First things first!
If you are a super sorted person who manages everything starting from your finances to your deadlines to your dog’s vet appointment like eating a spoon of halwa then this post is not for you! I salute you. Bye 🙂
But since you are here, I am guessing you do not belong to the first category. You have reached a certain age where you are socially expected to act and talk like an adult but the maximum age of a person with whom you can resonate with is, say, seventeen! Welcome to the club 🙂 You are not alone. And definitely not abnormal (I know you have your doubts).
Normal people see office chairs on their first day at work and get excited to start working and creating amazing stuff. On the other hand all you can think about is when will everyone be getting busy with their work so that you can go for a full-spin on it un-noticed!
I know the moment I start using terms like investment declarations or fixed deposit interest rates you are gonna drift away into your own neverland full of unicorns or space-crafts!
I know you. I am you.
That is why I am going to summarize “growing up” in 7 steps so that life can be a bit easier for you. Read on..
Step 1: Take Responsibilities
I know, I know, what a cliché! Right? But clichés are clichés for a reason.
At one point of time in life or another we have to start taking responsibilities. For ourselves, and sometimes, even for others. What a dreamland it would be if we could just float around doing what we wanted for the rest of our lives! But that is rarely possible. We are not that blessed!
So, break it down for yourself in simple, easy, doable steps!
You need to have your feet on the ground today, so that you can have wings to fly tomorrow 🙂 If you do not take responsibility for yourself you will never be taken seriously.
For example: You took on a lot of tasks for your next few weeks but then you felt bored and procrastinated and ended up doing nothing and came up with some lame excuse when you faced the deadline.
Two things happen:
1. You lose credibility. People think you are lazy and you will not likely be given as much responsibility in near future.
2. Even worse. You lose interest and go into your own spiral of non-productivity and wasting time.
Rather, try to estimate how much you can do. Take less. But finish what you took. No matter what.
Keep some breathing space for yourself.
If you can do it in 4 days, estimate 5.
Give yourself that one day for your own shenanigans! 🙂 (whatever they may be)
Always be held responsible for your own words and actions, whatever they are. If you say something, stick to it. You made a mistake, say sorry. Don’t repeat it. You hurt someone, own up to it. You will earn respect for honesty above all.
We all make mistakes, but running away from them or trying to dodge them only makes our lives that much more difficult.
Step 2: Ask yourself “how”
I am gonna be an astronaut! Really? How?
Next time you think “this job is crushing my creative soul” and dream of being a musician or an youtuber, instead of dreaming, create a plan. You day dream about it because you do not believe in yourself, you think it’s outside the realm of your achievement.
There are successful musicians. Unless they were Kurt Cobain they also had a plan. They pursued it. They put all their time and effort into it. Nothing comes easy! 🙂
When you daydream about your alternative career next time, ask yourself how are you going to do it. Design a plan, work on it, and perfect it. Force yourself not to just fantasize and do nothing about it.
Do not use it as an escape for your mundane life. Even if you don’t succeed, you will know you gave it your best shot! And trust me that feels good.
So, next time, instead of just browsing through the campus pictures of that M.S course you would like to pursue at NYU, go through the syllabus, device a plan for how are you going to study, clear the exam, support yourself and if need be, your family while you’re doing it.
Meanwhile, take out a few hours to finish the work you actually get paid for! Necessities are of utmost importance. Without them, we will never attain luxury!
Step 3: Save some money
“I want to be independent!“
We have been screaming this line since the age we learnt that term! But do you know what is the first step of independence? Financial independence.
You can not be depending on someone for your bread and butter or your designer handbag or your fancy degree and hope to be independent. Whatever you need to survive, you must be able to afford.
Whenever someone pays for you, they have a say over you! Sad truth, but It’s just how things work in this world 🙂
If we want to do whatever we want to do in life, we must be able to support ourselves at any cost. Now, you might say, your paycheck is fat enough to cover for your weekly visit to the poshest bar or the super-expensive salon or your new BMW motorbike! But, heaven forbid, what if that paycheck stops out of the blue? Bad things happen, you know? Who would have thought the entire population of the world will be forced to remain at home by a virus-attack!
If we live paycheck to paycheck and save nothing we are basically digging our graves.
If you are struggling a lot here, follow the 50-30-20 rule!
50% of your paycheck goes to pay your bills, you know, gas, electricity, groceries, muggle stuff! 😀
30% is kept for you entertainment, that Goa trip, shopping, meeting friends for drinks, whatever.
