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5 meta-skills to supercharge every aspect of your life



5 meta-skills to supercharge every aspect of your life
Gone are the days when a 4-year degree was all you needed to get ahead in life. The modern world demands constant learning and high agility. How can we learn to navigate this increasingly competitive landscape? By cultivating our meta-skills.


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Essential Meta-skills

Meta-skills are talents that permeate every area of life and guide your ability to improve other skills. The five meta-skills that are particularly important to remain competitive in the modern world:

  • Feeling
  • Seeing
  • Dreaming
  • Making
  • Learning





Because the future of work lies in automation, social intelligence is going to be an indispensable skill.

Individuals with more empathy and other uniquely human gifts will be able to bring the most value. Interpersonal skills include intuition as this skill will enable you to save time and effort when developing solutions.




While computers can work on addressing particular problems, they are not that good at seeing the big picture.

This meta-skill expresses the human ability to strategize.




Innovation and creativity will always be in high demand, whereas linear work will be outsourced to machines.

While trying to innovate carries a risk of failure, without it, nothing is going to be improved. Settling for tried-and-true solutions also means settling for mediocrity.




This meta-skill relates to design thinking where you create answers, not find answers.

While this skill overlaps with dreaming, the difference lies in the prototyping and testing of generated solutions.




The days where a 4-year degree would set you up for life is passing. Constant learning is a fact of life. Learning how to learn enables you to improve every skill you have.

Learn the subjects that bring you joy. Regularly doing this will increase your hunger for learning about other topics that did not initially catch your interest.




New Skills For New Economies

Successfully combining mathematical and interpersonal skills will be the gateway to many rewarding opportunities.

Along with mathematical ability, soft skills, like empathy and coopera...

“Without urgent and targeted action today, to manage the near-term transition and build a workforce with future-proof skills, governments will have to cope with ever-growing unemployment and ine...

“Without urgent and targeted action today, to manage the near-term transition and build a workforce with future-proof skills, governments will have to cope with ever-growing unemployment and inequality, and businesses with a shrinking consumer base.”

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

The Future Work Market

Automation will do away with most existing jobs but it will also create new ones. Retraining in a massive scale will be necessary. 

In particular, manual laborers are at risk of unemployment in the absence of retraining, as the new jobs will be in more specialized areas. Governments and employers in every sector are being urged to retrain and re-skill workers to avoid a crisis.

Acknowledging our ignorance

The modern world does not encourage people to admit when they lack knowledge or skills.
However, when we don't acknowledge our ignorance, we limit our chances for personal improvement.

The Dangers of Certainty

Although we are naturally curious as children, school teaches us that there is a specific set of facts to memorize and that we should not question these facts. If we don't know something, we're taught to guess.

Once the curiosity has been driven out of us in school and we're moving into the workforce, we're even less likely to say we don't know.

We feign certainty

We're afraid to admit when we don't know something for sure and expect not to see uncertainty in others. It can be disastrous.

Consider the case in which a business spent hundreds of millions on an ineffective advertising campaign because they refused even to ask if it was working.

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Motivation to learn

We have an impressive ability to learn, but our motivation to do so tends to decrease with age:

  • As children, we are naturally curious and free to explore the world around us. ...

Knowledge and expertise

In this digital age, knowledge and expertise have been devalued.

What you know is now less relevant than what you can learn, and employers are less interested in hiring people with particular expertise than with the general ability to develop the right expertise in the future.

Access to information

When we can all retrieve the same information, the key differentiator is not access to data, but the ability to make use of it, the capacity to translate the available information into useful knowledge.