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Let’s go back to school.
Not the one we left behind with a degree in our hand and a wish list scratched on the last page of a notebook.
This school is called life. It does not come with a syllabus or a marksheet. We get to learn a lot of lessons and most of them the hard way.
The modern school and the college are improvements on their earlier avatars. A few of them do give the time to learn life skills that you can carry forward. Some of them also give you the option to take a sabbatical year and do things on your own. But the majority of schools still fall short.
Let’s not despair. You may not have had a Mark Thackeray in your life. But today, you have the opportunity to take up any skill and learn it from scratch. These five course on Udemy serve just a few life skills. But I look upon them as keystone educational skills that you can use anywhere and in any situation. So, forget school now. Be a lifelong learner instead.
Discover: The confidence blueprint to be a better communicator.
The job ad reads – “excellent communication skills required”.
But there is one problem. You are an introvert. You rule Facebook chats but retreat into your shell when you need to connect to the real world. Social anxiety is catching on and it isn’t a welcome trend. The ugly monster can attack you at the workplace, in meetings, or even at a fireside chat. Schools should turn us into deft talkers, but usually classes on communication skills are given far less credits. It’s time to catch up.
The course gives you the keys to be a more dynamic communicator. Place yourself into a winner’s state and then build your social circle with the powerful strategies outlined in the 69 lectures here.
Do study the section on dealing with rejection. If you can handle rejection, then you are half-way home to be a successful socializer. Throw in the exercises on body language and who knows – you just might end banishing your social fears.
The course includes a lot of bonus takeaways. You can plug into the audio version of the suggestions and use it as a motivational ramp to push through any self-consciousness. The bestselling Double Your Confidence & Self Esteem – Complete Blueprint is another option you can go to for sharpening your social skills.
Discover: Your purpose and your career (maybe, not in that order always)
“Job-hunting is all about human nature, and in its essence is most like another human activity that we call dating.”
That single quote encapsulates the effort you need to throw into a job hunt. Or, let’s say a career hunt because the word “job’ shelves your purpose and dreams to the backroom. But you don’t need to be a on a roller-coaster career path to read What Color Is Your Parachute?
The famous book is a lot about the emotional and mental aspect of your inner desires or smoldering talents. The advice in the book still holds true after 45 years (it was published in 1972). But take this course by the same author if you need an update for our digital times, or don’t have the patience to dog-ear a book
The course is just one and a half hours long. Spend them to chip away at the idea of what your ideal career should look like. The author says, you will gain a new understanding of yourself, who you are, and the unique talents, skills and gifts you already have. One of the lessons I learned was to organize my skills in a priority grid. And, then focus on the ones which will give me the best bang for my efforts.
Discover: How to master negotiation with some simple techniques
The last course will help you land in your own utopia, but this one might make you feel solid ground. Negotiation and persuasion skills are not taught in classrooms. Some people just have it while some find it later with experience. So, if you are still on the lookout then add this to soft skill to your “things I should learn before 30” list.
My own backstory tells me that a successful discussion has often translated to a boost in confidence. At the workplace, this single skill could help you answer the doubt – how much am I worth?
The bestselling Udemy course underlines why negotiation tactics are important for professional and personal success. From boardroom deals to flea market horse-trading. The lessons will help you prepare your own negotiation toolkit. And it will teach the most important tactic of all – when should you walk away and let it go.
Discover: How to overcome that overwhelming feeling and increase your results.
Fatigue and frustration ride the coat tails of feeling overwhelmed. Yes, your school and college courses put you through the grinder with assignments and exams, but that’s fun compared to what’s really out there. I am surprised that time management doesn’t merit even a single lesson in any academic book. Often, it comes down to a parent to teach it.
But how many parents know the science behind managing the clock. An early education on this topic could help us all understand the opportunity cost of procrastination.
You might be surprised to learn that there is a cognitive connection between fear and procrastination. The most common is, of course, fear of failure. This course works because it gives you the tools to question your own motivation rather than offer you quick fixes on a platter.
Try the Warren Buffet exercise taught here to work on what matters. The course ends with the encouragement to build habits and routines that will help to switch on your automatic mode.
Discover: How to prevent burnout.
We have covered this course before. But let’s talk about it again because there will be times when you must meet the stress with calm. You cannot wish it away. The solution is always in some key habits that you need to build and some bad ones you must unlearn. Your academic life builds up expectations which the real world is always ready to crush. So, use this course to stay aware of invisible force preying on your mind.
The 19 lectures will introduce you to the different types of stress. Each might need a different cure to solve it. For instance, you will need to use emotional healing to nip the negative signals your feelings send you.
Gregory Caremans is a neurocognitive and behavioral expert who teaches you the three main reactions to the common stressors around us. The course is packed with information and can be the starting point to try out habits like meditation and mindfulness later.
It’s Not Too Late to Start Learning Again
Think about it.
Two of these courses can help you handle that one inescapable life event – conflict.
Don’t get me wrong. History and geometry do matter. But schools and colleges should also prepare everyone to face the everyday challenges that a campus wall effectively keeps at bay. The fortunate bit is that we have a trove of resources that can help us stay on the learning path. Just question yourself and start filling the gaps with a few keystone skills that won’t get outdated soon. For instance, I took to Udemy and other online courses to learn about learning itself.
What about you? Pick one of the courses and use the lessons to tackle the life ahead. Come back and tell us if you found one of the courses to your liking. Or, any other that we missed. Remember, every paid course on Udemy comes with:
- Lifetime access.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Certificate of completion.
Which is the one single soft skill that has helped you tackle life more effectively? Did your academic years help? Fill the comments with your tips and comments.