Posted on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 in Business Skills

One Skill to Master Them All

Could there really be one integrally important skill that eclipses all others? A discipline which, if mastered, will enable all the other skills you possess to flourish? Maryling Yu believes there is. In her article, The Most Important Skill in Life (It’s Not What You Think), Yu argues that the ability to become happy and stay happy is the number one key to personal development.


Yu’s logic is simple. While many others, when questioned about the most valuable skills in the workplace, will likely respond with focus, communication or leadership skills, Yu believes that none of these capabilities are truly effective unless you have learnt to master your emotions.


Those  who have  learnt to master their feelings are able to pick and choose their emotions according to what will suit them best at that particular point in time. Then, once they are in control of how they feel, they can begin to implement focus, effective communication and great leadership.   


Yu suggests that it all comes down to ownership of your emotions.  Most of the time we allow others and their actions to dictate  our feelings, rather than taking ownership of them ourselves. For example,  when we get angry – “John has made me really angry”, or when we find ourselves feeling down – “That meeting has left me feeling upset”. We’re allowing the actions of other to determine how we feel and in turn how we behave.


In other words it’s simply not enough to learn to control your actions if you haven’t yet learnt to control your emotions.


In many instances, we may not even be aware that we are allowing this to happen as we simply respond to emotional triggers as they present themselves, hence we go through our lives as victims unable to use life’s various situations to our advantage.


The best way to counteract this is to pay attention to how you are feeling. Ask yourself if you find your current emotion helpful, and if not, decide to feel differently. It’s not always easy but with determination it can be done.


In fact, research shows that developing a habit of gratitude can have a profound impact on our happiness and well-being. With this is mind, Yu recommends that we start creating mental lists of things – even really small ones – which we are grateful for. You will discover that you have a great deal more to be grateful for than you might have anticipated.


No doubt, mastering your emotions is a process. As with most things in life, the more you practise the better you’ll become. But one thing is certain, if you can find a way to be happy, you’ll have found the way to success. 


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