The word ‘earn’ is comprised in the word ‘learn’ because they both go hand in hand. Alvin Toffler, a famous futurist once said that
‘the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot “learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
We are living in the conceptual age where previous concepts are getting replaced by new ones.
If you want to grow yourself, you need new skills that are relevant for today’s changing times. Basically there are four types of skills that are required to succeed today: Life skills, technical and professional skills, people skills and conceptual skills.
The term ‘Life Skills’ refers to the skills you need to make the most out of life. Life skills are usually associated with managing and living a better quality of life. They help us to accomplish our ambitions and live to our full potential.
Life Skills are often not part of our academic curriculum. These are the skills that shape our attitude for success. We learn perseverance, optimism, patience etc. through the lessons of life.
Technical and professional skills are the abilities and knowledge needed to perform specific tasks. They are practical, and often relate to mechanical, IT, mathematical, or scientific tasks. Technical Skills help you become a technician to handle any specific knowledge on any particular area like operating machinery, writing a new code, programming languages, mechanical equipment, or tools. Professional skills include any specific knowledge areas like engineering, mathematics, medicine etc.
Thirdly, you need People Skills or Management Skills, which helps you in getting along with a group of people towards attaining any common goal. In general, good people skills are defined as the ability to listen, to communicate and to relate to others on a personal or professional level. Interpersonal skills like communication, negotiation, leadership, emotional intelligence or working in teams etc. are management skills.
Finally, you need Conceptual Skills, that helps you to create, share and collaborate on new ideas and projects that will help you innovate better. Some examples of conceptual skills are creativity, big picture thinking, problem solving, innovation etc.
All these skills are important for us to learn and grow as better, productive individuals in the future. We are treading towards a tomorrow which we call future and surely we know that the future may not resemble much of the present. The big question is: Are we prepared for the future? Management guru Peter Drucker once said that ‘the best way to predict the future is to create it’. But are we creating the future? The truth of the matter is that you are creating your future in the present. We all believe in the promise of a better future. But the irony is, your future success will not come from better circumstances; it will come only from a better you. Another introspective question to that is,
‘Are you nimble enough to move and grab on to the next opportunity? Are you prepared? Are you learning something new everyday?’