Published on April 12, 2021

8 Most Important Life Skills For Adults To Build

8 Most Important Life Skills For Adults To Build

In this article, I will give you hard-hitting pieces of advice you need to change your life. These are specific things I wish I had known earlier—that I had to learn over the years and now live by.

A word of warning before we begin: they might seem simple, but often it is the simplest things that get waylaid, passed off, or forgotten over time. Don’t confuse simple with easy. The ability to consistently train your mind and focus on committing to the development and implementation of these life skills as an adult is what makes the difference.

Each of these skills can change your life, but I’ve saved the best until last. When you read through them, don’t waste time getting started. The time to act is now. I promise you that if you feel you need to change and aren’t getting the full potential out of your life, you won’t regret making these changes today.

You’ll notice that I am being direct for a reason—because we all need someone to tell us to “wake up,” to get serious about playing the leading role in our own lives and being someone our families can depend on.

In today’s volatile world, I need you to step up, to shine, and to bring your best self every day. I want you to become the person you were born to be and to go after your really big goals and accomplish them.

Let’s get into it.

First, pull out a pen and paper—taking notes is the world-class way of winning, and we need to start right away in training our minds to be elite performers.

Don’t be afraid to do things differently from those around you. You are anything but average. However, being average has a way of creeping in, and the only way to change that is to move against the grain.

This is where you start to find yourself craving new associations, connections, and friendships. If this is happening to you, follow your thoughts and intuition and expand your horizons.

This is your time, now is when the transformation takes place. Here are 8 important life skills for adults to build.


1. Set Your Intentions Daily

If you don’t, life will set them for you. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t pay attention, you will drift, and slowly, quietly, over time, you will slip into poor routines and habits that don’t support who you had the potential to become or where you ultimately want to be.

By setting an intention for the day, you gain clarity over your goals and who you want to become. In essence, you are more likely to live the life you desire if you fix a point to aim at daily and hold yourself accountable to.

I was dubious at first—how could something so obvious make such a big difference?

Well, it has to do with small wins compounded every day. People don’t just get lucky. They put themselves in the path of success because they refuse to be average.

Maybe this speaks to you right now—you refuse to be a product of your environment, an output of your teaching. What’s possible for you is off the charts. Maybe you feel this burning desire inside to do more and contribute fully—if so, welcome.

By becoming a person that sets an intention for the day, you get to stay on track, value your time, and indirectly value yourself more. This is a big deal! Your self-esteem and how you view yourself matter. By loving yourself, you are open to opportunities and connections in a way that only you can make sense of.

This is what you bring to the world—your unique ability to be authentically you and set the direction and course of your own life.

2. Create Energy

As high performers, we must cultivate the ability to create energy, even when we don’t want to. This is so we can be consistent in the pursuit of the attributes and skills we know will aid us in living life more fully. Much like the skill above (setting intentions), being able to do things at times when we’d rather not is what makes the difference.

If you want to stand out—at work, as a leader or a boss, to your family—being able to generate energy in moments when everyone else is flagging, quitting, and giving up is a clear way you can demonstrate your character and commitment to excellence.

On top of this, it allows you to put habits and rituals into full effect and be a role model to others.


You are the girl who goes to the gym when she’d rather stay at home. You are the guy who prepares for the sales meeting and, as a result, has questions that impress the CEO rather than scrolling social media. This is the ultimate separator, the divider—the thing that means you win in business and life.

If you find that you aren’t that motivated, then you either need to raise the reasons why you are doing what you are doing so they are so big that you have no choice or you might need to change what you are doing to something that excites you.

3. Action and Urgency

It’s time to move into the action-taking zone. When a climber looks up at a cliff face, they don’t plot every move beforehand. Instead, they get started and make little adjustments along the way.

It is the same in life when we face big challenges, hurdles, complications—it’s all about getting started.

Those that make moves are the ones who reap the rewards, but it goes further than this. The world is competitive and if you want to be a top performer, you must combine taking action with urgency.

The urgency piece is huge. Sometimes, opportunities come along that are only “once in a decade”-type opportunities and you must be ready, willing, and hungry to pounce on them as soon as they come up.

4. Put a Price on Your Time

Another important life skill for adults to build is knowing the price of their own time. Far too many people do tasks that don’t align with their goals, dreams, and vision while complaining that they aren’t running their own business or their sales figures are lower than they want them to be because of a bad market.

The answer is to stop doing tasks that are below your hourly rate. You must come up with a number for your hourly rate/ This can be a number that’s higher than what you are currently on. It must inspire you. Next, use this hourly rate as a guide to help you understand what tasks to outsource.

Does it make sense for you to walk across town to save $10 on cab fare versus getting to the office early and get a jump on the day?

When you value your time higher, it puts things into perspective and helps you level up to the life you want to be living. If you are building a business, what’s taking your focus? Is it Instagram, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, organizing birthdays? Question everything that you are doing that is below your hourly rate and outsource it (if possible), leaving you free to focus on what actually moves the needle.


