Use caution. Question sellers. Rely on research.

Sound familiar? Great! FoolProof's mantra is a good one for you to keep in mind. Why? Because it represents skills you need to survive in the 21st century... J

What skills are needed? How do you apply them? And what would these look like in daily life? Here are some ideas on how you can FoolProof yourself for the 21st century.

No one knows exactly what the future will have in store. Things will change, that's for sure. Some things will presumably even morph into things we can't even imagine or think of right now. Some changes will happen faster than lighting, others will go in a slower pace.

Think of skills needed as technology and computers evolve, but also expect the unexpected. What skills do you need to possess when companies are only offering online and remote positions? How do you succeed or excel in that?! There may come a day when the careers we know as mailman or truck driver may not exist much longer, as their jobs may be taken over by drone or self-driving vehicles. And some of the skills required for those jobs may become obsolete!

That is why it is best to be prepared with knowledge and skills that will always come in handy. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are essential skills you will want to master, for example. Add skills like creativity, initiative, and communication, and you are on a roll!

How to FoolProof Yourself

But what are these skills exactly? How do you apply them? And what would these look like in daily life? Here are some ideas on how you can FoolProof yourself for the 21st century:

  1. Stay Well Informed

    When you have to make a decision, you want to be sure that you make it wisely. Keep up with the news, local and global, consult reliable sources, and stay open to reconsider your decisions. Do be sure to filter fake news from real news, of course.

  2. Keep a Diary

    Learning—and life in general—inevitably implies making mistakes. Remember what went right and learn from your mistakes the same time! One way to avoid making the same mistake twice is to write it down.

    It doesn't have to be a long complex story in an expensive fancy looking journal, and you could also use your computer, tablet or phone. There are a lot of (free) apps available that make journaling more fun and even simple. Do a little digging and research into these apps, following the FoolProof mantra!

  3. Focus on a Solution

    Assume you are facing a problem... Ask yourself: is it really that big of a problem? And right after that: how can I solve it?

    No matter the situation, make sure you always look at the bright side and focus on solutions. Look for alternatives. Refer to your journal to read about your previous experiences. Ask friends. Make use of your skills, experiences, reliable sources, knowledge and so forth. Make sure that your convictions of the problems you're facing are realistic, so you can come up with several solutions. Simply put, turn problems into solutions!

  4. Plan Ahead

    Okay, like we said, you can't predict the future. But you can plan what needs to be done, what you wish to achieve, or even what you want to buy.

    It doesn't matter how small or big your plans may be, achieving your goals becomes easier when you set clear goals. When "the bigger picture" is clear, you can set targets, break it up in smaller chunks, specify actions to these targets, and remind yourself of deadlines on a regular basis.

    If all this sounds too overwhelming, or if you think you're not the best planner, help is easily found in free apps or programs online. Again, when you do your digging and research, use the FoolProof mantra!

  5. Team Up

    Collaborate, work together, focus on mutual benefits. Treat others with trust and respect, and be honest and willing to collaborate. You'll be surprised what this may bring you, and how much more you can achieve when you team up.

    To do this, be sure to keep practicing your skills in communication, both orally and written. Good communication starts with being a good listener in the first place, and being articulate in the second.

  6. Stay Creative and Innovative

    Wouldn't it be cool if...? Is this the only way it can be done...? Is it true that...?
    Ask yourself questions, turn things around in your mind and think of the different outcome, and try something different every day. Since change is part of our world, innovation and creativity are more important than ever! What creative and innovative ideas can you come up with?

  7. Be Like a Chameleon

    Be adaptable. Make it your second nature to feel comfortable in every situation, work environment, social surrounding, and etcetera. One way to do this is to be open to new people, different thoughts, and experiences in general. The sooner you adapt to (your) new situations, the sooner you will feel comfortable and come up with more, different, or even better ideas.

  8. Go Abroad

    Hablé Español? Je parle un peu Francais. Say what?! It may sound like a cliché, but broadening your horizon is incredibly valuable. Be sure to surround yourself with people who live their lives completely different than you, immerse yourself in diverse environments, learn one or more foreign language, and learn about various cultures.

    This allows you to become more flexible, and it will make you more valuable in our global and multicultural environment.

So, How and Where Do You Start?

Take some time to digest this information, and read this whole article again in a few hours. You may suddenly see different things, or see things differently. And get a better idea of how to adapt to, or implement, these skills into your life.

Do this with focus, and your future self will really thank you.

Good luck out there! Oh, and please let me know if you have any questions or comments. It's part of the "questions and research" mantra thingy of FoolProof.

Cheers, Will