My 5 “ADULT” Lessons
Adulthood crept up on me moment by moment. It did not lie constant nor contented in my heart.
It flitted and leapt and made away for childishness and teenage angst even when my years had far exceeded those limits.
Lessons drifted in with the moments.
Each lesson came out of one or more experiences that made me mature. Or more precisely, each lesson came with pain. I did not learn them easily.
But they are not just personal lessons. I see this lessons in others’ lives too. Lessons that seem timeless. Time honored.
1. Passion may sustain you for a season but purpose lasts
I am naturally a passionate person. Causes, likes, dislikes, opinions — I have them all with a passion. Without passion, life is dull. Passion burns bright and fiery.
Yet, my passions have also dwindled and died. Passions have passed in a moment. Sometimes, they last a season.
I see it around me a lot. Young love that consumes passionately but does not survive. Interests that are all-encompassing then fade.
When so much energy is put into a passion, it cannot survive if there is no underlying foundation.
That foundation is Purpose. Purpose crept into my attention bit by bit as passions blew in and out.
I have made living with purpose a priority. Although blazing flames of passion are exciting, I need the steady burn of purpose in my life.
2. It’s not always about you
As a child, things seemed black and white. If something was not right, there was a distinct reason for it.
Many things seemed to be my fault. If I lost a few marks in my exams, I was careless with my answers. If I fell down, it was because I had run too fast. If I angered my mom, it was because I was rude.
The other side of feeling this way was that I could make things better. If I was not careless, I would not lose marks. If I run carefully, I would not fall. If I was not rude, I would not anger my mom.
As I matured, I learned that marks could be lost, that I could fall, and that my mom could get angry for reasons that had nothing to do with me.
There is a world of reasons for a world of happenings which have nothing to do with me.
3. Your life is your responsibility
This may seem to be the opposite of (2) but in actual fact, it is a necessary extension.
If I just learned lesson (2), I may be tempted to give away my sense of responsibility, my willpower and my freedom of choice.
I may choose to say “What’s the point anyway?”.
And that would stunt my evolution as a human being.
Because, even if it is not always about me, I can choose how to respond.
I can choose to act instead of reacting.
I am responsible for my own actions, thoughts, feelings, desires. I am responsible for my life.
4. You only have this moment
As a child, the days ahead of me seemed endless.
School seemed to last forever. And the first day of holidays gave a delicious hint of the long weeks ahead.
It didn’t seem to matter what I did day by day, it all seemed changeable.
It is a tempting trick to think that my life would automatically align itself. It would not.
Life is a tapestry made of a succession of todays, that are made of a succession of “present” moments.
NOW is all we have. This moment. To do something. To start something. To build something.
If you want to be financially free, learn how to make passive income. Start today. Choose this instead of whinging and whining about your boss or colleagues.
If you are lonely, smile, reach out and start building relationships by providing value to others. Choose this instead of moping around listening to sad songs on your smartphone.
If you want to be a writer, write 500 words today and build it up. Bit by bit. Choose this instead of putting it off or waiting for your muse to strike. Who knows, your muse may whisper to you on the 3rd month of your 500 word-per-day practice.
5. Consistency is key to success
My word has to count for something. My commitment needs to mean something.
For that, I need to be consistent. I need to step up and be present consistently. Not take responsibility for myself one day and blame others on another.
Build trust through action. Sustain trust through consistent action.
This does not mean I cannot change my mind. Or change my path. However, it does mean that I don’t act flaky.
In all aspects of life — physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual — consistency builds expertise and confidence. And success.
What are the ADULT lessons you learned? Comment below — let’s see if we have anything in common.