20%, Just 20% of your paycheck should stay in your account and never see the light of day, or night!
You will be surprised at how much difference can that 20% make. It will give you a strange level of confidence and pride in yourself. Never, and I repeat never, touch that 20% again!
Step 4: Stop expecting
“But how could you do it!“
We have all found ourselves screaming this to someone at one point of time in our lives. We put a lot of expectations on others from time to time. It’s not our fault. We get close to people, we get used to someone being there for us, and we expect them to always be there.
Just because someone hurt your expectations does not mean they are the worst form of human race on planet! People are not fundamentally evil. They don’t purposely hurt others and find pleasure in it.
But human beings fundamentally put themselves before anyone else.
That is a truth we need to accept. Unless we are Mother Teresa, we act in our own interest, but not necessarily to hurt others. Others get hurt in the process sometimes. Some people might be sensitive and understanding and put your needs before themselves, if they are fond of you.
But you cannot expect them to always behave like that.
Sometimes, we end up ruining some meaningful friendships or relationships because of our unrealistic expectations from people! Maybe they forgot to include us in a plan, maybe they said or did something that ended up hurting us, maybe they forgot our birthday once or didn’t pick up our call! We need to ask ourselves, is it really so difficult to forgive and let go of ? And then act like an adult! 😉
We must remember, the other people we are expecting the universe from are as much human as we are. Stop expecting too much. And stop blaming them when your expectations are not met. We cannot remain the pampered little child all our lives 🙁
Step 5: Learn the basic life skills
Yes! I’ll do the cooking! Yes! I’ll do the cleaning!!
You can listen to the David Guetta song while doing these things, but you need to actually learn how to do them, irrespective of your gender 😀
Cooking, cleaning, knowing how to fix a clogged kitchen pipe are the tasks that some of us dread the most in life! But we need to eventually learn these things, for our own good, because:
1. We cannot survive on instant noodles and wear new clothes/dirty-clothes-sprayed-with-insane-amount-of-deodorant for the rest of our lives.
2. We cannot be ordering food everyday, even if we can afford it since it will definitely give us health problems and we may not get it everywhere we go!
So, it’s better to put on some music, subscribe to that YouTube cooking channel, and get moving 🙂
Step 6: Get out of your head
How many times have you re-imagined a conversation in your head where you say the smart, sassy last words and then walk away and the other person kept fumbling for a come back? But we both know how that went in real life don’t we? 🙂
They said something you could not reply to, you stood and listened and took it all, came back home, and replayed it in your head, but with you having the mic drop moment! 😀 The said person could be your boss, your landlord, your partner or parent maybe!
Next time you lose an argument, let it rest there. Don’t replay it in your head looking for a different outcome. Even if you happen to have the same conversation again with that same person you don’t know how they will respond this time. So it’s not worth wasting your time thinking about it.
How many times have you stopped yourself from approaching someone, doing something because you had imagined a negative outcome of that encounter in your head already?
Here’s the truth: whenever the outcome of something we do is dependent upon someone other than ourselves, it’s impossible to predict how it will go!
Statistically, a certain number of humans behave in a certain way, but it’s not applicable to all. That is the beauty of infinity. You can tend to it, but never reach it. One little exception, one little fallacy and it doesn’t apply to all. And we never know, the one thing we are afraid to approach in our head might just be that one little exception!
Step 7: Get a life
Seriously! This one is the most important!
We need to build a life for ourselves, involving our passion, our likes, our dislikes and just us! If you find yourself devastated and angry every time your friends cancel the Friday evening plan or refuse to hang out, you need to ask yourself why.
How much exactly are you depending upon your friends for passing your own invaluable time of your life? Is there nothing that you can do on your own? Do you really hate your own company so much? Then you need to stop and reconsider.
We all get socially involved more and more with others and start depending on our social circle for our day to day plans. There’s nothing wrong with it. But we must be able to imagine our lives separately from our friends we so dearly depend upon!
After a certain point of time, we need to develop our own identity, make our own mistakes, and learn our own lessons, basically get to know ourselves better. Otherwise life forces us to do it anyway..
We all have to eventually grow out of that phase of life when we used call our best friend before school and fake a stomach ache if they were sick that day 🙂
So there, no guarantee that you will be able to ace adulthood once you master these 7 steps!
But tiptoe into it, and someday, before you know it, you will be swimming like a pro! 🙂