Skills that take a while to master, but that you will use throughout your life.

Skills that take a while to master, but that you will use throughout your life.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruits are sweet.”

There are many things in life that are time-consuming, however, we pursue them because we know they are entirely worth the sacrifice. For example, to fly to the white sand beaches of Fiji from London takes 20 hours. 20 hours of sitting in a seat definitely isn’t pleasant. But it is DEFINITELY worth it when looking at the bigger picture! In a similar way there are many skills that can take years to master, but once we have mastered them, they benefit us throughout our entire lives.

Take a moment to stop and think about skills that took time and a whole lot of energy to master but you continue to use to this day. Riding a bike? Learning how to swim? Learning to talk. You may not recall, but whilst learning how to walk you fell down a lot. But you persevered…and it has definitely paid off.

In this article, I want to focus on Five skills that take time, patience and perseverance to master. These are skills that once mastered, will benefit you throughout the rest of your life. Although the majority of these may seem fairly obvious and simple, trust me when I say that when applied correctly, they can change lives.

Let’s start with:

Time Management

I am sure the vast majority of you reading this article can oftentimes feel overwhelmed by just how full your plate is, it regularly feels as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Effective time management isn’t just something that comes with maturity…or even practice! Effective time management is a skill that needs to be learned. Once you have mastered it, you have the privilege of being able to balance what you NEED to do, with what you WANT to do. To balance home life, and work life; Social life and gym life; Education and relaxation. What’s not to like?!

So how do we accomplish this? Of course, everyone is different, but a pretty straightforward way of balancing your life is through planning. Setting aside time every day for those things that matter most. Schedule your days and commit yourself to stick to your schedule. You will certainly make the most of the 24 hours you get every single day.

“Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that was given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Asking for help

Skill number two is the ability to ASK FOR HELP. This particular skill may seem a little juvenile upon first reading it. Asking for help? Surely that is something we teach children in school, not fully grown adults. However, the principle remains the same regardless of age. Learning how to ask for help is a skill that needs to be mastered. For many of us, it can be extremely challenging, especially if you’re accustomed to being independent and solving your own problems. However, through asking for help you are allowing pride to take a step back, and essentially admitting that perhaps you’re not Superman/woman…and that’s okay!


It is one thing to be able to ask for help, it is another thing to listen to the advice you receive. Being a good listener will pay dividends in absolutely ALL aspects of your life. It is extremely important in the workplace, it is essential in family life and it is critical in making and keeping good friends. By being a good and avid listener, you make it much easier for people to trust you. If you prove yourself to be trustworthy, you will develop relationships and connections that will assist you throughout your life. By being a good listener you take in much more about the world around you, and you quickly learn how to deal with people in an effective manner.

Speaking up and speaking out

Being a good listener, however, doesn’t mean accepting everything that you hear. There will arise circumstances and situations in life where you need to stand up for what you believe is right. It doesn’t mean you have to be obnoxious or rude about it, but it is extremely important that you are always willing to defend your morals, values, and freedom.

Saying ‘no’

Learning how to say no is another principle that can be very difficult! It is only natural that we want to be reliable and helpful to those around us, however, it is essential to remember that being reliable and never saying no are two COMPLETELY separate things. To be reliable is to keep your promises, and do what you say you are going to do. If you have the habit of never saying no, sooner or later you are bound to “bite off more than you can chew,” in which case you are BOUND to let someone down. In this circumstance, you are proving far less reliable than if you had been honest in the first place, and politely said ‘no.’

Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with helping people out…just make sure you learn how to balance your time successfully. If you really aren’t able to do something, it is much better to be honest! People are usually pretty understanding. Saying no isn’t a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. So…don’t be afraid of saying NO.

And finally, last but by no means least...

Being positive

“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.” – Winston Churchill

A positive attitude can get you extraordinarily far in life. If you constantly picture yourself failing, chances are, you probably will. So give yourself a break! Picture yourself succeeding. Positivity is linked to living a happy and fulfilled life. If you strive to have an optimistic outlook on life you will feel happier, and those around you will be happier also.

I am sure there are MANY many more skills that you could add to this list but I’ll leave you with these five for now. It’s not many, but it certainly is enough to be getting on with! Don’t forget that these skills take time to master, however once you have ‘gotten them under your belt’ they will serve you for life! So be patient, persevere and above all…enjoy the journey.

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