To do our job well, to be effective, we all need to develop a series of specific skills, which over time become the tools of our trade.
Everyone, with respect to their work, usually knows exactly what they are: they just have to learn how to do them well, which is actually not at all obvious.
In addition to them, however, there are also more general skills, I would say transversal, which many underestimate or even do not consider at all, but which, at times, are even more useful than the specific ones, because they positively influence every aspect of your life. .
This is the case of the 3 skills that I will show you in this article, and which are:
1 - LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
2 - ACQUIRE FINANCIAL EDUCATION
3 - ACQUIRE A TECHNOLOGICAL ALPHABETIZATION
Believe me that, if you spend some of your time developing them, you will have an exaggerated return in terms of clarity of mind, ability to choose what is right for you, simplification and improving your life.
Let's see why, analyzing them one by one.
LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
I will not dwell on the fact that learning a foreign language is an almost essential skill for your CV, nor on how nice it is to be able to travel speaking the local language.
These are things we all know already.
The reason why I advise you to learn a language is another: it is a real cure-all for your intelligence.
Many researches have highlighted how, through the creation of the new neuronal connections necessary to internalize new words, new grammatical rules, new syntactic structures, there is a notable strengthening of the hippocampus and at least three other areas of the cerebral cortex.
Obviously these improvements have repercussions on many other aspects not strictly related to the study of the language: for example, the enhancement of memory and problem solving.
But yours too emotional intelligence gains.
In particular, you mature a greater mental openness, you observe things from multiple angles, you understand how much cultural differences and individual experiences can influence the opinions and choices of others.
And if you already know a foreign language well enough, you could also decide - instead of starting to study one from scratch - to perfect it, really making that leap from "fluent" to "excellent" that hardly anyone can achieve.
Again, you have a lot to learn besides the language itself.
In fact, to cover the last piece - the most difficult - of the learning curve, you will have to make the most of your strategic and organizational skills through the "deliberate practice".
It is a very particular form of exercising, typical of great athletes and anyone who excels in a certain field.
Perfecting a language with this method will therefore be an exceptional training ground, which will help you understand how to excel in other areas of your life as well.
ACQUIRE FINANCIAL EDUCATION
If you work in the field of finance, please skip to the next point.
But if you have a job that has little or nothing to do with markets, intermediaries, investments, interest rates, etc. etc. I highly recommend that you invest some of your time in growing your financial education.
First a proper warning: I am not recommending you to invest in Crypto or other exotic instruments, rest assured.
In fact, I strongly advise you to stay away from it, unless you are already one of the aforementioned experts in the field.
But I want to bring you a reflection that I found on an interesting financial blog, and that goes something like this: compare how much time people spend watching TV series on Netflix compared to how much they spend planning their future financially ... and here's why a substantial percentage of people - albeit with a decent or even good income - lives on a few wages from the financial disaster.
You see, in today's world, financial education seems to be as taboo as and more than sexual education!
That is, no one, neither at home nor at school, explains anything to you: it is expected and assumed that you learn for yourself what there is to know.
Except that the matter is much more complicated and the potential consequences of ignorance equally disastrous: if in fact you do not know how to handle your money, as many or as little as they are. you risk being enslaved to them.
Financial education, then, is damaged by a second aspect: the difficulty in finding impartial, objective, quality information.
Remember that banks, consultants, insurance companies, bloggers don't necessarily care about your real financial well-being, but theirs!
And there is little to complain about or to invoke the lack of ethical principles and the like.
They do their job, earn, it is we who do not do ours, or rather inform us adequately to make responsible choices.
Therefore, remember that, if you are unprepared, you will spend your life passively accepting investment proposals based not on your needs, but on those of those who propose them to you.
Therefore study, informed, interested in the question.
You don't necessarily have to enroll in a master's degree: the network, in fact, is full of free or almost free resources, you just need to have a careful and critical eye.
And, please, turn away from those who offer easy solutions (= money) in exchange for zero effort.
It is 100% pure and simple crap, which unfortunately the internet is teeming with.
I can understand the blank stare of when I announced to my father that in order to change residence without facing long queues at the registry office he had to have a SPID digital identity.
My father is 75 years old, it is normal for him to resist modernity a little (although, I must say, there are some of his peers who have been able to embrace it with enthusiasm).
But I've seen 40-year-olds go haywire because they were offered an interview on the Teams platform, parents go into a nervous breakdown by downloading Classroom in the days of Distance Learning, and kids whose computer skills don't go beyond scrolling on the phone.
The excuse is always the same: "I'm not very technological".
However, once translated, it simply means: “I'm lazy and don't want to learn new things”.
In this way, however, you are missing out on a lot of possibilities.
Why technology can greatly simplify your life and it has nothing evil about it - as many think - or particularly complex - as even more people think.
It is full of tools and apps that can multiply your productivity, your memory, your skills, your ability to achieve results in any field.
It is just a matter of taking a deep breath, repeating “I can do it” and giving yourself a basic culture, starting from those areas of your life that could be improved by technology.
What then, attention: becoming technological does not mean alienating yourself all day in front of a monitor.
Indeed, I am the first to recommend a cure for digital minimalism, leaving the phone off even for long hours of the day.
Instead, it simply means understanding what is right for you, being curious, wanting to try your hand at what you don't know.
What then, by now you will have understood, is precisely the attitude that is needed to be able to acquire not only the three skills I spoke to you about today, but any type of competence.
Even for this week, that's all. A warm greeting. Anthony.