1. Rent. Food. Health and car insurance. Cell phone bills. College loans. Trips to the mechanic to fix something in your car you didn’t know existed. Yeah, these are all wait-they-can’t-be-serious more expensive than when life was on parent-support. Don’t worry the shock will wear off. But still, every time you write a rent check, an angel loses its wings.
2. Dating someone seriously makes life twice as complex. Getting engaged 3 times. Married x 5. Having a baby x 11. Baby, house, and a dog whose one goal in life is to crap on your living room carpet x 17. Second baby x 31. Third baby = At this point, math is no longer relevant to you.
3.What is your “why?” is the most important question you can answer as a real.live.adult. Most adults are obsessed with “what” and “how”. “What do you do for living?” “How do you pay the bills” etc.
But the real.live.adults who are thriving care much more about their “why”. As Simon Sinek explains in his TED Talk, “How great leaders inspire action“, great adults are driven by a cause. A purpose. A belief. A reason why.
You have a great idea you want to pursue? Awesome, so does everyone else. Why is this great idea vital to you and to this world? That’s the question real.live.adults ask every.single.day. Adulthood is filled with cement walls of “you can’t do this”. Your “why” is what dynamites impossible.
4. Growing up we sprint for defined periods of time. Cram for finals, so you can make it to three months of summer break. Adulthood, on the other hand, is doing dishes. Laundry. Bills. 8-5, M-F. The biggest shock of becoming a real.live.adult is realizing that Adulthood.Never.Stops.
Rocking your 20′s is sometimes nothing more glamorous than patient every-day-ness.
As an emerging adult twentysomething we want success on Day 3 when it’s actually penciled in for Day 3,767. Our dreams of doing big things is not necessarily the problem, our timeline is.
5. Frustration is an adults best friend, if we’ll let it. Yes, frustration is a complete jerk. It won’t sit there all polite and quiet-like. No, it will gnaw at our insides like an angry rat on a corncob. Until you freaking do something about it. That’s why we need it. Frustration forces change. So go ahead, be frustrated. Just make sure you do something productive about it.
6. Adulthood keeps on marching on and if you don’t take some breathers you’re bound to get elephant-trampeded.
- Breather idea #1: Take a Nothing Vacation. What’s a Nothing Vacation? Well, it’s a vacation where you do nothing. Absolutely. No sight-seeing. No family. No friends. Nothing. My wife and I just took one. No baby. No itinerary. Just sleep. Food. Books. Sleep. Drink. Pool. Food. Rinse. Repeat.
- Breather idea #2: Celebrate the small. Did you nail a presentation. Manage a project that was a hit. Have an article published. Design a website. Be intentional to celebrate these achievements. Don’t let adulthood be white-washed with monotony.
7. When an “official” real.live.adult tells you it’s time to put on your “grown-up pants” that’s just their snarky code-phrase for it’s time to wear uncomfortable dress pants like them that are daily threatening to no longer fit, so that you can do something you highly dislike while encased in a cubicle, thinking about that dream you once had that you were too scared to pursue, the only highlight of your day now being birthday cake in the break room.
There’s too many real.live.dead.adults, for you to join the ranks. So if at some point you want to accidentally drop your “grown-up pants” in a real.live.fire, you have my blessing.
A great idea may wreck you. At least if you’re willing to actually make that great idea into something great.
Because a great idea will push you out on a ledge at gunpoint. Where you’re left alone, scared to death, with one slight misstep putting you on the front page news. And not for the reasons you dreamed.
Just having a great idea is the easy, exhilarating part. Like going on those first few dates with your crush — all tingle and sizzle, without any of the responsibility or commitment that comes later. For a great idea to be great, it will take comfort, weekends, and sanity, throw it in the blender and press puree. So what’s the secret to making a great idea actually great?
A “Great” Example
My great idea? Write a book about the struggle of my generation searching for self, faith, and a freaking job! I knew it was a story I had to tell. I just didn’t know about the thousands of hours alone in coffee shops, seven pages of edits that my agent and target readers didn’t like, four re-writes, numerous nights of tears and beers alone on an apartment floor, and then the cherry on top, years of publishers telling me they loved the book, but couldn’t take a risk on an “unknown”.
As I first wrote in 21 Secrets for Your 20’s — I learned that great ideas alone mean nothing. Your ability to persevere through 16 major setbacks, a lack of passion, forgetting why you started this great idea in the first place, and all the people who allude that your great idea is actually quite terrible — well, that’s what makes a great idea great.
The power of a great idea is not in the outcome, but in how it will change you in the process. To carry your idea above all the muck and mire will make you ready. It will produce courage, confidence, and a crap-load of “I could care less what they say.”
So yes, you must pursue your great idea. If you don’t someone else will. Open up that WordPress blog, or write that first page of your novel, or start your business plan. Do it. Just be ready when your idea takes you to the edge. And what a glorious moment that will be. Because wouldn’t you rather be hanging on the ledge than stuck in the traffic jam below? Wouldn’t you rather see the view for yourself than just study paintings of other people’s?
