On Being a Grown Up

Hey there,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Yeah, I know. We’re six days into it, but this is the first time we’ve talked since the holiday and the new year is, in my opinion, something worth noting. It marks a starting point and has all the freshness of a new beginning.

It’s the point many of us approach with a sense of, “This year I’m going to [insert resolution here].” Regardless of what we aim for our resolutions boil down to, “This year I’m going to do something different.” Sometimes we do.

Often, we don’t.

Why is that?

Simply put. Change is hard. And intentions and enthusiasm will only carry you so far. Real change needs focus and dedication. It requires that you temper your enthusiasm and look to the long term. It requires that you grow up a little.

There’s a part of me that snickers as I write this. Grow up? As a teenager the mantle of adulthood frightened me. Part of me worried that I wasn’t up to the responisbilities and another part of me railed against the stiff and stuffy nature of my dad and many of the other adults around me. Why on earth would I want that?

Now, as a father of three girls quickly heading into adulthood themselves, I see why. Freedom.

I have the freedom to plot my own course, to explore the potential consequences of my actions and choose accordingly. Far from being the burden I feared as a youth I find it liberating and look forward, with enthusiasm, to my future adventures. It is only the childish mind that sees “growing up” as something to be avoided. It is also the childish mind that misses the opportunites of adulthood and focuses solely on the duties and responsibilites.

As an adult I make choices that maximize my future choices. I’ve mentioned before Chip Conrad’s maxim “The choices we made before affect the choices we have now and the choices we make now determine the choices we’ll have in the future.”

We live in a world full of “should.” I should be a certain way. I should have certain things. I should do other things. Mistakenly we think that this is adult thinking. When actually we’re better off thinking about what we “want.” Which, ironically we associate with the thoughts of a child. The difference, though, is that the adult understands that achieving wants are her own responsibility.

If you have resolutions this year, good for you. There is nothing ignoble about wanting to improve your situation. This year, however, do yourself a favor. Look at your resolutions as an adult. Are your goals reasonable? Are they reasonable for you? Especially given all of your other responisbilites and commitments. Do you have a plan? Is it realistic? Does it follow a logical sequence with small achievable goals that snowball into the grand goal of the resolution? Do you have a time frame? Not just for keeping yourself accountable, but one that sets you up for success. It’s not so far off it allows for procrastination or so short that it sets you up for failure.

If I can be of help, feel free to use me as a sounding board. We can go over your goals and your game plan to see if they’re in sync with one another.

If you’re goals are physical, especially if you’re looking to add more movement into your life, consider our upcoming workshop, Mental Meat Heads 8.

Uncle Chip will be back in town January 15 through the 18th. Your brothers and sisters who have attended his workshops in the past can attest that they are encredibly enlightening. You’ll learn much more than just how to improve the way you move. We’ll explore it like adults, looking at it from all angles and exploring it’s various implications. In the end though you’ll end up rediscovering, something else — there’s a child inside of you and he still loves to play. Let him out. In the end you’ll be a better grown up for it.

To our perfect imperfection,

Dave

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