What are Basic Life Skills?

What are Basic Life Skills?

Being human is complicated! We have the longest adolescence of any species. There’s good reason for this; between our complex social systems and the amount of maintenance our bodies need outside of our desk-jobs, it’s no wonder so many of us millennials really never learned to take care of ourselves properly. Do we even know what the necessary basic life skills are anymore?

Although it can seem easier to outsource everything while we focus on one or two areas of knowledge, that’s not the best way. We miss out on basic pleasures and become trapped by the limits of others when we leave important aspects of our care and our lives to someone else. At the very least we should aim to have a basic working knowledge in a number of important areas. What are the basic life skills we all should learn?

Basic Life Skills

1. Cooking

Box of vegetables basic life skills

First on the list and the most fun! Certainly it’s delicious to learn. Imagine going to a restaurant and being able to tell exactly what’s in the dish you love so much and how you can repeat it at home. Home chefs have an amplified level of enjoyment in this way. Not to mention, this is certainly a basic life skill as we all have to eat three times each day. In fact, it’s far more common to get a series food-born illness from eating in a restaurant than at home. By catering to yourself and your own palette you can create dishes for those you love at a very low cost. Not only is cooking a survival skill, it’s also a limitless creative outlet that you can practice daily.

Bonus tip: Ever wonder why restaurant food tastes so good? It’s typically because they use more salt!

Start with the basics.

2. Cleaning

Basic Life Skills eco-friendly home cleaning hacks

Even if you are able to hire a maid you need a basic working knowledge of how to care for your home. It’s important to know to never mix bleach and ammonia, for example!! It’s also up to you to decide what products to use as these eventually effect your health and the environment in the long run. If you create a mess you should posses the basic skills to clean it up; doing your own laundry or washing the dishes are two basic life skills I hope everyone learns.

Start with the basics.

3. Basic Repairs

I admit to not having as much experience in this area, but since I have a working knowledge of electronics I have gotten out of some tight jams! I was able to strip a wire and fuse the two ends together with a lighter when my simple electronic hair device broke. Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say.

Even though I’m not great with this myself, because I have some basic knowledge I can better asses the advice that my super gives me when appliances etc. break down. This is a very important and basic life skill.

Start with the basics.

4. Taxes

Basic Life Skills taxes

Yes, you may have an accountant, but that accountant may be doing it wrong! Nobody cares about your finances as much as you do. It’s essential to be able to have an educated discussion about deductions so you’re able to maximize your returns. Pro tip: traditional IRA contributions are considered an “above the line” deduction and reduce your taxable income.

Start with the basics.

5. Writing

Being a decent writer has helped me immensely throughout my career. I believe it’s one of the most important life skills a person can posses, in any profession. Being able to express yourself articulately in written form is essential to being respected and understood. It even helps you socially.

Improve on the basics.

6. Fitness & Wellness

Fitness basic life skills brana Dane model

I was lucky enough to grow up participating in many different sports. These types of physical activities have their own language and culture. I’ve always taken for granted that I understand this language and I can easily pick up many different physical skills as an adult. Being physical builds your kinetic intelligence and helps your brain with balance and other skills. Certainly, practicing ways to reduce stress such as yoga or meditation is equally beneficial, if not more. This also requires a little bit of knowledge and it’s own skill set. The benefits of being active and reducing stress are immediate but also cumulative in the long term. Our bodies need to move and also be challenged in a healthy manner.

Start with the basics.

7. Health

I am absolutely shocked at the way most people go to the doctor and take their word for gospel. Do you know what they call the kid who graduated last in medical school? Doctor.

Moreover, like any science, medicine is in a continual state of flux. You may be getting outdated advice if you take your doctor at face value; many doctors still rely on the textbook information they learned in medical school, even though it’s their duty to stay up to date with the latest journals. Take responsibility for yourself and your health. No one will benefit or suffer from you taking the power except you, yourself. Get that second or third opinion and know enough about your own health to have an intelligent conversation on the subject. Do your own research and make the necessary lifestyle changes that you need to in order to improve your body.

This skill doesn’t seem basic but in modern society it’s completely necessary to have a basic working knowledge of the medical system and how medicine works. Emergencies do come up and it’s up to you to make life-or-death decisions for yourself and your loved ones.

Use this resource.

8. Personal Relationships

Holding hands basic Life Skills

I find that this basic life skill is the most neglected in terms of knowledge. It’s shocking that it’s probably one of the most basic and important life skills but also the most overlooked. We have to look at our interpersonal skills the same way we look at any other skill. It requires research, learning and daily practice. So often we operate beneath our own potential by default simply because we haven’t sought detailed information on how to improve ourselves. This is a travesty. Who doesn’t want more fulfilling and harmonious relationships? What type of difference would that make in your life? It’s very possible for you alone to shift the dynamics in your close relationships and friendships.

Improve your skills.

9. Negotiation

A basic life skill that can only be perfected through practice! Sure you can research basic tips like stop once you get “yes” or ask the other person their goals first, but really you have to learn the nuances through repeatedly experiencing different negotiations. This is absolutely one that you cannot outsource 100% of the time. Yes, it does help to have a middle man negotiate on your behalf but you had to negotiate with the middle man! It’s unavoidable; you best develop this skill as soon as possible.

Learn the basics.

10. Style & Presentation

Brana Dane style basic Life Skills

Yes, grooming yourself and dressing well is a basic life skill that can be learned! Involve your stylish friends and ask their opinion on what suits you. Learn the visual language of fashion by paying attention to the styles you like when you’re out and about. Don’t be scared to switch hairdressers or try something new. It can make a huge difference! That being said, don’t feel pressured to fit in with all the latest trends, especially if you don’t work in fashion or another creative field as it’s bound to come off as inauthentic. Know what your intentions are for how you look and go from there.


As you can see there’s much overlap between these 10 areas of basic life skills. Certainly mastering one area will help you to speed through the others. As with so much else in life, the hardest part is at the beginning. Let’s support each other in developing ourselves as a whole people. There’s so much more to discover!

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Comments: 2

  1. future100100 says:

    Awesome post on basic life skills! You really know what you are talking about! Such a brilliant young woman that is so wise so brilliant and so gorgeous! You are the whole package!!! Absolutely love your mind!!!!

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