5. The Art of Persuasion

Critical to business and life is learning the art of persuasion. This is the ability to be able to get what you want, to read the room, to sell, and to enjoy the process while doing it.

Confidence in the art of persuasion comes from knowing how to influence people, and the way you can influence others is not by trying to convince someone that something is true but rather, make them believe your own beliefs. It is a subtle but mighty distinction.

To persuade someone, they must believe your beliefs about something. This is how salespeople become world-class. They change their focus from trying to get the other person to believe and act from a place of their own belief to inspire others.

This is a skill that will help you in all areas, from business, career, job negotiations, housing, rental, family, team to problem-solving. It impacts a huge array of life areas.

6. Surround Yourself With Your Dream

I love luxury hotels. I am drawn to the abundance and opulence of them. That’s why even if it is just for a day, I make it a priority to go and stay for a night.

When I was struggling to make ends meet—the six credit cards I had were all fully maxed out, the debts were piling up, and the dream I was fighting so hard to keep alive was weighing down on me—I made it my priority to never lose touch with where I was headed: the bigger vision I had a for my life.

I would find a luxury hotel and just go work out of the restaurant when I could only afford a coffee or even the reception. I wanted to be surrounded by my dream life. To me, this was about having an abundance mindset in the midst of the struggle. This is what helped me dial in and stay focused on where I was headed.

If you have a dream or a vision for your life, be conscious of the way you allow yourself to experience it and celebrate your small wins and successes as they occur. Too many people are waiting to celebrate their wins and as a result, the Universe notices, which affects how regularly wins occur.

7. Give and Give Some More

A large part of what makes life worthwhile is giving. If you are in a space of doubts, fears, negativity, and anxiety, the best way to combat this is to focus on what you can give. It doesn’t have to be financial either, this could be as simple as a smile and as deep as listening to a friend who is having a hard time themselves.

The key here is to make giving part of your skillset so that you recognize it as one of the core strategies you have to keep yourself moving forward and making a contribution.


8. Get Clear on Your Identity

Knowing who you are and what you will tolerate in your life is bigger than all of the above. This adult life skill alone will dictate how successful you are, the habits and rituals you set for yourself, and the standards you have for yourself. If you want to raise the bar of your own life, then you might need to start transforming a few areas of your identity.

For example, if you are in sales, make going the extra mile a part of who you are—working the extra hour, getting up earlier, hitting the gym more times in a week, doing an extra rep.

These small shifts have a big effect on your identity. If repeated consistently over time, your identity will change and you will associate yourself with a higher level of success. You may even find yourself drawn to different people, content, and lifestyles.

A Word of Warning

With all of the life skills for adults above that I have outlined, the number one thing you can do for yourself is to actually do what you say you will do for yourself. Keep the commitments that you make. It will help you grow your confidence like nothing else and, as a result, you become more.

That’s why I say commit today but really mean it because the biggest thing you can do is trust yourself—that you will do what you say you will.

Having a trusted relationship with yourself is paramount to making it in life. The more experiences you can collect where you make yourself proud and recognize that within yourself, the higher your level of self-confidence and the more you’ll be able to make an impact on others.

Remember, the time is now to increase the trajectory and velocity of your life. Don’t wait, get started, and iterate along the way.

More Life Skills for Adults

Featured photo credit: bruce mars via

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Tim Castle

Bestselling Author, Coach and Co-Founder of My Book Habit

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement

What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement

If I told you that there was one activity that you could do frequently that would dramatically accelerate your rate of self-improvement, would you do it?

SWOT Analysis may very well be the solution to your problems of feeling lost, unproductive, worried about the future, and the general struggle that inevitably arises on the road to personal development. It is quick to carry out, reliable in terms of changing your perspective, and effective in getting you the results that you desire.

So what exactly is this SWOT Analysis? You will find everything you need to know about it below as well as how to do it and all of the amazing benefits that it will bring to your life.

What Is SWOT Analysis?

SWOT Analysis is a business term that has steadily made its way over into the world of personal development due to its effectiveness in getting things to improve — whether that be a company or, more recently, a person.

S.W.O.T. is an anagram that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. When assessing these four key pillars in life, it gives a very good picture of which direction you should be heading in and even highlights some of the best ways to do it.

All in all, it is a great way to reflect on past actions and to decide on the best way to move forward.

How to Do a SWOT Analysis

Carrying out a SWOT Analysis is relatively simple. The best way is to take out a pen and paper and write down four columns: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. From there, you can begin to fill out each one and apply it to whatever situation you find yourself in.

If you are considering expanding your enterprise, you might want to write down the current strengths and weaknesses of your business as well as the opportunities that you could possibly move into and the threats that you might need to minimize.

