When you were a child, you must have been among those who could not wait to be considered a grown-up. Remember how you mimicked the way your parents talked and acted, mastered some of their grown-up mannerisms, and found your playmates’ childish antics laughable? However, now that you have actually grown up, you must be missing those childish fantasies like having a fairy good mother who could grant whatever you wish for with just a wave of a wan.
With adulthood, you have to face some of life’s realities, which, the earlier you can accept, the sooner will you enjoy life as a ‘grown-up’:
- There is no magic wand.
Happiness does not come with the wave of a wand. You are much on your own now to seek your own destiny. You can and should be happy with other people but you must not let your happiness depend on them. Doing so will make you vulnerable to exploitations and disappointments. You must develop a strong self-reliance and confidence to run your own show, to march to the beat of your own drum. This does not mean you have to be a selfish loner or mistrust others. Having healthy relationships makes life more comfortable and safer – after all, you are intrinsically a social creature. What you should be aware of is that when it comes to your personal happiness, you are prepared to find it with or without anyone else.
- Perfection is often the exception to the rule
There is nothing wrong to be idealistic but you must realize that perfection in this life is often the exception rather than the rule. Accepting this fact will save you from lots of dissolutions and disappointments. ‘Aim for the best but expect the worse’ is a wise stand to take in most endeavours and situations. This is not exactly being negative but rather of being realistic and logical. So stop waiting for the ‘perfect’ time to do things; or the ‘perfect’ person to do it with. Chances are, that ‘perfect’ time or ‘perfect’ person will never come, making you forever miss that opportunity to attain your goals or to be ever successful and happy in this life.
- Failure is part of life.
Of course, you will fail occasionally. A 100% success has never been promised to anyone so do not expect that you will be the exception. Every endeavour carries with it some degree of risk — life is a series of opportunities and setbacks. Even the best hand you play will not guarantee a sure win. However, careful analysis and proper planning of the situation will minimize risks– this is known as calculated risk where the odds are more on your favour.
Do not let your fear of failure prevent you from doing what you feel you should do. Otherwise, your life would be forever frozen in time, without failure perhaps, but without progress or achievements either – just like a lifeless zombie.
- The past is dead
To allow the dead dominate your living present is sheer folly, a useless waste of time and energy. The only time your past can be useful to you is if you are able to learn from it. Otherwise, consider it just a mere dream that could not, and should not, interfere with your life today. Perhaps, you have done or failed to do things that you should have done but pulling your hair or banging your head against the wall now would not make you re-live them. Regret is a painful experience but just chalk it off as another lesson life has taught you. Shift your attention to the present, where you can take control of your life and move forward into a better future.
- The future is just a dream
Tomorrow is never here, it’s always a day away. As Omar Khayyam once said: “Your hand can seize today, but not tomorrow; and thoughts of your tomorrow are nothing but desire”. If tomorrow is just a wish and never guaranteed to anyone, why should you bet your today for something so uncertain?
Regarding time, Bill Keane describes it best when he said: “Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present”.
- You have always time
You always have enough time for what are essentials for your life. Unfortunately, you sometimes choose to squander it for frivolities which you find more important. You lack the proper sense of priority on what are and what are not essentials in your life. Remember that you do have time only for those things that are not important to you. So whenever you say that you have no time to read, you mean that reading is not important to you. If you have no time to work, you are actually saying that work is not important to you.
Know your priorities in life because you have always time for what you really want.
The level of your acceptance and your ability to embrace these realities of life is the true measure of how much you have grown as an adult.