Things I Wish People Could Do

Dr. Linda Hancock 08. The Eighth Year iStock Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

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Lately I have come across so many situations where I just expected people to be able to do things and found out that they have never learned this particular skill. Following are ten things that I wish everyone could do:

1. Handle money - It's sad to hear employers state that they cannot hire people because they don't know how to make change for the customers. This is a result of using debit and credit cards rather than paper money and coins. Unfortunately, another negative consequence of using plastic is that you never know when you are broke in the same way that you would by running out of cash.

2. Tell time - Many people have never learned how to use a clock with hands because the world is so digital. When my grandson was fourteen he was so excited not only because he made a clock in his Woodworking class but because the teacher taught him how to tell time!

3. Read - If you can read then you can learn to do anything. And you also never have to be alone because a book is a good friend. Unfortunately, a Canadian Press report of May 12, 2005 claimed that "More than 40 per cent of Canadians don't meet every day reading requirements"

4. Show respect - Using manners and speaking politely on an individual level is only part of this. The way that we talk about and act towards teachers, schools, governments and other authority figures is also important.

5. Simple Arithmetic - One day a client stated that he was surprised to watch me do long division because he couldn't remember when he had last seen someone do that. Others have been shocked at how I can add numbers in my head and come up with the right answer faster than someone who is using a calculator. These are skills that I learned in elementary school and have enjoyed ever since then.

6. Wait - So many complaints are heard from individuals who are impatient. They want things to happen instantly because they are used to having microwaves, sophisticated technology and easy access to transportation. When I am required to wait, I am thankful. Sitting in a waiting room with a good book is a welcomed break in the day. Delayed gratification facilitates eager anticipation and excitement.

7. Tell the truth - You don't have to be very intelligent when you tell the truth but you need to be a genius when you lie! When you tell one lie then you need to tell another to cover it up and then another to cover up the second one. This goes on until you forget what the first lie was and then you are busted!

8. Live in the moment - Yesterday is gone and we can't do anything about it so there isn't any need to focus on the past. Tomorrow isn't here yet and worrying about it won't make it better. When you focus on the present you have a much better chance of enjoying it!

9. Plan for the future - Decide what you would like to have or do or become and then lay out the steps necessary to achieve that. People usually don't plan to fail - they just fail to plan.

10. Make decisions - I am stunned when I see someone standing in front of the grocery store bread aisle sending a text or phoning someone to tell them what to buy. Making decisions without using technology to consult with someone is a freeing and time-saving skill.


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email

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