5 Psychological Skills For Success Revealed By Research
Want to be successful in life?
Rhetorical question, of course you do. We all do.
While we have slightly different definitions of what success means for us personally, there’s some big areas everyone agrees on.
Health. Wealth. Happiness.
So has psychology found any particular skills or characteristics that will help us find success in our own lives?
5 Life Skills For Success
It just so happens there was a recent study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that takes a look at this question.
Normally, psychology studies will examine how one trait or characteristic will affect a person’s life. But these researchers wanted to do something different. They wanted a bigger picture:
There is research on individual factors such as conscientiousness and optimism in adults, but the combinations of these life skills has not been studied very much before.
So they poured over a host of data from over 8,000 men and women that were followed over 11 years. Analyzing that information, they identified a combination of 5 different life skills that significantly contributed to a happy and successful life.
1.Conscientiousness – hard working, organized, and self-disciplined.
2.Optimism – a mental attitude that looks for the positive in past situation and future events.
3.Emotional Stability – not moody, handle stress well, calm and have less worry, fear, and anxiety.
4.Sense of Control – Ones belief that they have control over the events in their life
5.Persistence – the ability to overcome obstacles and resistance. Determination or grit.
Researchers said that the data also revealed it wasn’t just one skill that overshadowed the rest:
No single attribute was more important than others.
Rather, the effects depended on the accumulation of life skills.
In other words, these skills work together. And the stronger the skills, the better your long term outcomes in life.
5 Major Benefits Identified
Researchers found some stark differences between the people that had these traits and those who didn’t.
For instance, people who had lower scores showed depression rates of 23%. But those who scored on the high end had depression rates of only 3%.
That’s hardly the only benefit they found:
We were surprised by the range of processes – economic, social, psychological, biological, and health and disability related – that seem to be related to these life skills.
These “skills” affect a person in a wide variety of ways. And they translate into 5 major benefits identified in the study:
1.Better overall health
2.Greater financial stability
3.Less social isolation and loneliness
4.Fewer chronic diseases
These Skills Aren’t Fixed
You may notice that a couple of these skills are similar to certain personality traits (conscientiousness and emotional stability). But the researchers emphasize that individuals can foster these traits. They aren’t fixed.
And the experts say they can help both young and old:
Our research suggests that fostering and maintaining these skills in adult life may be relevant to health and well-being at older ages.
Obviously, this isn’t a complete list of skills needed for personal success. Other skills, like communication, can have big impacts on important areas like our relationships.
Sure, we all have things we need to improve. But if you’re looking to maximize the positive outcomes in your life, these 5 characteristics are a good place to start.