Every job requires us to have two set of skills. One set of skills is technical. The other is life skills. Both are equally important. Atleast when it comes to career, we have acknowledged the importance of life skills. But when it comes to life, we don’t really care much. We are okay with incompetence. We don’t really believe in preparing, contemplating, analyzing our strengths and weaknesses, challenging ourselves, monitoring our performance etc. If you think about life, people think there must be something wrong with you.
There are people who say that you cannot keep thinking about life because it just happens. They say that thinking about relationships is a waste of time, you just need to get into one. You just need to jump in and deal with it. Of course, you learn a lot by being in practical situations. And people are right when they say that you automatically learn by experience. But is it a good idea to jump into the swimming pool without having atleast some knowledge about swimming? And what about your job? Is experience the only thing that builds your skills? We all know plenty of experienced but incompetent employees.
What if life itself is a job? Most people laugh at this idea because they think that they can get away with anything because there is no boss (unless you are religious :P).Seriously, who learns about living life? But again and again, we are sort of forced by situations to learn, become a little more competent and build skills. Like every job, some employees learn when they are threatened while some employees are always passionate about learning and improving their skills.
We are taught about livelihood, morality etc which are important. But we are not taught life-skills like emotional intelligence, self-management, self-care etc. We are mostly taught that we need to move from one goal to another. But life is smarter than us. Sometimes, we need to pause, reflect and probably reframe your goals. We need to adapt ourselves to new situations. Unfortunately, in most cases,the ones who teach about life are often ill-equipped to deal with tough situations.
It’s normal to learn more about art to become a better artist but it is not normal to learn more to become a better friend? It is normal to get a degree for your technical skills but it is not normal to study child psychology before you have a child (some parents do that but most of them only do that if situations force them to)? Why is that so absurd? Is it because we are convinced that we are experts at life, relationships etc? We always get irritated with that employee who is not dedicated to improving his skills and yet asks for promotion. Why don’t we feel the same when it comes to relationships and life?
It takes tremendous intelligence to make relationships work and live a content life. Not everyone can do that. But because of our obsession with a particular area of life and a particular kind of intelligence (logical/mathematical), we are suffering as a society. Of course, we need practical people who focus on technical things but we need people who specialize in studying life skills. In fact, we all need to study life a little bit.