How to be an Adult
I turn 25 today and I’ve been thinking about this birthday a lot. I’m very much like Ron Swanson wherein I believe birthday’s were invented for economic purposes. I truly think birthdays are another blip on the radar of your life that are worth maybe a cake, some introspection or a trip to a cool BBQ joint that happens to be in a gas station to stuff your fat face. I f$%king HATE it when people make a big deal of their birthdays and go to a bar wearing a crown and get custom t-shirts made and tell everyone how great their birthday MONTH will be. I’m just NOT into it. At all.
Which is why I’m kind of pissed at myself that I actually care about this birthday. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be 25 and what I’ve done with myself. I’m not just some snot nosed “young adult” I’m a full on ADULT now. There is noooo turning back, kimosobe. I’ve been dwelling on it far too much.
So instead of keeping these precious little thoughts about adulthood in between my ears, I’m going to share them with the interpipes. But before I empart all my adult wisdom on you fine people I have one final request..don’t wish me “Happy Birthday.” Instead, tell me what you want to see me accomplish in my 25th year OR tell me what you wish you knew when you were 25. Either one or the other. No take backs. OK enough of this, let’s learn how to be adults…
1.) Adulthood doesn’t ever officially start or begin so be prepared.
Asland the Lion doesn’t come from the sky and onboard you into adulthood. It just sort of happens so be ready to go whether you are in college or in high school or whatever. When it’s time to grow up, do it. And don’t look back. (Also, no Asland visits until you’re on acid at Eeyores Birthday.)
2.) Live where you will be happy.
Your buddy “Jet” won’t walk into adulthood until he moves out of his parent’s basement in 2023 because he is happy there. I moved to Austin in March because I was unhappy and unfulfilled in my professional and personal life. That will be the single best thing that I ever did. You should think about where you live and if it’s the right place for you or if you are just comfortable. It should be where you’ll be happiest.
3.) Manage your time.
Every single step of your childhood / teens / young adulthood is calculated by time and benchmarked on the folks who came before. Adulthood kind of just happens with no rigid structure. There isn’t a time that you should finally quit your job and turn all those knitting projects into a scalable business selling Sntheeds. Your time frame now is to just do things. And that’s it.
4.) Manage your time WELL.
Read number 3 another 30 times and make sure you are using your time as best as you possibly can. Time just sort of disappears as you get older. Is reading a time management section on a manly blog a good use of your time? Of course it is! Maybe only read each of our blogs ONCE a day instead of ten times a day like normal to make better use of your time.
5.) You don’t HAVE to do anything.
Think about that for a bit and how truly free we are. You don’t HAVE to start working. You don’t HAVE to go to college if you don’t want to. You don’t HAVE to ever deal with homeroom. You don’t HAVE to exercise or go to band practice or meetings. Ever. Again.
However, if you want to eat or see any slight benefits of success then you need to bust your ass at some kind of a job to provide for yourself and others. So the next time you think about how you HAVE to do whatever thing it is you’re dreading, remember that you don’t HAVE to do anything unless, of course, you want to eat. It took many hours staring at a cubicle wall at my first job to figure this out.
6.) Bust your f%$king ass.
So your options are to live under a bridge completely free of responsibility, or go to work and provide for yourself. If you choose the latter, you WILL do things you don’t want to do but you WILL see the fruits of your labor immediately in the form of a paycheck. If you show up to work on time and don’t completely f$%k up, you’ll find that your paychecks show up on time and you can eat and live comfortably. If you want to succeed just being alive well then you need to bust ass. You need to take on extra projects, skip the extra beers before lunch and actually put in hard work to see amazing rewards. If you aren’t asking yourself if you’re pushing too hard and then you aren’t working hard enough.
7.) Channel your pleasure spending.
If you are spending a f%$k ton of your money on all sorts of lavish stuff, you are f$%ked. Sorry I had to be the one to tell you. Don’t buy super expensive stuff you don’t care about but blow your proverbial load on the stuff you LOVE.
Example: Don’t spring for the Golden Plated Giraffe Sculpture / Lamp if all you need is a reading lamp. Buy a simple CHEAP reading lamp THEN buy front row seats to a show if concerts energize you and give you the fuel you need to perform at a high level.
Dumber Example: By stuff on the cheap for things you don’t really care about and blow a bunch of money on stuff you can’t live without.
8.) Do something that you LOVE.
That shouldn’t really be anything I put on the internet that you read that shocks you.
9.) 99% of the best people in the world didn’t go to your high school or college.
This one is tough to swallow and it’s taken me until recently to register this and give complete strangers a chance. The best people in the world are amazingly talented, creative, funny and wise. And you haven’t met any of them. Change that.
10.) Don’t drink all the time.
Cut back on drinking a case of Beast Ice every night and maybe drink ONE beer a day. Or don’t. Drinking a case of Beast Ice a day is more manly than having Brutus the Bear as your best friend. Then again, if you’re taking “don’t drink” advice from The Bro Journey then I’m sorry to tell but you but you’re knee deep up shit creek, friend.
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11.) Have some kind of faith (or lack thereof)
If you are an adult and don’t know your stance on the divine / the universe then I suggest you go and figure that out. Like right now. Put down this manly blog that brings you many pleasures and figure it out. One of the best things I’ve done in the past few years is actually taking a stance on some of those things.
