school didn't teach us

6 Life-Changing Skills I didn’t Learn in School

In a perfect world, we go to school and come out ready to contribute to the world in a meaningful way. Imagine my surprise when I left school only to find out how little I knew about social skills, self-awareness, corporate politics and setting goals in life.

The school didn’t teach me many of the important life lessons I needed to succeed as a human being. Of course, it taught me important stuff like math, physics, history, English, Swedish but also to some level how to interact with others. School is an important part and you learn a lot from that time.

BUT there are some things I wish I learned more of back in the days

None of my teachers told me how important it is to invest in yourself. It would have been nice to know that going to university did not guarantee me success.

You are taught values through different channels in life that society deceives us – which is not true!

Outside of physics and the rule of law, all other rules are illusions that we’ve chosen to believe. Smash the ones that no longer serve you.

Vishen Lakhiani

I was especially shocked to find out how hard it was to get a good job after spending 14 years in school. Sure, there were a lot of jobs available. It was so disappointing when I realized that most of them were menial positions that I qualified for before going to university.

1. Self-promotion and Marketing Yourself

The school didn’t teach me about how important self-promotion is. It wasn’t until I started digging into articles and books about how to get a job and career or personal development that I realized I would have to spend a lot of my time networking and further training to open new doors for me.

It wasn’t enough to have a resume at hand. It takes dedication and consistent work and to learn new things. The more I read over the years, the more I realized how much school didn’t teach me. The things I actually wanted to know.

2. The Importance of Setting Goals in Life and to Invest in Yourself

It wasn’t like I had no goals in life. I did. But, they were vague goals. More or less what society told me, like getting a job that pays well and to buy a house. My life goals were a lot like my friend’s. I compared with others and went for what they wanted rather than looking for what I want.

It wasn’t until later that I realized I needed to set smaller activity goals designed to help me accomplish larger goals. According to articles, books I read about goal setting, you have to stop thinking small and start thinking big in order to reach what you really want. A big goal should make you a little scared and excite you at the same time!

The first time I read the words “invest in yourself,” I didn’t understand what they meant. I thought the author was referring to saving money for investment purposes. Finally, I got it. I needed to spend money on personal development. Invest in YOU means everything that makes you grow as a person. In every aspect of your life.

3. Different Types of Income

Another thing school didn’t teach me was about the different types of income. School prepared me to work in a typical career position for a company. In finance, we never discussed passive income (money can work for you) opportunities, real estate flipping profits and YouTube revenue and more. There are so many ways to earn and invest money today.

But it is never to late to learn new skills

Essentially, the university prepared me to work for a traditional company trading my time for money. Thanks to the digital landscape, I discovered later in life there are other ways to earn a living today.

4. How to Handle Failure

One of the most difficult things I had to learn was how to emotionally deal with disappointment and failure. When I had a bad day, lost money, made a mistake at work or disappointing news about a lost opportunity that I really wanted, it would floor me. I’d drop out of circulation for a while instead of shrugging it off and quickly moving on to my next time at-bat.

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Michael Jordan

Instead of a focus on the correct answer, we should focus more on the person’s ability to think. The person with most ideas wins! Failure is an important part of our life that gives you time to reflect, reassess the strategy and to start over.

  • Failure gives you ideas to succeed.
  • Failure test your grit (a book about the subject, Grit by Angela Duckworth
  • Failure gives you experience
  • Failure really makes us learn

5. How to handle money

When setting your goals in life, you have to have a clear investment strategy. How to handle your private finances is for most people not fun but an important part of our life. Considering the value of compounding and how quickly it can increase your personal wealth.

Schools tend to teach economics, finance etc but fail to teach us the importance of saving, investing, how to keep your own budget or the basics of managing your money.

With the right strategies, with the right mindset and investment for your money, you can improve your life.

6. How to find and pursue what you love

For several years I spent my time working for the highest bidder. I believed work was primarily about making money. The school didn’t teach me the value of self-awareness (find out what you want in life).

One of my major goals in life these days is to always do something I love. Are you doing what you love? If you want to learn more about this subject, I have written another post about this here.


When I finally learned to listen to the advice to invest in yourself and set goals in life that both excited me and scared me a little, my life immediately improved. I think school should prepare us to get a running start on a path to fulfillment both emotionally and financially.

This means to teach our children, teenagers early to follow what they are interested in and improve their strengths rather than their weaknesses and that failure is the key to success.

Drop a comment if you find this helpful.