When our eldest son Matthew was around 19 years of age and had successfully graduated from his first acting course, his acting coach advised him that a key component to becoming a great actor was to gain more ‘life skills’.
This intrigued me so I contacted his coach and asked what he meant by life skills. As it turns out, he was actually meaning that with more life experiences, the ups, in-betweens and downs of life, Matt (and his actor colleagues) would pick up more skills on how to deal with what life presents to him. And with these additional experiences and skills, he would be able to draw upon them in his acting career.
Do we really learn from experience?
The problem I have with this, while I do agree in principle with what his coach said, is that experiencing the ups and downs of life does not necessarily guarantee you learn the appropriate life skills to effectively deal with each situation. For example, what if given a particular ‘down’ experience, your way of dealing with the situation was to take drugs, hit the booze, or hit out at the world in some destructive way?
While it’s easy to say that we learn from experience, the reality is that this is not necessarily true in an always positive way. The lesson we might learn from the experience could be how to inappropriately deal with it and with that lesson repeated often enough, it becomes a habit that will be leading us away from potentially living a more happy, flourishing and prosperous life.
Of course, the opposite is true… that if the skills for life that we are learning are positive and appropriate, then, repetition again will help us to create success habits and life skills to move us toward living a more happy flourishing and prosperous life.
The Intentionomics Blueprint – A guide to help develop your life skills
My original intention for developing the Intentionomics Blueprint of 9 inescapable truths for a prosperous life, was to pass on to my two adult sons my life lessons and the positive skills for life that I have acquired to date, continually apply in my own life, and that have helped my wife Liz and I live happy, flourishing and prosperous lives.
Each of the 9 inescapable truths for a prosperous life in the Intentionomics Blueprint, as well as the platform principle of Intentionomics, (which is People Get Your Truth – over time your intentions, actions and results will either promote or expose you!) are not only what I have experienced and learned as key life skills to help me deal with the ups, in-betweens and downs of life. They have each been solidly researched and validated by much of the wisdom literature throughout history and current day leading academics and practitioners in positive psychology.
So what do we really mean when we speak of life skills? My personal understanding and interpretation is that we are speaking about our character – our truth about ourselves in action. In his book Integrity, Dr. Henry Cloud says our character is our ‘ability to meet the demands of reality’. So a person of what we might typically refer to as being of ‘good’ character or in the words of the Dalai Lama ‘skilled’ character, is someone who has the appropriate and positive life skills to meet the demands of reality, and a person who we might typically refer to as being of ‘poor’ character or again, in the words of the Dalai Lama ‘unskilled’ character, is someone who lacks the appropriate and positive life skills to meet the demands of reality.
The Intentionomics Blueprint of 9 inescapable truths for a prosperous life have certainly served me well, and as I present, teach and coach audiences through my corporate conference keynoting and seminars, I am proud of the lessons it is providing and the impact it is having on helping people proactively develop skills for life that help them to build their character and their ability to positively and appropriately meet the demands of reality and in so doing, help them to live even more happy, flourishing and prosperous lives.