Age itself is just a number. We’ve all seen 30-year-olds behave like emotional infants. On the other hand, some 25-year-olds have gone through tough situations and become emotional adults.
Hence, what matters isn’t the passage of time; it’s what we become as those times pass. How have your experiences shaped you? What have you learned from them? Are you stronger, or more broken?
Life happens to everyone, as the experiences come, we need to build certain parts of ourselves and let go of some dead weights. If you’re 40 already, then these are some emotional and physical skills you must have mastered as a result of time and experience.
Understanding Your Values
Values are a vital part of everyone’s life. We hold them close to us because they make our lives and narratives about ourselves make sense. Whenever our religious and political ideologies are challenged, it feels like a personal attack on us because agreeing that we are wrong about them will mean that we’ve been stupid our whole lives. And no one wants that.
Hence, it’s a remarkable skill to be able to step back once in a while and look at your beliefs and values with a fine-toothed comb. Know what’s worth pursuing and what should be left to die with time. Don’t just hold on to ideas because they make your reality make sense.
How to Give Constructive Feedback
Over the years, you must have had to give feedback to many, however, as feedback involves communicating with humans, it should be done right. A simple hack to giving constructive feedback is to remember a sandwich. Start with a positive comment, then the feedback, (especially if it is a negative one), and end with guidance on how the receiver can perform better. The purpose of sandwiching the feedback is to ensure the feedback is taken well by the receiver.
On some days, you might be on the receiving end of the criticism, and not everyone knows how to give feedback or constructive criticism. On such days, it is also up to you to learn how to react and take the feedback given for your growth. To achieve this, listen objectively, be conscious of your every reaction, understand the feedback and take the time to reflect on how to incorporate the feedback. All of this will only work if you follow up by incorporating the given feedback in a way that suits both parties.
The sad truth is that we live in an unsafe society and most women happen to have less physical strength than men. This is why you should learn to protect yourself. Take self-defense classes. It also doesn’t hurt to have someone else with you when going to unknown places. Always be security conscious.
Owning Your Mistakes
When we make mistakes, we recognize that they are mistakes almost as immediately. The difficult part of it has always been owning them. You find yourself trying to push the bulk of the blame onto others and make yourself out to be the victims just so you can feel less guilty. What you should rather be doing is accepting that you are human and as such prone to making mistakes. If you falter on something you are prone to doing, set measures in place to serve as checks. If the shortcoming can be fixed, work hard to do so, and apologize to anyone who you must have hurt.
Apologizing and Doing so Sincerely
We often find it hard to offer an apology when we find ourselves in the wrong. If you think you are prone to this, then you should work on intentionally learning to apologize. As you do so, you will be learning to own your mistakes and fixing them.
Discerning When to Speak
Our teenage years into our 20’s and sometimes 30’s are filled with many situations that spiral from being loud-mouthed. Yes, you do have the freedom of speech, however, your listeners are human and you can’t control their reactions. Hence, reading the room and knowing how to speak is a skill you must learn to live better with people.
This is extremely important especially to your career. More often than not, a lot of opportunities that find us do so from our network or the network of a network. Attend business meetings, connect with people, pitch yourself to them and you just might be getting your next business deal. Networking also helps you to meet with people with which you can learn or partner in the future.
Making Small Talk
A lot of people, not just women, find it difficult to make small talk. But as slow and sometimes boring as they might seem, learning how to strike up light conversations is one of the most important skills you can learn in life. After all, you have to start light to get to the important stuff.
Learn to ask a lot of questions and if you find out you have a mutual interest, spark a conversation from there.
Girl trips are fun, but you should learn how to travel by yourself. You will find yourself making decisions by yourself. It helps you build the independence and confidence that group travels may take from you.
Driving a Car (Manual and Automatic)
You might have previously found this unnecessary, however, learning how to get yourself wherever you want to be is very advantageous. Emergencies might come up and you would find yourself needing to drive yourself or a friend to a destination. Learning to drive a manual car gives you even more of an edge against unforeseen circumstances.
Administer First Aid
We do not wish for bad days but it never hurts to prepare for it. As an adult, the knowledge of administering first aid might come in handy someday when you least expect it. Have a standard first aid box in your car and home and learn to administer its content.
Be Firm With Your Decisions
Independence is one of the most important things that define maturity. In fact, most of us are usually forced out of the dependence we have on our parents and firm relatives. Not a lot of people will find the transition easy to bear, and this is why it’s an important skill everyone should have, especially at 40.
Being firm with your decisions starts with being able to say no to people and working hard towards anything you have decided to do. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Why?
When you decide, it means you’ll have to live up to whatever comes out of your decisions.
Financial Freedom and Stability
As you have lived through over 10 years of earning and fending for yourself, it is your responsibility to ensure you have a proper grip on the inflow and outflow of your finances. You must have learned how to manage your finances, have savings and a retirement plan as you certainly won’t be working your whole life.
Be objective in conversations especially with people with opposing values from yourself and you would be able to empathize with them and either come to an agreement on common ground, or it just might help you better understand why you stand by your values.
The things that matter in life don’t always come with a bang. This is why with any chance you get, appreciate those who have done what you believe needs to be appreciated. You should learn to compliment them and let them know they mean as much to you.
Be Able to Whip a Decent Meal Together
Many advocate to erase the societal standard of making cooking a role taken up only by women in the home, and this is understandable. However, being able to whip a decent meal is a basic survival skill. You don’t have to be a great chef, but knowledge about how to make a few meals can keep the hunger away on some days. You can check out some of these easy recipes to get started.
Conflict resolution is a necessary skill for anyone who interacts with others. Even if you fancy yourself to be someone who despises conflict, the choice to disagree with people isn’t solely made by you. This is why it is necessary to understand the principles of conflict resolution. Learn to communicate and understand the source of the conflict and also to actively listen to the person though it might be difficult to do so. Be objective and try to find a solution that is a win for both parties. Doing this will help you get better at communicating your thoughts without hurting others and you will find yourself a much better individual.
Have IT Skills
You don’t have to be a developer or anything of that sort, but IT skills are a necessity whose needs continue to rise over the years. Learning the basics and a bit more of how to surf the web, manage your subscriptions, and contact support from the comforts of your home will always save you stress. If you get pretty good at it, you can even earn a bit of side income from it.
How to Be at Peace with Yourself
Often in life, our experiences have nothing to do with our circumstances. What matters more is our state of mind. There are so many things happening around us that are beyond our control.
Sometimes the chaos in life hits you hard and flattens you out. Life can be rough. We are often driven from chaos to order and vice versa. In all of it, the only thing you have total control of is your internal state.
If you can learn to be at peace with yourself, then you’ll be better equipped to handle the inevitable chaos that punctuates us all too often.
We often let life force us into learning vital, life-defining kills. Some learn when it’s too late. Those who can deliberately pick up a skill and master it because they understand its importance wield great power.
These are all great skills to have. Whether you’re a man or a woman, 20 or 30 years old, you can still pick them up and deliberately incorporate them into your life.