I’m sure you’ve looked at some of your friends and thought: “How do they manage to be so happy all the time?” Perpetual happiness and consistent success appear to be the hallmarks of certain individuals. They get the best jobs. They are lucky in love. And they are always upbeat and smiling.
Perhaps you look on them with envy? It’s understandable. But as you’ll soon see, you can leave envy behind – and start to build your own happiness and success.
You Probably Weren’t Taught Soft Skills at School
Have you come across the term ‘soft skills’ before? Most likely not. To be honest, it’s something that is rarely taught in schools. However, to be truly happy and successful you need to develop a wide-range of soft skills.
If you’re wondering what soft skills are, then think about skills related to your attitude, disposition and personality. (How you choose to communicate with others, for example.)
Schools typically fail to develop our soft skills. For instance, you may know how to write a 1000-word essay on WW2, but do you know how to demonstrate your trustworthiness to a vulnerable, frightened person?
Soft skills can make a huge difference to your life. Without them, you’ll struggle to find work, partners and happiness. Soft skills really do matter.
To give you a concrete example, think about a time when you interviewed for a job – but were unsuccessful. You may have been turned down because you lacked experience or qualifications, but it’s also possible that you lost the job due to having inadequate soft skills.
Situations such as interviews, require a variety of soft skills from the interviewee. These include: being a good listener, emphasising with the interviewer, and demonstrating a positive attitude.
To Be Happy and Successful, Develop These 50 Soft Skills
Happy and successful people are likely to have most (if not all) of the 50 soft skills listed below:
1. The ability to listen. Through listening, you can learn from others. You’ll also gain more friends – as most people love to talk about themselves or their lives.
4. Assertive when needed. You may not be a naturally assertive person. However, you should definitely learn to be assertive when the situation requires it. For instance, if you
need to ask a shopkeeper for a refund.
5. Can focus on a task or problem. In today’s technology-drowned world, attention spans have dropped to all-time lows. Break out of this, and develop a powerful ability to focus on what needs doing. This will put you streets ahead of the average person.
6. Understands the power of team working. Being able to work harmoniously in a team is a vital skill. Whether you work in a factory, office or shop, it’s inevitable that you’ll be part of a team. You must learn how to get on with others, and if you’re a team leader, you must also know how to motivate and inspire your team.
8. Confident in all situations. Successful people seem to ooze confidence. You’ll need to do the same if you want to match their success. If you lack confidence now, then try building it by completing small goals (which you can enlarge as your confidence grows).
14. Is 100% trustworthy. Trust is vitally important in life. We’re bombarded daily by news stories of people being mugged, cheated and even killed. These relentless stories seep into our subconscious, and make us wary of everyone we come into contact with. To help counteract this, you must be 100% trustworthy at all times. By doing this, you’ll quickly gain the confidence of others, and soon develop a reputation for being honest and reliable.
15. Has an eagerness to learn. Where would we be without learning? From our birth to adulthood, we constantly learned new things. However, as we aged further, many of us stopped learning. To stay young, happy and satisfied, re-ignite your enthusiasm for learning.
16. Knows when to delegate tasks. Are you someone who likes to do everything yourself? If yes, you may find that you often run out of time and energy. If you have family members or colleagues whom you’re able to delegate tasks to, then use this option when needed. However, for this to work successfully, be sure to match delegated tasks to individuals with the relevant skills.
18. Is fired-up with an abundance of energy. Have you noticed how famous celebrities seem to be super-energetic? They are lively, vivacious and charismatic. If you have low energy levels, you’re unlikely to be attracting success. Try boosting your energy through healthy eating, exercise and meditation.
19. Has great interpersonal relationship skills. Happy people know how to interact harmoniously with others. They are comfortable communicating with people from all backgrounds and walks of life. They also know how to partake in constructive conversations and meetings. The best way to learn interpersonal skills, is to listen and watch others who are naturally great at this skill.
21. When needed, can think ‘outside of the box’. I definitely don’t remember this skill being taught at my school. However, being able to think beyond a set of specific rules, regulations or limits can be a very valuable skill. It’s often the way that ‘game-changing’ ideas first come into play.
22. Has a warm, approachable and friendly personality. Without a friendly personality, you’re unlikely to find many new friends, or exciting opportunities. As an example, if two people with the exact same skills and experience applied for a job, but one was friendly and the other was not, who do you think would get the job?
24. Is endowed with a super-positive mental attitude. Negativity will get you nowhere. Life has so many ups and downs, that if you focus on the negative, you’ll quickly lose sight of what’s possible. Positive people constantly seek out opportunities. For sure, be realistic. But also carry a super-positive mental attitude with you at all times.
26. Has persuasive powers. No, this isn’t some kind of superhero power! On the contrary, it’s an ability that many people have developed. Think of politicians and preachers. They have learned the art of communicating in a persuasive and convincing manner. Whatever your role in life, if you learn to communicate persuasively, you’ll likely go far.
30. Thrives on problem solving. Take a look around. Problems are everywhere! Luckily, if you develop a strong problem solving capability, you’ll soon find yourself in demand. Many people run from problems. So, this leaves plenty of opportunities and work for those who thrive on finding solutions to problems.
33. Is a master at reading body language. As we’ve seen in point 28, body language counts for approximately 55% of all face-to-face communications. Of course, that percentage is just an average. An expert body language reader will be able to take even more information from someone – just by observing their body language. It’s a very useful skill to have, as sometimes body language contradicts what someone is saying with words.
34. Loves researching. You don’t have to be a scientist to benefit from research. It may be something as simple as researching the best laptop to buy. Successful people typically love researching. But it’s not just random research. They’re driven to research by a want to reach a certain goal or aim.
44. Knows the value of multi-tasking. If you work in an office environment, then you’re sure to recognise this scenario: You’re typing away at your computer, then your desk phone rings. You answer, but as you’re speaking to the caller, someone comes up to your desk and asks you a question. Situations like this can be overwhelming and frustrating. However, as they will always occur from time-to-time, you need to build a strategy of dealing with them. Multi-tasking can be taught, and I’d highly recommend that you learn to do it.
46. Continually seeks to improve. The Japanese call this kaizen – the strategy of seeking continuous improvement. This could be about a business process, or the way an athlete prepares for a race. Whatever the circumstance, there’s almost certainly room to improve some part of the process. If you develop a mindset of constantly looking for ways to improve things, you’ll rapidly find yourself climbing the ladder of success.
49. Keeps their emotions in check. In life, it’s normal to express emotions in certain circumstances (the death of a loved one, for example). However, if you’ve set your heart on success, then you’ll need to keep your emotions in check when you’re in ‘professional mode’. For instance, let’s say that your manager has just told you off for coming in a few minutes late to work. Your instinct might be to become angry, and argue with them. While this might make you feel good, it’s highly unlikely to help your chances of being promoted at work!
50. Has a highly-developed sense of intuition. Many top business leaders admit to making some of their decisions based on ‘gut feeling’. In other words, they’ve developed their intuitive side to the point where they’re willing to trust its promptings. You can do the same. Tapping into your intuition can be boosted by: letting your subconscious work on a decision while you sleep, practising meditation, or going for a walk in the park. These techniques allow your intuition to come to the surface. (Usually its hidden behind your constant mental chatter.)
As you can see, soft skills are an essential part of happiness and success. Develop the ones you already have, and adopt the ones you’re missing. Do this, and watch your happiness and success climb to new heights.