There is no definitive list of life skills.
Certain skills may be more or less relevant to you depending on your life circumstances, your culture, beliefs, age, geographic location, etc. However, in 1999, the World Health Organization identified six key areas of life skills:
Communication and interpersonal skills. This broadly describes the skills needed to get on and work with other people, and particularly to transfer and receive messages either in writing or verbally.
Decision-making and problem-solving. This describes the skills required to understand problems, find solutions to them, alone or with others, and then take action to address them.
Creative thinking and critical thinking. This describes the ability to think in different and unusual ways about problems, and find new solutions, or generate new ideas, coupled with the ability to assess information carefully and understand its relevance.
Self-awareness and empathy, which are two key parts of emotional intelligence. They describe understanding yourself and being able to feel for other people as if their experiences were happening to you.
Assertiveness and equanimity, or self-control. These describe the skills needed to stand up for yourself and other people, and remain calm even in the face of considerable provocation.
Resilience and ability to cope with problems, which describes the ability to recover from setbacks, and treat them as opportunities to learn, or simply experiences.
It is also true that different life skills will be more or less relevant at different times your life. For example:
When at school or university, you'll need study skills. These may include understanding how to organise yourself for study, do research, and even write up a dissertation or thesis. These are not skills that everyone will need, but writing skills are likely to be useful in a variety of careers and jobs.
When buying a house, you may need to employ negotiation skills, and you will certainly need plenty of patience and good temper. These skills are also likely to be high on your ‘essential life skills’ list if you have children!
You'll need to work on your employability skills to get a job, and will also need to think about how you apply for a job, and how you might cope in an interview;
When you have a job, you may need to develop leadership skills, especially if you need to lead teams or groups;
When you start a family, you'll need parenting skills. You may also find that time management and organising skills become much more important.
...perhaps the most important life skill is the ability and willingness to learn.
By learning new skills, we increase our understanding of the world around us and equip ourselves with the tools we need to live a more productive and fulfilling life, finding ways to cope with the challenges that life, inevitably, throws at us.
Most people associate learning with a formal education, but learning can, and should, be a lifelong process that enhances our understanding of the world and improves the quality of our life.