10 Important Life Lessons not taught in Schools
Updated: Jul 13, 2020
Did you every wonder after your education, we face many practical scenarios in our lives which are never taught in schools and colleges? There are ofcourse many lessons or subjects as part of our curriculum which we will never again use in our lives but the important ones are never even mentioned.
Here is a look at the important lessons never taught in schools. Even if these were never taught, the earlier we learn about it, the better.
1) Managing Personal Finances
We read subjects like finance, economics and mathematics, but none of these actually taught us how to handle our personal finances. Money is such a basic requirement to sustain a life but never counted among food, clothing and housing. Moreover, there is a certain shaming associated with the desire to acquire wealth that it makes you seem greedy.
Budgeting, saving and investing our money should be the basic skills for life. Money should be working for you instead of you working for money!
Surprising enough, we do not even understand taxes and filing returns when we first start earning. Over the years, I have noticed many new co-workers clueless about taxes and returns. Many don't even bother to check their payslips to determine how much of tax is being deducted and how it can be saved. Many just buy some random Life Insurance policies to save taxes.
To make matters worse, young people are quick enough to possess credit cards and spending through them at the maximum limit, unaware of the interest rates associated with their cards.
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2) Nutrition / What to Eat
I am not talking about that one chapter in your science text book that told you about Carbohydrates, Vitamins, Proteins and Minerals in your entire curriculum. Infact, the only people studying nutrition are the Home Science students or Sports/Fitness Trainers. Thus its very well excluded from the mainstream education system.
Fact check - Even the medicos just have one subject talking about food in their entire curriculum!
But food is so basic! If we do not understand what to eat, how are we going to be healthy? And until we are healthy how can we focus on the important goals in our lives?
Most city millennial, use food either to suppress hunger or as a guilty pleasure. So the grab and goes, ready to eats, online food deliveries are widely preferred over meals cooked from scratch. It has also become an 'one size fits for all' kind of eating culture.
How many of us know that, most food and beverage brands even fund nutrition studies so as their branded products are not impacted by such studies. Sadly, the ingredient lists in many packages foods are not even correctly listed.
Basic indigenous food grains and vegetables, traditional food wisdom, the importance of cooking your own meals were never emphasized in schools.
3) How to manage your daily chores
Apart from our education or profession, there is a lot that needs to be managed on a day-to-day basis. Even if your profession takes up around 10 or more hours of the day, there are a lot of unfinished businesses that needs to be tackled daily.
Cooking for yourself, cleaning your stuff and surrounding, paying your bill on time, household maintenance, grocery shopping to name a few. When we stay with our parents, we are not bothered about all that goes around in the household. We are only expected to study, eat and play.
Thus, many youngsters find themselves drained when they first move out of their family homes and try to manage everything on their own. With changing times, you cannot expect a spouse to take care of all the household errands especially if they too are working professionals.
So, however unimportant this may sound, help yourself by learning or participating in household chores apart from your studies. Even if you earn enough to pay for housekeeping staffs, there are a lot of stuff which you need to manage on your own.
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4) You cannot avoid politics and competition
Talent and hard work are the key to success! But always remember you need to be open to healthy competition and politics. You simply cannot get away.
After all you need to understand, it is justified for everyone to struggle for their existence and ultimately, only the fittest of all survive. Darwinian theory applies in every stage of life!
So if you are good with politics, here's a thumbs up! If you aren't good at it, don't be disheartened just because someone else excelled because of the politics.
The sooner you understand that you need to be at peace with these, the better! You cannot lose your peace of mind because of feelings like betrayal, cheating, hatred, etc because the other person used these as his survival mechanism. If you can't accept it, move away from these circumstances but do not lose your peace of mind...I repeat!
5) Your qualifications and material achievements do not bring happiness
Good score is a route to new beginnings. It may follow with a great job or an entrepreneurial endeavor. Then follows the materialistic achievements of a home, car, latest appliances that adds to your status quo.
But in the long run, these will not add any happiness to your life. Just because you have money and the market tells you how important the latest gadget is, adding that in your life does not mean you invest in a happy life! All of it is just temporary pleasures. Learn to differentiate between pleasure and happiness.
For happiness to persist, invest in experiences, count the little blessings in your life, make time for you loved ones.
6) Learning does not end with school, it is a lifelong process
The world is changing rapidly. Your last day at school or college does not mean an end to the study phase of life! If you go by the statistics, every three years, your skills become redundant! Currently, there are many thousands who are losing their jobs because an AI, automation or the cloud boom has taken over their tasks.
So it is very important to be open to lifelong learning. Even if you have a steady income, make it a point to acquire some new skills every year. Keep studying not only for that next degree but to keep yourself updated as per the relevant skill-sets. Set goals to gain new skills either relevant to your profession or those helpful in life.
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7) How to sell yourself
Do not assume, your hard work will speak volumes on your behalf. Good work is definitely important, but never shy away from marketing your work. Everybody is busy taking care of their own jobs, unless you market yourself you may not even be noticed!
Shun off the age-old ideas of looking down upon sales professionals. We have that ingrained notion that selling is not noble. Yet everybody does it! From a doctor to your next Prime Ministerial candidate.
I have often come across so many young professionals who do not even bother to fill up all the columns of their appraisal form, imagining their managers will remember all their good work!
Come On! Do you think the manager has been only tracking you the whole year. Then, once your yearly ratings are not up to your expectations, do not regret because you didn't sell your work well enough.
If you are good at something, do not shy from expressing it! Imagine every workday to be a new interview and present your best self for it.
8) Identifying your purpose in life
Studying in the same class, same course, same subjects never implies we all are headed towards the same journey. However, schools often make us feel that we are all on a common path.
We take it too seriously at times. We all keep chasing the same things...the same entrance exams, the same good grades, the same kind of jobs followed by marriage, kids, home, car and so on.
If any of us are left behind in this journey or take a different path we just do not seem to connect with such people anymore. Its high time that we have to stop telling our kids to make these scores and materialistic goals as their purposes in life.
Instead every individual should start looking for their own purposes in life! It is alright, if you do not figure out your purpose easily. You are allowed to slow down, make mistakes and often change routes until you figure out what is best for you.
Ask yourself, what is that one thing that will make you happy even if it does not buy the riches for you?
9) Handling your failures and emotions
Victories are often celebrated from a very young age but what about failures? We do not know how to handle failures. This is especially true with the kids who excel all through their school. If they happen to encounter failures, they have no better plans than giving up.
Schools always pat our backs for our excellence in performance but they do not teach us that it is okay to fail at times.
For my own instance, I am so petrified of failing at job interviews that I hardly attempt any. I had cracked my very first interview in the college campus, but had to really push myself hard to attempt one for a job change. I try to constantly work on this feeling of handling failures, but it is not easy.
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10) Your textbooks do not tell you all!
Always remember, our textbooks are government approved copies of educational material. So we only read what our government wants us to know, be it history, geography, scientific studies, our constitution. Ofcourse, there is a limit to the amount of knowledge to be provided in our books and to the little minds, but there are a lot of hidden matters which the government does not want the younger generations to know. So it is very important to try and research beyond your textbooks. Travelling and reading books from authors around the world can help for that matter.
Though travelling is not everybody's choice, inculcate the habit of reading not just your textbooks, but books on various topics which are not discussed in schools. Thanks to technology at your fingertips today, you can use it to research latest studies, listen to podcasts, TED talks, informative videos, etc.
All of this does not mean you neglect your schools or avoid taking that next degree. This article in no way wants to discourage people to go to schools!
The view here is to explore your life beyond your school education because a lot of real life lessons are learnt outside the classroom!
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