I often describe writing, editing, publishing my book as one of the best, and worst, things to ever happen to me. And no matter how many people have told me that my great idea is not great, thank God I know better.
I learned the secret. That a great idea is great, sure. But only if you’re willing to see it through the thousand hours of difficult first.
Have you been stopped from pursuing your great idea? How can you start your great idea right now?
A minute into Krispy Kreme’s music video below, Haters Wanna Be Me, and I knew I was watching greatness. A fluffy-sweet-gangsta who damns the cost, his punching bag, and the anaconda who tries to swallow him, all to lay hold of what we all wish to obtain. And if Krispy Kreme is doing it, what are we afraid of?
Here’s three glazed truths Krispy Kreme teaches us about how to take a big bite out of our dreams.
1. We Need Friends Who Will Support Us
You think Krispy Kreme makes this video without his friend Money Maker Mike taking his shadow punches like Rocky vs Ivan Drago? Doubtful.
As Krispy Kreme shows us over and over, when life’s holding us down we just need to sit cross-legged on the basement floor and surround ourselves with our trophies. Remember the successfrom whence you came. Thatquarter-life crisislooks a little less dire in the reflection of your 6th grade swimming trophy.
3. Lather Haters in Invisible Cream
“Talk crap and I’ll give you a scar. Talk crap I’ll throw eggs at your car”.
We all need to sip a little of Krispy Kreme’s patented Hater-B-Gone.
People make fun of you when you front flip? Who cares?
Mom and dad get a little nervous when you’re busting rhymes while perched in a tree like a monkey. Perfect. Us dreamers eat comfortablefor breakfast.
As Krispy Kreme shows us with every flying kick to his punching bag, the possibility for embarrassment and greatness usually exist in the same space.
Let all the cowards watch from the sidelines as we roundhouse our way to victory.
Krispy Kreme you are supreme in teaching us all what it means to truly chase our dreams.
“As the darkness began to descend on me in my early twenties, I thought I had developed a unique and terminal case of failure. I did not realize that I had merely embarked on a journey toward joining the human race.” Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak
Parker Palmer left college assured he was to do God’s work, so he enrolled in a theological seminary. And after a year bathing in Bible, bad grades and a bruised ego, he left.
“Most of us arrive at a sense of self and vocation only after a long journey through alien lands” Parker Palmer
After struggling through his 20′s filled with ought’s, should’s — searching for status and praise, Palmer found himself entering his 30′s and a small Quaker community. A place that promised a personal reset.
“I was in my early thirties when I began , literally, to wake up to questions of about my vocation” Parker Palmer
You are Right Where you Need to Be
Our 20′s aren’t about sheer success. Our 20′s about perseverance and preparation.
Sure there will be the Mark Zuckerburg’s of the world who wipe their rear-ends with billion dollar bills.
But the heroes in the history books who kicked status quo in the ass, often failed the biggest in their 20′s.
But I do think a majority of us Millennials have a weakness. And we must it address it now. I mean NOW! Whyhaven’twefixedityet?!
Which leads me to…
The Millennial Generation’s Greatest Weakness
Patience isn’t sexy.
Patience isn’t something our culture exactly celebrates. Gen Y included.
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Millennials are not exactly experts at waiting. Who can blame us? Millennials day-to-day reality is built around the concept that waiting is no longer relevant.
We are the proud members of the Nextflix, iPad, iTunes, Facebook, streaming, instant-everything, give-it-to-me-NOW generation. I thought success in my 20′s would be the same way – instant, downloadable, and fully customizable at the touch of a screen.
The time, effort, and art of making a mixed tape is over.
And I myself, don’t exactly excel at patience. I’m the five year old whose crying on the floor because I didn’t get my cookie. After college, I thought I’d just pull up to the Destiny Drive-Thru and place my order, “Yes, I’d like a medium fry, burger with no onions, chocolate shake, and the exact purpose and plans for the next sixty years of my life. Thanks.”
“What? Did you say that would take ten minutes? What kind of operation you guys running here?”
I felt entitled to so much and expected so little time and struggle to get there.
After years of frustration and feeling like somehow culture, my teachers, and God had let me down, I understand now that God in his infinite grace did not allow the big to happen when I demanded it. If I would’ve received the glamorous, big life I dreamed of — it would’ve been like putting a semi-truck on my shoulders. I would’ve been crushed. My legs weren’t ready.
If I’d have received all the cookies I demanded, I’d weigh 350 pounds.
Because the time, effort, struggle, frustration — these are not punishments or failures.
No, struggle is a key part of the preparation. Just like an Olympic athlete puts in years of training to be ready when their time comes.
Without the hard work there will be no accomplishment.
We can’t be strengthened if there is no resistance.