Some Tips for Adulthood

I usually find messages online with the question: why did we want to grow up?
At the beginning it used to upset me, mostly because my life as an adult is a lot better than my childhood. For this reason, the phrase didn't make sense to me.
The truth behind this phrase is something so obvious as well as hard to digest.
Growing up is hard.
In fact, I think some people never grow up, some take longer, some end up growing up faster.

In our early twenties the things look so confusing at times, most of the time we feel like we know everything and we are adults, but other times, it is like you are trying to figure everything out; and there are many things you cannot fully comprehend. We are more impulsive and careless. We have less things to worry about. No one wants to make a big mistake, but at certain degree we feel that we have the opportunity to screw up now. And we do it. Everyone knows it's better to screw up when you are 20 because in theory you have time to fix and learn, than screw up at 40 or 60 when you have other people depending on you and sometimes you just cannot afford a huge mistake, you cannot let them down.

Here, I present the 7 things that might help you to find your way through your twenties, and that are worth to do.

1. Be aware of your childhood scripts and change them if needed.
You are entering adulthood with a certain personality, certain scripts and a certain way to think and do things.
Most of these elements have deep roots into childhood, into your experiences through early and teenage years. Some of them are worth to keep, because they help you to define your values and your ethics.
However, some of them are worth to question.
Actually, you should question most of your scripts and consciously decide what to keep and what to change.
Parents do, in most cases, the best they can, with the knowledge they had, to raise ourselves; but the thing is, you don’t want to keep the bad scripts and repeat some of your parents mistakes.
You aspire to become the best version of yourself and that includes questioning your scripts.
Some might be important habits that they never taught you about; and you have to learn on your own.
Some might be really important issues.
For example, if you grew up in a family where no one expressed their feelings, you might have issues expressing your emotions. Issues that you need to start learning about, and you need to address now.
If you grew up in a family where yelling was the common behavior, you probably have issues with effective communication or anger issues that need to be solved.

2. Start getting good habits.
Your habits will define a lot of your success in life. They are almost automatic behaviors, and they will lead to the success or failure of many of your outcomes as well as the way you feel, how healthy you are, how accomplished you are.
Try to keep the good habits that you learned from your childhood and puberty and try to gain better habits that make it easier for you, to get to the point you want to get in life.
Habits like exercise regularly, have a healthy diet, reading, etc.
They will all play an important part in the outcome of the rest of your life.
As James Clear says "Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement"

3. Keep an eye in your finances.
This is the best time in your life to take good financial decisions.
Avoid bad debt (high interest debt/consumer debt/ credit cards).
Pay on time any debts you have. Pay in full your credit card each month.
Do not buy a new car, if you can buy a used one that is reliable.
Start putting money aside for your retirement, savings and a personal portfolio.
This is the perfect time to take advantage of compound interest. A small contribution now to your savings, retirement and personal portfolio will grow exponentially over time.
Keep track of your spending and set up a monthly budget.
Read and research how to handle better your finances, and gain a good understanding of this topic.

4. Emotional intelligence and understanding of basic life lessons.
The most important lesson that you need to learn in your twenties is how to cope with life when it sucks.
I have news for you. Life sucks sometimes.
Being able to cope with your emotions and gain resilience is a basic life skill that nobody can teach you.
Actually, they try. They really tried.
Probably your parents, friends, relatives, teachers, adults in general would tell you that when something bad happens; you need to be strong, you have to move on, learn from your mistakes and failures, and blah blah blah.
We know all of that in theory, in paper, in words, but it's easier said than done.
Have you ever wonder why people get addicted to so many things? People get addicted to drugs, to bad relationships, to food, alcohol, sex, video games.
Many times people get bad addictions because they just don't know how to cope with the bad situations that life throws to us sometimes. They feel sad and depressed and they turn to anything that make them feel better. We are so susceptible to do that.
You need to be able to cope with life, when it sucks.
To develop a strategy that works for you.
You also need to be able to understand and digest that not because you work so hard for something, you are entitled to get it. Life is not fair. You will lose things that you worked so hard to get. You will think it is not fair. And it probably isn't. But shit happens. Best thing you can do, it's cry if you need to; but then move on; keep the good work and move to the next stage. Do not enter the whining and pity party, the only thing you will get out of that is time waste and chances are you'll end up feeling worse.

5. Get a thicker skin and a tender heart.
Honestly, I don't remember where I read that. It is very accurate.
You need (in case you haven't developed yet) a thick skin and a tender heart.
Sometimes people are going to say things or make comments or act in a way you didn't like.
Sometimes, you might even find people saying nasty things just with the intention to offend you or get into your skin.
Do not let that happen. Move on and away from nasty comments. You will need to learn that there are some things that are not worth your attention.
I will leave here a paragraph from The subtle art of not giving a *uck by Mark Manson, that perfectly illustrates the point.

"You're going to die one day. I know that's kind of obvious, but I just wanted to remind you in case you'd forgotten. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited number of f---s to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a f--- about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice – well, then you're going to get f---ed"

6. Define your values and answers to very important questions in life.
What is success for you? What is your vision of a life that is worth living?
How do you want your life to be at 30, 40, 60, 80.. ?
It is ironic to me that sometimes we have time to spend on social media or to watch the last season of a random Netflix series; than answering the most important questions concerning our life.
Your twenties are a great time to develop your personal statement, to focus in the values that you want to center your life.
Your personal statement will change over time, for sure. But it is very useful to have a starting point and it helps to have a sense of direction.
You don't have to center your life in the same core values that your parents did, you might have a different perspective and approach to life, and that is worth to discover.

7. Be aware of the value of your time and the content you consume.
Life is all about stages. I remember when I was a teenager I was an avid reader. I liked fiction novels back then.
Once I tried to read a book about science and I got bored. It wasn't the right time for me.
Years later, after I graduated college, I took the same book and I read it. It was amazing. It helped me to understand that we change, our hobbies change and that is ok.
So, I am not going to say cut all the social media time or video games, but be critical about how you spend your time.
Whatever you learn today will compound over time and might get you huge benefits in the future.
Your twenties are the best time to learn new skills. Use your time wisely.



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