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Can Five Little Life Skills Really Determine Your Success, Health, And Social Life?
Optimism is the tendency to search for the good in a situation. These are the individuals who always believe the “glass is half full,” or, “When life hands you lemons make lemonade.”
Persistence is often described as being similar to determination. An individual who is persistent will not easily give up. Instead, they continue toward a goal even when met with obstacles or frustrations. Individuals with high levels of persistence, you may say, “Fall off the horse, but get back on again.”
Control or “self-control” is often described as willpower. Individuals with self-control believe they have control over their own actions. Self-control does not mean believing that you have control over everything all the time. Instead it means a person has an awareness of the things they actually can control and know that their actions can change a situation.
While each of these traits is fairly common, it is not common for an individual to score high in all of them. In fact, in this study researchers found that 29.4 percent of study participants didn’t score high on any one of the life skills, 30.8 percent had performed highly in one, 20.6 percent in two, 11.9 percent in three, and 7.4 percent in four or five skills. Individuals who scored high in four or five were the ones most likely to be really, really successful.
However, the good news is that many of these skills can be cultivated and grown. The first step is recognizing the type of person you would like to become. For example, if you hope to have higher levels of emotional stability, begin a practice of meditation each day. If you feel that you need to become more optimistic, consider starting a gratitude journal. Whatever the life skills you desire are, know you can work on them to make your life as successful and fulfilling as you want it to be. Because, as 19th century English novelist George Eliot said, “It is never too late to be who you might have been.”