The beauty of life is that it’s ours to create. To build the life that we desire – and there are no exceptions – we must we willing to achieve some things individually, and it all starts with the willingness to teach and learn.

One of the big problems in society – in particular, the modern education system – is that we don’t teach children usable life skills. (Does the anatomy of a frog have any application to everyday life?)

Many of us (including this author) have had to learn some of the lessons on this list the hard way. The wonderful thing is that it’s never too late to grow and learn.

Here are 25 things we all need to learn and achieve on our own:

“The harder I work, the luckier I get.” ~ Samuel Goldwyn

1. How to Make Money Work for You

Saving money is a terrific (and extremely rare!) habit. Even more unusual is the knowledge of how to turn those savings into a profitable investment. Understanding bonds and interest is a good place to start.

2. How to Create a Healthy Network of People

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

So many well-intentioned, intelligent people fall by the wayside merely because they chose the wrong crowd and trusted the wrong people.

3. How to Develop a Personal Brand

What you choose to focus on on a daily basis determines the story of your life. If you focus on being a people-pleaser, there’s a good chance that your light will never shine.

4. How to say “No!”

“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain must sacrifice greatly.” – James Allen

Learn to say no to the things that provide no value.

say no

5. How to Be Persuasive

Some people are naturally persuasive – a marvelous ability to have. These folks are calm, amicable, and reciprocate manners and goodwill.

6. How to Communicate With Others

Small talk – most people hate it. Know why it exists? Because some are terrible communicators. Focus on what you need to say, listen to the other person, and ask questions.

7. How to Tell a Good Story

Natural storytellers are some talented folks. They can seemingly take a bland topic and make it a must-listen – and people love them for it.

8. How to Write for Pleasure or Personal Benefit

Teaching yourself how to journal (just scribble down your thoughts) or write for fun is a powerful life tool. It all starts with making a habit of putting your thoughts on a piece of paper.

9. How to Be Creative

If you experiment enough, you can unleash a creative spark that you never knew existed. People who are highly logical have the most trouble – as they try to “think” creatively. But creativeness begins with a mind adrift.

10. How to Be Alone

“The person that you will spend the most time with in your life is yourself, so better try to make yourself as interesting as possible.”?—?Unknown

11. How to Meditate

Meditation has proven to be one of the most powerful practices in existence. Beneficial as it may be, it requires stillness and quiet – which goes against the grain of modern living.

12. How to Manage Stress (!)

We’re terrible stress managers. Start dealing with stress more efficiently by asking a simple question: “What do I repeatedly think, do, or say that frustrates me?” Now, come up with a solution!

13. How to Be a Better Decision Maker

“The more decisions you make, the better you’ll become at making them. Muscles get stronger with use, and so it is with your decision-making muscles.” – Tony Robbins

14. How to Be Productive

Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” – Bill Gates

What do you want to achieve in life? How do you need to use your time to accomplish these things?

15. How to Focus (Ignore Distractions!)

We’re all capable of a high level of focus. Rule numero uno is ignoring distractions – i.e., smartphones, chatter (inner and outer) – which is the gateway to keen attention.

16. How to Retain More of What You Read

This one’s simple, but not easy: approach anything that you want to read with intent. What are you trying to get out of that book or article? Reading with emotion will make the material more memorable. Stop and quiz yourself along the way.

17. How to Manage Information Overload

There is a ton of information available at the press of a virtual button. Starting managing information better by kicking the “I need to know” habit (unless, of course, you do need to know!)

18. How to Become a Better Learner

“Repetition is the mother of all learning.”

Repeat something, anything, until it becomes muscle memory. See, learn, do.

19. How to Live Healthily

Start weaning yourself off of the sugar. Eliminate fast food. Do at least 15 minutes of light exercise every day.

20. How to Create Good Habits

Creating good habits involves positive emotion. Write down your new habit and what it will mean for your life. Now, visualize (see #21!) living out this habit every single day.

21. How to Practice Visualization

Visualization is like daydreaming with a purpose. What do you want? Now, picture yourself as if it is already yours. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

22. How to Set and Achieve Goals

Use the SMART acronym when setting any goal: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-limited.

23. How to Monetize Your Passion

What are you good at? What do you love to do? What opportunities are out there for you to take or create? Remember, it’s never too late.

24. Specifying Beliefs and Values

Determining one’s beliefs and values toward the world help us to make better decisions – and serves as an invaluable guide.

25. How to Be Self-Aware

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
-C.G. Jung

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