Attitude in Life with 10 Core Skills

Gross National Happiness,Resilience,Transformational Leadership,Travellogue

June 2, 2021

3 Bhutanese school children lined up in front of an outside wall of their school listing ten core skills for life.
  • 3 Bhutanese school children lined up in front of an outside wall of their school listing ten core skills for life.
  • 10 Core Life Skills

An essential inspiration for my own intention and attitude in life are my memories of my past trips to Bhutan.

Since my first trip in autumn 2014, this country has cast a spell over me. It's not just the landscape, or the culture, or Buddhism, the people. It is all together, permeated with joie de vivre, down-to-earthness, mindfulness and wisdom.

In 2016 I took part in a workshop with a group of Australians at the Gross National Happiness Center in Bhutan. The topic was - change, transformation. More about the workshop from my blog from 2016: Slow Change Exerience.

We spent a few days in Bumthang, a region in the center of the country whose landscape is often compared to the cultural landscape in Switzerland.

There we visited, among other things, a primary school where the curriculum was based on the principles of the national common good concept and was sponsored by the Gross-National Happiness Center. The age of the pupils in a primary school in Bhutan is 6-14 years.

Boards were painted on the outer walls of the school buildings, on which, for example, the 4 pillars and 9 topics of the Gross National Happiness Constitution for the design of the common good and social life in Bhutan were depicted.

Another board caught my eye and the content impressed me with its simplicity and usability in all situations - without a raised index finger, also without exaggeration.

It was a list of 10 core life skills:

Self Awareness

Critical Thinking

Creative Thinking

Decision Making

Problem Solving


Effective Communication

Interpersonal Relationship

Coping with stress

Coping with emotions

And underneath was another saying, quoted from an Indian children's book: "Clean your brain, not the drain".

Through my family, in my academic career and at university, I have acquired values, knowledge and skills that have shaped me into who I am today, and for that I am grateful.

But in my youth, and certainly not at the age of the elementary school students at this school in the Himalayas, I came across such a simple, compact list of skills that sums up life in a few words. I have the feeling that in the last few years of my professional and private development in particular, I had to acquire a little laboriously again through leadership seminars, through my training as a transformation consultant or through painful and enriching personal experiences from life.

Core skills for a happy life are to be found in books on emotional intelligence, which I would have liked to have passed on to my own self at the age of the boys from this photo - for an authentic attitude in internal and external connectedness in all situations.

This article originally appeared as part of a blog series last Advent - and received a lot of attention on my LinkedIn profile. A topic that seems to affect many! So here again as an impulse, maybe for the morning reading for tomorrow's holiday, this time multiplied on Instagram and my new Facebook page ...