of skills related to imagination and creativity which is the ability to see the world not how it is, but how it can be. We all know that kids have a different outlook towards the world and life, it is extremely important to preserve and enhance this side of them, and make sure that their creativity never dies as the world needs their ideas and imagination. The ability to think out of the box and create will help them reach the greatest heights.

As Roald Dahl says, “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."

Seems intimidating? Well, it doesn’t need to. The development of these skills just requires awareness about their importance and the will to develop and enhance them in kids. An example needs to be set in front of the kids which will guide them. Hence, it is our responsibility to condition children of thoughts and ideas, because that is what the world needs at the present moment. The world needs us to take charge of our life and adapt to the changing times, which can be easily achieved by these skills and the best part is that it is never too late to develop them. So let’s pull ourselves together and show our kids the right direction, an all new different path to success in this brand new world of millions of new ideologies!

About the Author

Neha Soni
Behavioural Analyst.

Ms Neha Soni is a Behavioural Analyst.

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