Constant development is what humans should strive for, and not doing so means that you may be left behind while others are climbing up the ladder of growth.
Reading is a good way to acquire knowledge, and technology has made it easier as information about any subject matter is just a click away on the internet. Soft copies of books are readily available and YouTube DIY videos provide content on any skill you might want to learn. Elon Musk learnt how to build rockets by reading books!
A mindset I like to have is that though I may know a lot of things, what I don’t know surpasses what I know, and a lot of what I don’t know is out there waiting for me to know. So I strive to always develop the habit of learning and building on what is learnt.
Here are 5 subject areas I think a lot of youths can learn about within a short time frame and improve on their abilities to be better individuals.
We all studied economics in secondary school but how many of us as adults still apply the principles leant in those classes in our daily lives?
Microeconomics is basically the study of how individuals and businesses make decisions on how best to use limited resources.
A lot of us apply microeconomic principles in our lives knowingly or unknowingly; however, having a key understanding of it will help us make better decisions, whether in our private matters or in business.
Some key microeconomic principles include:
- Law of Demand & Supply
- Opportunity cost
- Scale of preference
- Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility
Applying these principles to a real-life example
Suppose you want to achieve a certain number of things in a given year and top of that list is renting an apartment in Surulere, Lagos, this becomes top of your scale of preference, you will then need to determine what your budget is. This will require you to analyse your income and expenses and determine how much you are willing to spend to maximize your utility.
Once you know your budget and you find out that others are willing to spend more than you – demand is higher than supply, which drives the price up – you will have to cut your budget on other things like travelling, clothing etc. All these are your opportunity costs of renting the apartment.
In summary, the individual looking for a house, or the landlord renting out the house will be affected by microeconomic principles. Having a deep understanding of these principles and using them to your advantage is very critical.
Basics of Game Theory
Game Theory is the study of how to come up with a winning strategy in the game of life, especially when you do not know what your competitors are doing and the options do not look promising – Kenneth Chang.
The knowledge of game theory will help you develop the habit of considering all the possibilities of an event occurring and making the optimal choice. In a given situation, the application of game theory will require you to know the following.
- The identity of independent actors
- Their preferences
What they know
- What strategic acts they are allowed to make
- How each decision influences the outcome of the game
Classic examples of game theory are “Prisoners Dilemma” and “Nash Equilibrium” which you can read more about.
Technology is not just the future, it is the present; hence, a lot of us should take advantage of learning more about computers to develop our skillsets.
Coding will give your job application leverage – everyone could have a B.Sc and possibly M.Sc, however knowing how to code will put your job application ahead of the competition by showing your employer that you are open to learning, hardworking and dynamic.
Coding will help you land freelance jobs – there are lots of websites willing to pay per hour for your skill.
It will lead to better job opportunities. For example, a software development job will require a prospective job seeker to know how to code.
Philosophy, which comes from the Greek word “philosophia” meaning “love of wisdom” can be defined as the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, ethics, values, reason, mind and language.
Philosophy is a very broad field and there are many reasons why you should study it.
- A lot of activities are beyond our control.
“A wise person knows they don’t control other people’s opinions, they don’t control traffic, they don’t control the weather, they don’t control the fact that we were born mortal, they don’t control the economy or the rude remark that just left someone else’s mouth. They don’t control the past and they don’t control the future. But they control their own choices and their responses to all those things that are out of their control. Everything else they ignore.” – Ryan holiday
Adopting this mindset in the statement above will prevent you from getting caught up in the daily outrage which occurs on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
- Philosophy will improve your critical thinking skills by challenging you to question the most basic assumptions you have and the decisions you regularly make.
Everyone should know how to sell– I’m writing this article trying to sell myself for more views, likes and shares. People confuse selling with marketing, thinking that they have to have a product and walk around the streets looking for someone to buy.
In life, you will need to get a job, maintain your job, sell goods, get married, negotiate contracts etc., all these require sales skills.
If you want to get better at selling or influencing people just read the book “Influence” by Robert Cialdini and apply the principles to your daily life.
The 6 principles outlined in the book are Reciprocity, Scarcity, Authority, Consistency, Liking, and Consensus.