The time you become an adult
These are some points which I think bring you closer to adulthood based on my own experience. Everyone has their own takes on this and this is mine. This little write up is a result of using the wordsmith and Edison deck from bestself to get to know me better and turn the blog a little more personal.I also hope that at some stage these lines might give my children and grandchildren some insight about me that I never had on my grandparents and parents.
Caring more about others than yourself
One of the biggest steps for me personally to becoming an adult was when I switched for caring about myself to caring more about others. Once most of your time and your paycheck goes towards others, you are probably more grown-up than you used to be.
This is a process and it never stops and I am also far from finished. In your teenage years and twenties, you are busy enough to get your own act together. Never mind helping your family and parents. Only the very few have to reload early in their life that it is not about them. This is often triggered by some loss or dysfunction in their family.
The good thing about this is that caring more about others than yourself is usually a good recipe for greatness. Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, and Abraham Lincoln probably cared more about others than themselves. Although you will also find more than enough people who will argue against this.
Paying someone else’s rent
I think many people pay their own rent. Not all of them are full adults to me in the whole sense. Legally, sure they are. I personally witnessed that everyone who is starting to pay someone else’s rent makes huge steps to seeing the world a little more complex rather than just black and white.
Making your will
Making your will is also a big crossroad to becoming an adult. It ties in with caring more about others than yourself. It is also a time where you reflect on yourself and how your passing will impact others. The younger you are the less you will care about this. Making your will also entail overcoming the fear of your own death and dealing with it.
Looking at healthcare and retirement rather than the salary options
The younger you are the more you will look at the paycheck rather than the entire salary package. A big mind shift to becoming an adult can be when you start looking at the entire payment package rather than just the paycheck you receive month to month. Shifting your financial mindset to look at how your grandchildren will benefit from the decision you make today will create wealth. This also means looking at how much your company is willing to pay into your retirement fund. Check whether your children and wife are covered by your company healthcare options and what can be claimed back from these institutions.
Let your wife make all the weekend plans
This might sound lazy, but hear me out in this one. You will probably have your own ideas on how to spend the weekend. Most likely this will clash with what your wife wants to do. I came around to the idea that it is better to just let her decide what to do. Happy wife, happy life. It is not worth it to fight your corner on every program or video that is picked. In the end, she will go on her phone anyway and just not like what you have picked for the evening. It is way more satisfying to let it play out and reap the benefits when you stand your ground on something which does actually matter.
When I was younger I loved my soapbox. I would take it everywhere and get on it unprompted. I wondered why people didn't like me that much. Well, it is hard to like someone who always pontificates from an elevated viewpoint while looking down on you. Took me long enough to get that. I still get on soapboxes, probably still too often. Nowadays I like to keep it to the ones I have been invited on by others rather than the ones I set up myself.
Rather than trying to find the perfect plan and not doing anything because I am afraid, I have switched to just doing it and learning from it. There is still the sale of the house where I hesitate, but I am starting to take action on many other areas of my life like stock trading, helping my wife in the household and taking responsibility at work, where i think I have gotten a lot better.