This article is written by Ramanuj Mukherjee, CEO, LawSikho
I know that headline got your attention. Don’t worry I will share something relevant in a bit. But the point I want to make, which you may have suspected by now, is a little more subtle.
What are the skills worth learning?
There are too many things people take for something one should not have to learn.
It’s just a lazy assumption. I have found no skill worth having in life that one can be automatically really good in, without actually learning, be it effortlessly learning as a habit through a supportive environment or more likely, consistent and deliberate effort.
Let’s say friendship, love or relationship. These things come to us naturally right?
Not really. We have learnt what we have seen in our environment and practiced unconsciously over the years. It is possible to practice something else deliberately and reap better results, but most people will never make the time or effort to even find out what they could learn and what results were possible.
Let’s take a more controversial and taboo topic. Since we cater to adults only, I hope you will forgive me for using this example.
Sex. It would be assumed that by virtue of being born as a human being with genitalia, everybody would be great in bed and will know exactly what to do.
Turns out, not. In survey after survey, participants say that they are dissatisfied with their sex life. Surveys suggest that over 30% of all marriages in India are ended due to bad sex life. Over 50% of men and women across the world told Durex in 2013 that they are not happy with their sex life. I assume that a lot of people over reported sexual satisfaction because what kind of loser don’t even know how to have sex, right?
In reality, there is a lot to learn about sex. Since I am in the online education business, someone drew my attention to an online portal promising to teach about how to have better sex and more orgasms. Out of curiosity I did check it out and was stunned.
You can check it out too and tell me if you knew all these things already. I suppose not unless you have made consistent and serious effort to learn about human sexuality. These people studied thousands of women and created a whole new branch on study and mastery, now being used by thousands of men and women across the world. It’s incredible how far we can go in any area of life if we really want.
I am not getting paid or being incentivised by this website in any way to spread the word. I don’t even know who they are. I just want to point out a crazy thing peculiar about all of us.
We say certain things are important to us. Food, sex, relationships, living a powerful life of many accomplishments, success in career.
Then we make no efforts to actually learn anything about it. We will rather watch some dumb nonsense on TV or Netflix!
People are crazy about sex. Our country watches more porn per capita than most countries in the world. India accounts for the 3rd highest porn consumption in the world after USA and UK. But how about getting better at the skills? Kamasutra may have been invented in India, but I doubt a lot of Indians are today learning the art of seduction or physiology behind sexual pleasure. Porn is as far as most will ever go.
We say we love food, but very few of us have ever made any effort to understand what food is good for our body and the science behind it. We thrive on myths and hearsay. We are intellectually lazy.
Everyone these days say that they want a great body, maybe six pack abs, but nobody is ready to go beyond magazine pages and BuzzFeed articles, learn the physiology, psychology or even the logistics behind it, and then to have the discipline to achieve it.
Well, not nobody, but mostly nobody.
How much effort do you actually put into looking good? Those who do, look fabulous. They look better and better even as they age. They work out, learn how to dress better, learn the art and the science behind taking care of the body and mind. But most people do not even care to put in any effort to counter the efforts of aging or pollution, even simple things that you can find by a google search.
However, quick fixes are a thriving market. Use this cream or pop this pill and that’s all it takes! That solution that requires no effort but quick fixes has many takers and a billion dollar business to boast of.
It may not be important to you to look better, get richer or get stronger or whatever. Not everything is important to everyone. But there must be something that is important to you? Are you going beyond the conventional collective wisdom and diving deeper in those matters?
If you don’t disown the herd mentality and discover your own truth can you ever hope to get better results than the herd, which is the definition of average or poor results?
People will tell you that there is nothing to learn about simple skills. You should know how to speak, how to think, how to write, how to learn, how to read, automatically. In reality, these are skills you develop, sharpen and evolve over the entire career journey.
Take something as simple as how to read. Do you think you know how to read? Great. It’s most probably primary school level reading skills. Or maybe high school level at best, unless you trained yourself on how to read deliberately and actively after you grew up.
I learnt a skill called speedreading in my 3rd year in college and it changed my life forever. I started reading 900 words per minute instead of 300 words per minute, saving me time from college studies, and improved my ability to retain information, which meant I could study difficult subjects like constitutional law or jurisprudence much faster than my classmates, and could spend my time that I saved pursuing other interests, like building a startup, or freelancing and learning entirely new skills like developing a wordpress website, creating a blog that was read by thousands of people or learning public speaking.
I can give you many more examples.
Take Google search for example. I recently took a class for students of LawSikho on how to use advanced search operators in google to find better results very fast.
You probably use Google, but did you try to find out if there are more powerful ways of doing a google search? 99% people never will. Take a look here.
No skills are natural. What comes to us naturally is most probably ordinary and average and usually don’t give us competitive advantage. What counts are the skills you deliberately develop or your environment forces you to develop. My parents forced me to go and play as a kid. That made me strong and hungry for physical activity. It became a part of me as I practiced it as a child.
However, what about speed reading or writing articles or content marketing? These things I had to learn through deliberate practice.
You can develop any skills to the point where it feels like you are a natural or that you were born that way or that you are doing things effortlessly.
The truth is different.
Most probably it took a lot of effort on your part, or maybe it was your parents, siblings, teacher, coach or someone who took enormous amount of trouble to make something happen.
Do you want to succeed as a lawyer?
Here are 10 super important skills lawyers take for granted and don’t deliberately learn or put too little effort towards learning:
- Client counseling
- Hiring and training
- Practice development
Most importantly, there is the skill of learning, which if you develop, you can learn anything and any other skill.
How do lawyers treat these skills?
Most lawyers assume that some people are naturally good at networking and others are not. Those who are not good rarely make the effort to learn. Those who are good rarely make the effort to get even better. And that’s a tragedy.
If you ever take a course from LawSikho, I promise that you will experience a very different world. We here take no skill for granted.
We train you for all these skills. We push you to go beyond the obvious. I recently took a class on how to update your LinkedIn status. It may sound dumb to you right now, but for the participants, it was a very powerful experience. They went and started posting on LinkedIn and got great traction in their career.
It will amaze you. You will see that it’s not enough to know the law, not even practical knowledge of law, unless you learn many other skills like the ones mentioned above which can change your life.
Here are some courses you can enroll in this week itself and begin a transformative journey. These courses come with a money back guarantee. Read the refund policy.
- Diploma in Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment laws
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- Diploma in Advanced Contract Drafting, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
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Executive Certificate Course
- Certificate course in Advanced Criminal Litigation & Trial Advocacy
- Certificate course in Companies Act
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