Child or Adult?

Are you an adult or a child? This topic has been discussed much in the media with regards to the current state of millennials. According to Goldman Sachs research, over 30% of millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) live with their parents. The average age of marriage for the generation is 30, compared with age 23 in 1970. Fewer millennials have licenses and cars compared to previous generations. These are all major economic changes that will affect the economy in a major way. And while the law states that a certain age makes someone an adult, in reality, I believe that most people, not just millennials, lack the maturity to be considered such. Here are 20 ways to know that you’ve graduated from childhood into adulthood.

  1. You take responsibility for everything that happens in your life. It’s the highest level of maturity.
  2. You focus on the present and future much more than the past.
  3. You have stopped blaming your parents and upbringing for where you are in life now.
  4. You no longer blame others for the emotions you allow yourself to feel.
  5. You understand that you own your own body and must take responsibility for it and what it produces.
  6. You realize that your primary responsibility is to take care of yourself. That responsibility does not belong to another individual.
  7. You understand that people have different identities and that your values are not theirs.
  8. You stop focusing on trying to change others before yourself.
  9. You realize that everyone is working in their own self-interest, but even the honeybee, which does the same, brings life to the many plants while it serves its own needs. This is a positive thing.
  10. You take care of your physical health and work to improve it daily.
  11. You avoid making excuses about why you “should” do something but “can’t”.
  12. You only associate with those who bring value to your life.
  13. You are working on refining your philosophy daily.
  14. You look for opportunities instead of problems.
  15. You never beg for anything or ask anything of another without offering something in exchange.
  16. You are constantly looking for ways to add value to others through the marketplace.
  17. You have the desire to grow yourself so you can serve the ones you love.
  18. You keep your word and pay your debts.
  19. You do what you believe is right, not because someone is telling you it is.
  20. You have decided to live a great life that you have designed because you are the architect of your life.

 

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The Right People

The most important aspect of any organization is the people in it. People build the culture. People build and operate the systems. People interact and provide value to customers. People determine the direction and speed the business travels. People spread the culture and the culture of a business (or relationship) determines how successful and long lasting it will be.

Because people are so important to any enterprise, it goes without saying that having the right people will make or break a business. Having the right people ensures harmony within the business. Having the right people will ensure the systems are being operated correctly. Having the right people will ensure sales and retention of customers is high. The right people will know what to do without being told. The right people will understand the importance of Make-You-Happy Customer Service. The right people do not need to be motivated; they already are motivated, and they will motivate others. The right people want to learn and improve to be the best at what they do. The right people want to be around the best, so they are constantly analyzing their environment to make sure they are in the best place and they are contributing enough to making it great.

Having the right people in a business will eliminate old problems and create new opportunities (also known as new problems). The right person wants to be in harmony with their environment and fellow coworkers. The right person produces incredible energy. The right person is one of good character. The right person reads everything they can on improving themselves. The right person has a positive mental attitude. Bottom line, people are the heart, the mind and the lungs of any business and society. There is one question I ask myself daily: am I the right person for this? Are you the right person?

Be One With Another

Personal connection with another is perhaps the greatest, most fulfilling state we can achieve as humans. The overwhelming desire to share experiences, build empathy, trust and connection with a partner, family and friends is what drives humanity forwards. While most media push stories of violence and conflict via reality TV shows, news programs and dystopian movies, the fact remains that humans are inherently wired to connect with each other, not hate and avoid them. Connection is a human need—a biological imperative.

Many people who have divorced or faced significant struggle with another may argue the importance of connection, but studies show that married couples report a significantly higher level of happiness and fulfillment as opposed to singles. Further studies report that the higher number of strong personal connections you have with others, the happier you are in your life. Humans are social creatures. We need each other to survive. We need each other to make the free market thrive and promote overall prosperity. All humans need to contribute and give beyond themselves to achieve fulfillment. So while it may be that others can diminish our tranquility through conflict, our desire for connection overrides.

Personally, I can say without a doubt that my connection with my wife is truly what gives me the highest level of fulfillment and happiness. I am focused more on her at any given time than I am myself. Everything I do, I do with her and my children in mind. I want to see them happy. I want to see them thrive. I want to share everything with my wife (except illness). My trust and love for her gives me such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and well-being, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is the state that people are supposed to be in the majority of their lives. So while it’s easy to look at the history of humanity and see war, conflict, hatred, prejudice and ignorance—that is nowhere near the whole story. The real story is that humans have connected and conspired with others to create something beyond themselves. Connection is creation.

We all must strive to make a personal connection with others. To share our life experiences and stories so they may live on beyond our own lives is the real story of humanity. Yes, you must take care of yourself. In fact you owe it to yourself and others to be the best you can be, but that is not what creates happiness. Being a better you is important solely for sharing with and helping others. Working on yourself is fine, but it’s only useful if you can give.

So go out and connect. Give beyond yourself. Create an unshakable bond with someone. This doesn’t mean being naive. People can and certainly will harm you in life. You must protect yourself and be guarded when necessary. Be prepared for pain. However, do not obsess about the dark qualities of interaction with others. And don’t worry if all your connections or friendships don’t work out. Not all of them will. Just focus on the future connections you will make. Focus on the love you give and others have given you. Remember above all, whatever you focus on, you find. Focus on being closer to others. It’s the only thing that will bring you true happiness.

In Health,

Sean