Last updated on August 11, 2020
Tired of Adulting? You’re Doing it Wrong
For most adults, the carefree days are over.
You can’t imagine a time without bills, responsibility, and worry.
After all, people are the easiest to control when they are are broke, stressed and depressed.
They even made a word for this! Adulting.
Adulting means busy work, pretending to care, confinement and routines. You rush from one task to the next, forgetting to smell the roses.
Can you get back your sense of wonder? Does adulting have to be negative?
There are three easy steps to reclaim your childlike enthusiasm for life:
- Ditch Routine
- Think Big
Adulting can be Fun (Play)
Playtime ends abruptly for adults. Seemingly overnight, we stop playing in the street, creating imaginary worlds, and being silly. We complain about our current reality instead of making up new ones.
In the book Essentialism, Greg McKeown explains that adults should play more. Playing improves brain plasticity and when your brain becomes more plastic, you adapt to new situations and grow more quickly.
Life can be fun!
Playing also connects you with others. Many adults spend hours alone without interacting with other humans. A great way to strengthen relationships (any relationship) is to play a game.
What? You forgot how?
After graduating from law school, I lost the element of play in my life. Everything I did had to be productive in some way. If an activity didn’t directly help me accomplish a goal, I rejected it.
For example, one Christmas while still wearing my Life is Very Serious hat, I was gifted a ukulele. It was such a random gift that I wasn’t sure what to do with it. How was this going to help me achieve my life goals? It sat in my living room for months until one night when I was sitting on my couch waiting to go to bed (so I could go to work again), I picked it up and started playing. I couldn’t play it at all but the sound was nice and I laughed at myself for trying.
This is a vivid memory because I rarely sat by myself and laughed. It was a wake up call.
Once I started to play more in my life, and not just the ukulele, I noticed that my shoulders relaxed. I breathed a little deeper. I realized it’s okay to do something just for the sake of fun; life is too short to be taken seriously.
Now, I find myself laughing out of control when I find something funny. Why not?
Related Reading: Why is Weed Not Legal Federally?
Can Adults Ditch Their Routine?
Routines are great because they increase efficiency and help us feel secure. In fact, you probably know someone who feels anxious when day-to-day life is not precisely mapped out.
But what if some routines mask our fears?
To reclaim your inner child and sense of wonder, I recommend mixing up your day.
For example, if you always go to the same restaurant, try somewhere new! Still having Friday night beers with the same crew? Go out and meet new people! Why go to the gym (again) when you could try out a boxing class or join a softball team?
And take it from someone who knows.
For two years straight, I never did anything fun on weeknights. Since I had to work the next morning and be responsible, I always said no to friends and always went to sleep at a reasonable time.
Then, one crazy night, I went out for drinks on a Wednesday. I remember it like it was yesterday because I was so worried. But guess what? I had fun, went home, went to sleep, and woke up the next day and went to work.
I was so lame at age 28 that this wild Wednesday night changed my life; it was time to start saying yes.
If you’re anything like me, take baby steps. Maybe try eating with your non-dominant hand. Or brush your teeth while standing on one leg. It sounds dumb but small daily silly acts are the perfect reminders that life isn’t too serious.
Related Reading: What Happens at Burning Man?
What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?
Perhaps the saddest part of growing up is when people stop dreaming about their future.
Not everyone can be an astronaut or famous football quarterback, but it’s never too late to have dreams and go for it.
There’s no doubt that having the guts to follow your dreams is scary, but it will also be the most fulfilling thing you do. The objective in life for us all is to align with our souls and express its authentic desires; this is how humans spiritually heal.
For me, I’m not sure when I decided I was going to be a lawyer, but it was never something I was passionate about it. During law school, I was motivated to get good grades, but that was out of obligation, not a love for the law.
In other words, I’m a “play it safe” kind of guy. Or at least I used to be. The day I learned I had a degenerative eye disease was the day I decided I needed to change. I was sick of being responsible!
Security over Passion.
Consistency over Inspiration.
Certainty over Love.
Enough already! If you have dreams, you need to just go for them. The worst thing that could happen is you fail. And if you fail, just like when a baby learns to walk, you simply get up and try again.
As Henry Ford said, whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.
Related Reading: Are you Spiritually Healed?
We associate adulthood with responsibility, duty, and hard work. That said, it has wrongly become synonymous with mindless repetition, stress and boring routines.
Letting loose and having fun is a reminder of that silly, wanderlust child inside of you. When you mix up your routine, you stimulate your brain and remember that life is something to be designed. Every human was born with the objective to align with his or her soul, discover its authentic desires, and express them.
As Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of The Four Agreements said, “resurrection is to be like a child; to be wild and free, but with a difference. The difference is that we have freedom with wisdom instead of innocence.”
When you reclaim your childlike soul, you get the best of both worlds. You have the inspiration and magic of a child and the drive and discipline to execute as an adult.