The school should open new windows through which to see the world, not close them1. Negotiate. In conventional schools there is practically no room for negotiation, it is the teacher who decides everything. Thus the idea is conveyed that there are winners and losers, people who command and others who just have to respect the rules without asking questions; so it's no surprise that as adults we approach relationships in terms of wins / losses. However, the ability to negotiate is of vital importance, not only to obtain a discount in the price, but also to relate to avoiding social friction. There is one skill that could spare us many headaches and anger attacks: learning to focus on commonalities rather than increasing the disparities.
2. Follow a passion. One of the watchwords of the school, and also one of the most listened to throughout our life as students is: "duty". We are taught from an early age that there are things that 'must' be done, even if we don't like them. In this way our sense of happiness is completely stifled, we are made to believe that duty is always at odds with pleasure. Therefore, it is not uncommon for most people to do a job they don't like and live a life they don't like. Nobody teaches us that when we find our passion, what really motivates us and what we do well, sooner or later ends up becoming our job and a great source of satisfaction for us.
3. Accept the error. The school severely penalizes mistakes, conveys the idea that making mistakes is not good. School judgments do not take into account the effort or the person, only successes and mistakes. No wonder that after several years you feel a real repulsion for mistakes. In fact, some people fail to move forward because the fear of making a mistake has stifled their motivation. However, in real life most learning is through trial and error; we make mistakes to learn. Therefore, mistakes simply tell us that we are one step closer to achieving our goal, because we have excluded a path. Mistakes are lessons that allow us to grow, not heavy dragging stones that only generate feelings of guilt.
4. Manage emotions. Society as a whole does not teach us to manage emotions, but rather to hide or repress them. When we categorize emotions as positive or negative, desired or unwanted, we assume that something is wrong with us, such as when we get angry, or when we feel sad. The demonization of some emotions and the exaltation of Positive Psychology have made many people feel inadequate. However, emotions are part of us and are not positive or negative, they are simply indicators and, as such, we must consider them. What matters is not the emotional reaction, which in many cases is automatic, but the way we handle the resulting sadness or anger. Recognizing and learning to channel our emotions is an essential skill that very few people manage to develop, but which will determine our whole life.
5. Coping with adversity. Sooner or later, adversity knocks on our door. When this happens it is best to be prepared. But no one taught us to deal with problems or told us that every crisis is also an opportunity. Resilience is the fundamental ability not to collapse by coming out of problems strengthened; but it is something we learn by chance, after suffering and failing in life. However, it has been observed that people who have perceived problems as growth opportunities from the outset cope better with obstacles. In fact, a study carried out at King's College London hospital revealed that, under the same clinical conditions, people who face cancer with a fatalistic and helpless attitude have a worse prognosis than those who show a fighting spirit and they behave resiliently.
6. Motivarsi. The school encourages us to use willpower. But no one has ever told us that it is a limited resource. A very interesting experiment conducted at the University of Utrecht proves this. In this case, some dieters were subjected to a grueling psychological test, which required a great deal of willpower and self-control. They were then given several foods to choose from. Those who had run out of willpower often chose high-calorie foods, while those who had passed the test in a simpler and more relaxed way chose healthier foods. So rather than betting on self-control and willpower we should rather learn to motivate ourselves, find good reasons to help us keep the path, especially when it gets difficult.
7. Look for balance. The school teaches us to work hard to get better grades. But it does not teach us how to balance the rest of the spheres of our life to feel more satisfied. So it is not surprising that there are people who are completely dedicated to work, who have no free time and neglect their families. When we do not have a sense of balance, we are unable to set priorities and we risk neglecting the very areas of life that can give us the most satisfaction. However, living in a balanced way is essential to be happy and to fully develop our abilities. Otherwise we turn into a sad version of what we could have been.
8. Feel gratitude. Gratitude is a well-kept secret, it is one of the roads that leads directly to happiness, even if most people underestimate it. When we are able to experience and express gratitude we are much happier. It is not simply a matter of saying thank you when someone does us a favor, which is what we are taught in school, but of actively seeking reasons to be grateful. It's about learning to focus on what we have, rather than complaining about what we don't have, learning to appreciate the little things and be grateful for them.
9. Valuing time. Time is the most precious thing we have, but, curiously, it is also something we waste with surprising ease. Of course it is easy to forget its value when every day the school transmits content that does not interest us or that does not have practical applications. But when we start thinking in terms of time, our lives can make a radical change, because we are able to give everything due weight. Knowing how to organize and plan time each day is one of the most important skills that we can develop throughout our life, but it all starts with an awareness of the enormous importance and value of time.
10. Discover yourself. Over the years we play different social roles, we are friends, parents, professionals, neighbors… So it is easy for us to lose our identity, forgetting what our dreams and aspirations were. In fact, it is not uncommon for one of the social roles we play every day to end up growing so much that it takes possession of our "I", weakening it. But to live fully it is necessary to be in tune with one's most intimate "I", which continues cultivating passions and marveling at life. If we lose this 'I', if we allow atrophy and social roles to dictate what we should do, we are simply digging our own grave.