If you are an individual looking to improve yourself, you can carry out a SWOT Analysis either on the micro or macro level. A micro example would be focusing on one specific area of life. For example, you could write down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats when it comes to dating, productivity, or changing your job.


You can also take it to the macro level. You might simply write down your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats across all areas of life — or simply the areas that you want to focus on for now.

SWOT Analysis is very easy to do and is excellent for the bigger picture stuff. Here is a rough template with a few questions across various areas of life that you can use for your own personal development purposes:


What professional qualifications do I have that make me stand out from everybody else?

What do I exceed at where most people are either average or below average?

What achievements have I been awarded?

What struggles have I overcome in the past that give me hope for the future?


Where do I fall short where others seem to excel?

What bad habits do I have?

What thoughts tend to hold me back?



Is there any significant advancement happening or about to happen that I can take advantage of?

Is there a new position in a company that maximizes my skillset?

Is there a gap in the market that I could potentially fill?

Is there an opportunity that is low-risk (i.e. I can fail fast and decide if I want to keep pursuing it)?


What competition do I face in a certain area?

What is the most likely thing to throw me off course? Is it me?

If there was an economic downturn, would I be in a position to survive? Could I even turn it into an opportunity?

Benefits of SWOT Analysis for Self-Improvement

Now that you know what it is and how to do it, you may already start to see all of the benefits for your personal growth that can come from a SWOT Analysis. If you haven’t already started to think about how to use it in your own life, here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. It Gives You an Actionable Plan

One of the most obvious benefits of doing a SWOT Analysis is the fact that it gives you an actionable plan. It is rare for someone to actually sit down and write out their strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats they are facing, so you will be getting well ahead.


More importantly, taking the information from all four of these areas allows you to create an effective plan for yourself going forward — whether that be doubling down on your strengths, a plan to overcome your weaknesses, or how to leap at one of the opportunities in your life.

SWOT Analysis is designed specifically to drive actions and decisions — it is not simply a discussion exercise that you put to one side once you are finished with it.[1]

2. It Allows You to Zoom Out

Far too many people are so trapped within their day-to-day activities that they forget to see the big picture. Not being able to see the forest for the trees is one of the things that hold many people back from reaching their full potential.

SWOT Analysis allows you to take a moment of reflection, see the big picture, and then to make an informed decision about what your everyday tasks and activities are going to be, rather than the other way around.

It is important to be able to zoom out from time to time to make sure that you are on track with whatever your objectives are in each area of life. SWOT Analysis is the best way to do just that.

3. It Helps You Recognize New Aspects and Patterns

One of the unique things about SWOT Analysis is that it manages to combine different areas of your life and lets you see patterns, opportunities, and much more that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

An example would be the combination of your strengths and your opportunities. When you look at both of these side-by-side, you get a good idea about where the crossovers are, and, as a result, you get a clear picture of what opportunities are worth pursuing based on your strengths.

Another example would be looking at your strengths and threats next to one another. When you have a decent idea about what your strengths are in a certain situation, you can start to see how those strengths might come in handy when it comes to mitigating certain threats that you might face.

The truth is, any combination across SWOT Analysis creates a unique perspective that will be extremely useful for your own self-improvement.


4. It Minimizes Risk

Branching out from the previous point, a SWOT Analysis is carried out to help minimize risk [2]. Although this is primarily a benefit from a company’s standpoint, it can also be helpful from an individual’s perspective as well.

On a personal level, risk can come in a variety of forms. It might be an imaginary risk that feels real, like asking your crush out or asking your boss for a raise. It might be an actual risk where you are thinking of expanding your business or entering a new market where you have little experience. Either way, seeing the threats you face as well as the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities you have allows you to go down the path that minimizes risk and maximizes gain.

5. It Can Marks Stages of Your Path

An interesting way that companies use SWOT Analysis is that they carry it out every month or every quarter in order to reset and recalibrate their destination. It can be used in a similar way by you as well. Just like there are certain times when businesses use them, there are certain times when you should use them.[3]

Every month or every couple of months, take the time to do a SWOT Analysis to see how you are progressing. What strengths have been added? What weaknesses have been discovered? What opportunities have revealed themselves or been lost? What new threats are you facing and which have been removed from the picture?

Not only will carrying out a SWOT Analysis on a frequent basis accelerate your self-improvement by helping you see where you want to go with less distraction, but it is also nice to see how things change and, hopefully, get better.

It is also worth looking back at your SWOT Analysis from the start of the year when you reach the end of the year to see how far you have come.

To Wrap Up

So there you have it. SWOT Analysis might just be the tool and technique that you have been waiting for to truly take the next step in your self-improvement journey. It is practical, easy to carry out, and effective in terms of planning your next moves.

Whether you do it on a consistent basis to ensure that you are moving in the right direction or you only do it when you feel lost, SWOT Analysis will always be right there waiting to help.

Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via



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