Here I make my own list of 21st-century skills, primarily based on the fact that we live in such a fast-paced society.
- Focus: Given the huge amount of information we have in this generation, it is an important skill to know what is important and what is not. More information does not mean you are smarter. 95% of information is usually junk. Only 5% is phenomenal. Thus the key skill is to able to judge quickly what matters and what does not and able to focus on what matters most.
The resulting stack of "focus" is "quality input" to our brain.
- Critical thinking, problem-solving, being interdisciplinary: OK, perhaps you have a lot of knowledge and data in your hand, likely from the abundant source of information from the internet and books. Next is that you should be able to interpret the core problem, and apply that knowledge to the problems you face. You should be able to synthesize the information you have in your head and come up with a reasonable solution, with new ideas, with new approaches. If not, knowing is almost useless.
The resulting stack of "critical thinking" is "quality output" to the tasks at hand.
- Self-Discipline: In our technology age, there are so many opportunities but also many distractions. If a lot of your time is distracted too many "good" things, then you are likely not going to succeed in what you want to do. You should be able to focus, self-discipline yourself, and self-motivated yourself to do what matters most, and throw away what does not.
The resulting stack of "self-discipline" is "consistent quality input and output".
- Communication: To be able to communicate clearly is a must for this century, given that our human attention span is getting lower. If you cannot communicate clearly, even though you have some nice idea, no one cares because there are much more things to care about. You should be able to communicate the key things and engage your audience.
The resulting stack of "communication" is "clear, consistent quality input and output".
- Positive attitude: This is perhaps most relevant and arguably most important in this age. In this distracted, often-easily-depressed world, it is easy to put blame on others or the environment when things did not go our ways. Having a positive attitude is crucial to make sure you are always filled with the positive energy required to push forward to your goal.
The resulting stack of "positive attitude" is "sustainable, clear, consistent quality input and output".