If Emperor Palpatine rolls into your local watering hole and shoots lightning bolts at your face, how will you, “Give in to your ANGAAARRRR!!!” and back up your stance to the Jedi religion?
Note: Seriously, figure out what you believe in. It will be the guiding light in your life. I’m NOT telling you to go to church. I’m NOT telling you to go join the Richard Dawkin’s book club. I’m telling you to figure that out on your own because it’s important. Don’t just do what you were taught as a kid. Figure it out, and give every ounce of your being to follow what you have decided. Then don’t talk to anyone about it, unless they ask.
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12.) Don’t watch network TV (or any TV for that matter).
If you are watching more than one network TV show and it’s NOT Parks and Rec and it’s not for ironic purposes then we’re gonna have some issues. TV is dumb and you don’t get better watching 30 minutes of garbage. Do something else. That’s all.
13.) Start a side project.
The Bro Journey is a real thing that we created to raise money for Movember 13 months ago. It still exists and has actually been a huge benchmark for learning and growing our careers. The Bro Journey still exists and you can’t come up with something? THE BRO JOURNEY!!??!! You can 100% start something this afternoon that will be a cool side project that will benefit you in SOME way.
14.) Learn something.
Try Cerego and re-learn the presidents. If that doesn’t work, go to my “How To” bookmark folder and find something interesting to do that relates to web development.
15.) “What are you reading these days?”
Is the cure to any awkward situation you find yourself in.
16.) Be polite.
I treat people 78% better if they say “please” and “thank you” and are sincere about it. (And for the babes you score online. It really shows your maturity.)
17.) Be efficient.
I’m so bad at this one but it’s so important. Don’t spend 20 hours a week answering emails that are meaningless to your job / life / whatever. On the flip side, don’t spend 15 minutes loading a bunch of shitty tweets into your Buffer and expect Twitter followers to just show up. Spend time on things that are going to impact your life. I little hack I’ve heard people use in the past is this great little quote…”Decide how you spend your time by trying to find the line between urgent and important.”
18.) Use social media.
But don’t be a social media asshat. The only people who care about your religious or political posts are folks who share your opinion. Unless you are starting a conversation and inciting a discussion keep your “NOBAMA” hating to yourself and your poker buddies. Use social media as an organizational tool or a communication device. It’s not going anywhere, you might as well be proficient in your old age.
You are in complete control of everything you put into that sweat little unicorn kiss of a brain you have. It’s time you TAKE control of it and actually imbibe worthwhile content that adds value, humor or some kind of worthy entertainment to your life. If you actually read People magazine or tabloids I will immediately think less of you. Sorry. Read something that is beneficial. Not gossip or temporary jargon about some teen pop star. I feel like the Reading Rainbow guy right now. This is awesome.
20.) Work to keep your friendships in tact.
This one is tough. Call your friends regularly. It’s going to get awkward at times and un-fun if you get married and everyone else is partying it up but keep calling the people you care about. It will pay off.
21.) Be organized.
When someone looks at your home screen, it shouldn’t be a collage of push notifications that are just blatantly left unattended. Be organized with your preferred method of communication, budgeting (I SUCK at this one), your family connections, your roommates, your boss. Be organized with your life. Know what is expected of you and what tools are needed to complete the task. If you suck with to do’s go to Nevmed’s Blog and watch his To-Do list hack on getting yourself productive as a starting point.
22.) Start something.
I keep repeating this. If this is the first time you’re hearing this, please put The Bro Journey away, temporarily, and go read The $100 Startup or The Lean Startup and get SOME kind of an idea and make it work. If it sucks, kill it, then start something new. If you learn and need to make changes then make changes and grow your idea. It doesn’t even have to be a business. It can be a club or a blog or whatever you are passionate about. Just start SOMETHING new.
23.) Take pictures.
I happen to be a mastermind of Instagram (regardless of the TOS nonsense) and I have some amazing pictures of my time in Austin and I’m really glad I have those memories stored away online. I think if you take just ONE picture a week and tag it with something every time and go back this time next year you’ll have an awesome stream of the year that was. So go DO IT. Or don’t. I’m not keeping score here.
24.) Make things interesting.
Let’s be honest, adulthood is mostly boring. You spend A LOT of time doing mundane things. Do one thing today that you’ll look back on tomorrow and think, “Wow! That was interesting.” For instance, try folding all of your laundry and stacking your socks on your cat and see how long it takes for Mr. Pickles to lose his shit and shoot lasers into your face. If all you do is complain about the price of La Croix then you will slowly rot away and life will suck ass. Let’s call it how it is: Do something every single day that scares you. Or just mess with your cat, I think that’s an even trade.
25 / 26.) Run experiments / Have fun on your reader’s behalf.
If you’ve made it this far then I hate to break it to you but I didn’t just ramble for the past 15 minutes for YOUR sake. I just made my WILL DO list for my 25th year. This somewhat random list isn’t for you at all. You just read the 26 things I plan on doing before I turn 26 without even knowing it!
/insert evil grin here/
I’ve had this post in my head for two years (this precedes The Bro Journey (and the 121 other shitty blogs I wanted to start)) but I really appreciate you guys sticking with me this long. If you make it this far let me know what you think about my list and what YOUR list for the upcoming year looks like. This is going to be a great year. Thanks for all the support and friendship to everyone who’s read our stuff. Until next time…