We use only 1% of our brains in everyday life but our mental powers are limitless. Without doubt, human potential is inexhaustive. Once you find the way to unlock it, your life will change for good. There are a few general skills everyone should try to nurture. Those skills can help you manage your life and make the most of it.

Communication skills

Excellent communication skills are among the top desired skills managers of big companies look for when hiring. HR agents are always on the lookout for open-minded people eager to work as part of a team.

Since a major part of today’s jobs require interaction with people, strong business communication skills definitely are an absolute must. Whether in person, online or over the phone, you need the ability to articulate your thoughts in a friendly and professional tone. Fortunately, there are ways to help you improve your communication skills.

Take on an online course – Plenty of virtual platforms are out there offering a number of courses anyone can take. Register on the Udemy or SkillShare websites.

Type keyword “communication” in the search box and explore the list of results. Moreover, Coursera in another wonderful learner-focused web place. It offers a specialization (a series of related courses) named “Improve your English communication skills”. Of course, you can choose to take on only one course that best fits your needs.

Public speaking skills

Same as communication skills, the ability to speak well in public is an absolute career-builder. Effective speaking gives you the power to shape people’s minds and instill your ideas. If you are considering pursuing a career as a journalist, politician, lawyer, educator or manager at a big company, you need to master the skill of public speaking.

Search on YouTube for motivational speeches and see how experienced professionals do it. Also, benefit from the open online courses offered by platforms, such as Udemy, Coursera, edX, Open2Study. They will introduce you to some basic principles, guidelines, tactics and strategies how to send your message across. However, the rest is up to you.

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To improve your public speaking skills you simply have to practice as much as you can. The major issue most people face is the fear of standing in front of an audience. Once you learn to overcome this fear, you are half-way to success.

Reading skills

Reading can be beneficial and fun, and that its beauty. Reading is the best way not only to train your memory but also sharpen your cognitive, concentration and analytical skills. So, if you want to boost any of the last mentioned, you only have to focus on your reading. Try practicing some speed reading. For starters, simply double your reading speed on a weekly basis.

If you read half a book of average length per week, try to read the whole book for one week. Keep in mind, an improved reading speed boosts vocabulary.

Simple techniques to follow:

  1. Motivate yourself to read more.
  2. As you read, detect any interesting ideas, thoughts or words. Highlight or underline then with a marker pen, or write them down on paper.
  3. Don’t overwork your eyes. Take regular breaks, especially when you read some “hard” material. If you don’t make pauses, you risk losing your concentration. The break helps your brain reorganize and reintegrate. As a result, the efficiency of your reading work will improve.


Critical thinking skills

Critical thinking is not negative thinking. It is the ability to assess information given by various kinds of resources and decide whether it is trustworthy or not. Great part of the information we deal with every day turns out to be biased.  If you are able to recognize the reliable sources, you will make better decisions and predictions for the future.

Critical skills help you analyze documents and arguments correctly and identify any mistakes or weak spots.  Train your critical skills every single day. Every time you read an article or hear a public speech, try to evaluate their trustworthiness. Here are two main questions to consider:

  1. Is there enough evidence in support of the arguments?
  2. Is the evidence consistent?


Vocabulary skills

In all kinds of situations, vocabulary matters. Whatever career path should you choose, strong vocabulary always works in your favor. In fact, general success measures in a person’s vocabulary skills.

Avid and diverse reading – The best way to enhance your vocabulary is through avid and diverse reading. You can design a reading course on your own. Pick books of different genres – fiction and non-fiction. From history, drama, sci-fi, and travel, explore as many subjects as you can. Reading widely is a great mind-stretching activity.

Get a dictionary – Another useful way to strengthen your vocabulary is to buy a dictionary and use it every day. A pocket dictionary will serve you good, but a thesaurus dictionary will serve you great. Thesaurus dictionaries are truly remarkable for they contain lists of words with the same or similar meaning for any word you choose to look up.

This kind of dictionary helps you expand your vocabulary, while engaging you in an exciting learning adventure. You can find intriguing words related to these you already know.

Foreign language skills

English aside, learning a second language is mind-broadening. If you enjoy fluency in two internationally acclaimed languages, many doors will open for you.

Good language skills help you connect with people of different nations. This is an awesome opportunity to get to know other cultures and their historical inheritance.

To learn a new language, you can enroll in a class, physical or virtual. Also, watching movies or TV series in the language of your interest, leaves a good impact on your listening and speaking skills.

Additional sources of knowledge

YouTube – This is an unlimited resource of educative video content. The most prestigious world universities offer open access to video lectures on their channels. If you aim to brush up on your knowledge and learn new things, don’t miss to visit these two channels: Khan Academy and Yale Courses.

TED – TED Talks are another wonderful asset for avid learners. It allows free access to amazing presentations delivered by various world-renowned university professors, inventors, scientists, visionaries, entrepreneurs, etc. Listen what these highly intelligent people have to say and use their idea to pave your way to success.

The Project Gutenberg website – This is an open access platform for ebooks of all kinds. These ebooks are in the public domain    due to their copyrights have expired. Everyone who has caught the reading bug recently can search and download an ebook for free.

The lifelong learning mindset

For both personal and professional growth, the constantly learning mindset is the key to a better life. Learning does not stop when you get your school or college diploma. The moment you lose motivation to acquire new knowledge, you stop evolving.

Remember, life has a lot to teach everyone. Your job is to be a good student. Never stop learning and self-improving.

Final words

Although the list is non-exhaustive, these are considered the key skills everyone needs to acquire. They will help you unlock your potential and stay smart. Indeed, learning is a lifelong process. Depending on the age, social status and professional field, goals change and so do the desired skills for managing life. The more you know yourself, the better choices you’d make when it comes to obtaining new knowledge and adopting new habits.