Who says you are too young to make an impact in the world? Victor Hugo wrote his first tragedy at age 15. Alfred Tennyson wrote his first volume of poetry at age 18. Romulus founded Rome at age 20. Alexander the Great had conquered the known world by the time he was 23. Isaac Newton was 24 when he introduced the law of gravity. Again, who said you are too young to make an impact in the world? At age 23, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji had co-founded Andela, now a global software and talent accelerator company. Chinua Achebe had written his classic novel, Things Fall Apart, by the age of 25. J.K. Rowling was 25 when she came up with the idea of Harry Potter, the book that had sold over 400 million copies. Don’t let anyone bully you into believing you are too young to be responsible and relevant to society. If you want to make an impact in your life and society, here are 7 survival skills you must develop before you turn 25. Before we get to it, be sure to subscribe to After School Africa for more insightful videos like this.
1. How to communicate effectively
A 22 year old entrepreneur asked Warren Buffet;“What’s one tip you can give to people in their 20s, just graduating school?”Without hesitation Buffet answered, “It’s very simple. Invest in yourself. The one easy way to become worth (at least) 50 percent more than you are now, is to hone your communication skills, both written and verbal”. End of quote.
This is a simple and very clear answer. If you want to increase your worth, and have people take you seriously, develop your ability to communicate effectively – that includes verbal, written, and listening skills. You may have all the high intelligent quotient in the world, but you have to be able to transmit your knowledge and absorb other people’s knowledge. I think Buffet was being modest with the ‘50 percent. You can multiply your personal value by several whole numbers if you can communicate effectively.
Gerald Ford, former United States president once said, “If I went back to college again, I’d concentrate on two areas; learning to write and to speak before an audience. Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.” End of quote.
What you really need is not more formal education or more money. What you need is increased personal value, demonstrated through effective communication. The ability to communicate and interact effectively is among the most important skills you need to succeed and make an impact.
2. How to manage your time
Benjamin Franklin was a man who got a lot done in his lifetime. He was “a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat” — in addition to being one of America’s founding fathers.
But early in life, Franklin was just another guy who struggled with time management. At age twenty in July of 1726, on a sea voyage home to Philadelphia from London, Franklin began to think more about what productivity really meant and how to achieve it.
What was important to Franklin was not the external goals of making money or being famous. It was about the type of man he wanted to be. Franklin developed his thirteen virtues, a list of character traits to live by. But one of the most powerful tricks he used was also his simplest. Every night before bed, Franklin would ask himself, “What good have I done today?” This mental framework guided him to ensure that he was always considering whether he was spending his time wisely.
You see, every day we’re bombarded with conflicting interests and distractions that it’s difficult to focus on what’s important. This makes the ability to manage time wisely even more important today. The goal is not to be perfect. But to be deliberate about the decisions you make and what is worth spending your time on. Time is the most valuable asset you have. And you have to spend it wisely.
3. How to manage your finance
Financial illiteracy is the most expensive luxury to have. And it’s a luxury you don’t want to afford. This is because, not only will you not see opportunities, but those who do will not hesitate to take advantage of your simplicity, innocence, or sometimes, stupidity. Here is how to look at it. Who owns the money you earn? You have to work for hours every day to earn money. At the end of the month, how much of that money belongs to you? And how productive is the money you earn?
Society doesn’t care about your financial education. In fact, the more financially illiterate people are the more our economy of consumption thrives. Most parents are also not financially literate. From their track record, they don’t have much to teach in this regard. You have to take the responsibility to develop your financial education.
Someone is after your money; both legitimately and illegitimately. When you lack financial intelligence, people are ready to offer you worthless things or useful things for more of your money. You don’t want to spend your life working hard for money to impress others or for things that add little value to your well-being. Basic financial literacy is making sure that there’s more money coming in than going out. And that what you keep is put to productive use. Being in control of your finances is a must-have skill.
4. Emotional Intelligence
World Economic Forum named emotional intelligence as the top skills you need to succeed in 2020. In fact, people with high EQ were said to recover faster after a crisis, than everyone else. Emotional intelligence is comprised of five parts. The ability to;
- know yourself and perceive your emotions
- express yourself assertively and independently
- have mutually satisfying relationships with others
- make decisions from a grounded, secure place, and
- Manage stress well while facing the future with optimism.
The simple answer to the question, “why A students end up working for C students”, boils down to their level of emotional intelligence. You don’t need just your head and hands to succeed in the real world. You need a combination of your head, heart, and hands.
5. How to live with uncertainty
You see, by the time you are 30, you will be exempted from many career opportunities. By virtue of your age, you will be disqualified from many jobs, internships, fellowships, scholarships, and business funding opportunities. Society will expect you to step back for the younger ones. You are left with the skills and experiences you have developed to push through life. If at this time, you haven’t developed the capacity to thrive without an external push, you will have more to struggle with.
Again, when we don’t have enough information about the future—when things are uncertain— we tend to be anxious. You might think that as you get older, the chaos of life will go away and you’ll get to live with more certainty about the future. Uncertainties will never go away as you get older. But you can prepare yourself to be in a better position in the face of uncertainties. For instance, the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic is uncertain. But you can prepare by identifying potential opportunities and developing relevant skills.
6. How to accept feedback
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions” saysKen Blanchard.
Alexander the Great was mentored by Aristotle the Greek Philosopher. As a young boy, Alexander was always fearless, strong, and eager to learn. His father invited Aristotle to teach and guide his son. As a result, much of Alexander’s positive qualities that accelerated his conquests were said to have been taught by his mentor.
You cannot go too far in life if you don’t have people to help evaluate your decisions and actions from time to time, to offer constructive criticism. Every great athlete has a coach. No athlete gets on a stage without having taken series of feedback from someone. If you want to be in the league of champions, you must learn to receive feedback from people who know better than you do.
7. How to spend more time alone
There is a lot of noise in the world. Even in your bedroom, your Smartphone is a window to the noise. However, studies have shown that the ability to tolerate alone time is linked to increased happiness, better life satisfaction, and improved stress management. People who enjoy alone time experience less depression.
Spending time alone can give you a chance to ensure there’s a purpose to all of your hustling and bustling. Quiet space provides an opportunity to think about your goals, your progress, and areas that need improvement. It’s important to know how to be at peace with yourself.
So 7 survival skills you must develop before you turn 25: effective communication skills, time management, finance management, emotional intelligence, ability to live with uncertainty, accept feedback and spend time alone. If you found this video helpful, we’ll appreciate it if you’ll like and share it with someone. If you are yet to subscribe to After School Africa, now is a good time to hit the subscribe button. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS.