We are not well equipped to navigate our way through life given the unprecedented pace of change, complexity, technology shifts. We are overloaded with information, we pay attention far less and are massively distracted for most of the time. Although we have all the information and knowledge we could possibly need at our fingertips when it comes to living our lives with purpose, passion and happiness we are not effective.
What are the 7?
1 Adaptability: It’s more important than ever to be flexible, adaptable and agile, with plenty of resourcefulness and creativity to help you respond effectively to challenges and grab new opportunities. Being adaptable means you are far more able to handle uncertainty and risk without feeling overly vulnerable. So make sure 2019 is a year where you say “yes” to new things, to going out of your comfort zone and and “no” to allowing circumstances to dictate how you feel or how you act.
2 Critical thinking: Critical thinking and an open attitude is raw material for twenty-first century success! To challenge inbuilt assumptions, be willing to look at things from different angles, think outside the box, collaborate with others, clarify goals and find solutions. Problem-solving skills have never been so crucial. Being able to handle huge amounts of data effectively and come up with lots of creative ideas requires us to really sharpen our brains but also means giving our brains space to reflect and be creative – that means putting down your Smartphone regularly!
3 Empathy: This is the ability and capacity to really understand what someone else is experiencing and to walk a mile in their shoes. Why is empathy important? Because without it you will never have strong listening skills or the ability to respect others and really value your relationships. Everything you do is now more visible than ever. Managing and nurturing all your relationships well is a key skill and competence requiring focus and effort. You may not always get it right but building your empathy muscles will help you get it right most of the time. Build that muscle through the practice of mindfulness and reflection.
4 Integrity: As the speed of life has accelerated, so has the number of people who are neglecting to do the things that are expected of them, such as being on time for appointments, returning calls, and completing projects on time. Don’t be one of them! These may seem like small things but they are not. Throughout periods of intense change, be consistent – a harbour in the storm, so make sure 2019 is the year of keeping promises and honouring commitments.
5 Optimism: Get used to being disappointed and rejected! Knowing how to develop and keep a positive attitude, no matter what life throws at you is vital for being happy. The world is not divided into pessimists and optimists after all. We each have the capacity to be optimistic and passionate about life if we can just learn to breathe, relax and lean into being happy. You have the ability toBut even that is not enough – you need to generate and radiate good will and positive energy wherever you go and this will get you far. Make this year for creating your own happiness.
6 Proactivity: 2019 may be the year you reinvent yourself and that is exciting! Seize your own fortune by looking for every opportunity to build your skills, create a portfolio career or start your own business. Being proactive is also about acting in the face of procrastination and responding, rather than reacting, to what is going on around you. More than anything it is about choosing to put your energy into the things you can control rather than those that you cannot.Being proactive means thinking and acting ahead and using foresight. These days, more than ever before, employers are looking for self-starters, not someone who needs to have their hand held. You are more likely to end up working for yourself, having a portfolio career or starting your own business. At the very least you’ll be changing jobs and roles a number of times.
7. Resilience: Resilience helps you to bounce back and respond at your best and you have higher levels of emotional stability as a result. Build your resilience muscle by making sure you look after yourself mentally, physically and spiritually and have a strong support network around you. Do take more risks and make mistakes – that is where all growth and learning happen.
You already have these skills within you. If I were to ask you to reflect on your life experiences thus far you would be able to identify many times when you have used and have applied each or all of these skills. What we tend to do less is focus on strengthening them and that is done day-to-day in small reflective steps. Doing so will develop your capacity and ability to thrive and be happy, do meaningful work and live a life full of purpose and happiness. Why not you and why not now?