Learning a new skill has become a fashion in the modern world. People learn different things like a new skill- like a foreign language. I have seen people learning French, Spanish, Chinese, German or some other foreign language as a hobby and as a new skill. Some friends have also tried their hands-on culinary skills while others have gone deep into the painting. It is always rewarding to learn a new skill but if it is taken due to peer pressure and without examining own interest, it can turn out to be stressful. What kind of new skills should one look for? Let’s have some parameters to help in deciding the appropriate skillset for better use of time.
1. Which field are you active in? Any new skills we learn are due to hobby or for professional development. If I am active in academics, I may well like to learn something which aligns with my interests in that field. Therefore, learning calligraphy or something related to that would be in line with my profession as well as a personal interest.
2. How will it be useful in future? While learning a new skill should not be purely based on utility, a completely irrelevant skillset would only rob you of time. Therefore, whenever you decide to learn something, ask yourself – will it be useful in any manner? After all, you are investing a lot of time and money in acquiring that skill. if one has to decide, one criterion should be its utility in future. If you have two options, learn about how to fly an aeroplane or how to repair a car. Perhaps the second option is better for a common man.
3. Don’t follow the herd: If you are learning something just because others in your group are doing the same, it is the wrong decision. To impress others or to mix with others, if you plan to acquire something new, weigh its cost-benefit properly. There is no point in taking pressure of learning something new which doesn’t in any manner interest you. We already do a lot of things under social pressure. So you don’t want to add one more item to the list.
4. Finish what you start: If you start to learn a new skill, better to finish it properly. Don’t give it up at half level. It will be a complete waste of money, time and also add to the psychological burden of failure. Be slow when you decide on something new, but once started, be vigorous to complete it. A little learning is a dangerous thing, afterall.
5. Learn something only if you strongly feel about it: Finally, ask yourself once again whether you are feeling passionate about learning a new skill. If not, don’t go for it. No need to come under any pressure as social trends keep changing. Your need, utilisation of time and money should be in your interest. There is no point in bragging to people about your learning a new skill unless it makes you happy.