If You’re Not Natural In A Skill You Can Learn It

Learning a new skill is on everyone’s agenda. Whether it’s becoming fluent in a foreign language or simply having something as an asset, skills are undeniably valuable. While being able to teach yourself something instantly is the Facebook community’s most desired superpower, it isn’t all that easy. However, it’s definitely possible.

Firstly, find a skill you are passionate about. What is something you’ve always wanted to learn to do? Forget difficulty levels for now, and go beyond a “just for fun” mindset. Consider the skill as something that will be vital to your life (and anyway, it may be).

Things may be easier if you consider your own skills. Some activities require good memory retention or an ability to accurately follow instructions. If you can already check certain “pre-requisites” off a list, your chances at becoming an expert at your new skill are significantly higher.

Once you’ve picked your skill, set realistic goals. Figure out what your primary motivation is. Do you want to learn to draw because a university elective requires it? Or do you want to impress a colleague? Whatever the case, make these goals meaningful to you, however shallow they may seem. Your bar should be at a defined level of expertise. If you want to become knowledgeable in a language, are you seeking full comprehension or get-by conversation? Gauge your own strengths and weaknesses in regards to this particular skill.

If you’re training yourself to become proficient in something you’ve never done before, chances are, you want to learn fast. If you can’t, don’t let your pace discourage you. On the ground, sloths move 2 meters a minute. It’s a stretch, but they get the job done. Manage your expectations and also set a deadline. When will this skill be most useful to you? Figure things out far in advance. If your chosen skill is writing fiction and you’re keen on entering a short story contest, don’t hesitate. Dive in!

Break down the skill. If you’re into photography, you’re going to have to learn the ropes of using cameras and editing tools. Skills can be two or even three-fold — making a list of what you have to tackle will come in handy. It’s kind of like throwing together a deconstructed meal. Be visual about it. Build graphs and brain maps (they may sound pretty juvenile, but they are useful — I promise!).

Remember, practice makes perfect. Make it your mantra and remember: consistency is your friend. You can learn a perfect Pachelbel Canon on the piano but fail to retain certain strokes because you don’t practice enough. On that note, don’t overwork yourself. It’s the same principle as studying too hard for an exam. While it’s great for your short-term memory, the stress will tire your mind.

Every now and then, you’ll feel like giving up. “It’s too difficult,” is a phrase that nobody is alien to. Identify your pain points. What do you know you’ll struggle with? If it’s hand-eye coordination or remembering sequences, figure out the best way to overcome these struggles. Most importantly, remember your motivation.

Maybe there is a charm that comes with being a natural at something. However, it doesn’t mean making the effort is any less attractive!

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Finance Budgeting 101 For Fresh Grads

Let’s be real. Finance budgeting when you’re a fresh university graduate is not anyone’s strong suit. Stepping into the real world often entails instant noodles and being perpetually broke. Of course, this isn’t to say that young adults can’t learn how to spend wisely.

Before making any plans, it’s most important to figure out your money goals. Where do you want your money to go? What is valuable to you? In university, money probably meant restocking your dorm with essentials and having enough for a night out. With independence comes a change in priorities. There are a lot of things to consider that are no longer your parents’ responsibility.

While outlining a budget may seem simple enough, there is always room to educate yourself. Resources on personal financing are available on pretty much any platform — whether as a YouTube video, article, or book. Collate as many tips as you can and see what money-saving methods can potentially work best for you.

At this point, you’re a step closer to actual budgeting, but not before setting short and long-term objectives. Think about what you are saving for in the next few months to the next few years. In terms of immediate goals, are you looking to purchase a car or perhaps fund an apartment? In the long run, do you picture yourself having children? The future can be unpredictable, but knowing what you want, even a decade early, is a good source of motivation.

Now for a long-awaited moment — making a budget. Understand your cash inflow and outflow. Know where your money needs to go and how much. Online tools can help paint a clearer picture on how much to set aside for rent, transportation, food, leisure, health, and everything else. Be specific, as you are basing this on a monthly income.

Insure what you can. As a fresh graduate, insurance may seem frivolous, or something you simply can’t afford at the moment. But when hospital bills start rolling in, you’ll thank yourself for being insured. If your job doesn’t offer such benefits, consider self-insuring. Either way, seriously consider plans with good coverage.

Because adults have them, you’ll probably also want to apply for a credit card. Doing so will allow banks to grant you credit scores (if you’re a smart spender) and, in turn, make you eligible for loans. In order to keep up appearances, you’ll want to always pay your bills on time and avoid being indebted whenever possible.

On the occasion you have extra money to spend, treating yourself is tempting. By all means, you should do so — but within your financial capacity. Remember to always prioritize. Spend in cash because it is easier to remain disciplined. You can’t see what you are spending on a credit card. Limit yourself and ask: do I really need this? If you can live without something, don’t purchase it.

Money is not always fun, especially when you are lacking it. But being smart about it makes everything a lot easier. Bidding a sheltered college life goodbye may seem incredibly daunting, but experiencing a smooth transition into the working world is always possible. Generally, hard work and research always pays off.

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