Tag Archives: adulting

The 13 Life Skills Every Adult Should Know

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T-Minus two weeks until we move to Huntsville, you guys. And you know what? Nothing puts your adult-ing skills to the test like a move.

There was a time not too long ago when I moved nearly every year; from one cheap, college-town rental property to the next. I would wait ’til the very last possible moment to throw all my smaller belongings into larger belongings (Boxes? Who needs boxes?!), cross my fingers that I’d get my deposit back (so I could afford the next deposit), and take as many trips across town as it took…sometimes working through the night to get it all done in a 24 hour period.

I now realize there is a much more responsible way to tackle moving. One that involves a bit more of a plan (and WAY more boxes). This got me thinking about the other adult-ing skills I’ve picked up over the years, largely through trial and error, that I think are important for everyone. I don’t consider myself an expert by any means, but these are the skills I continue to work on for maximum adult-ing…

Adult-ing Skill #1:
Basic first aid 

There is only one place to begin, and this is with first aid. Sign up for a class that teaches basic life support certification. There are many reasons why you should take a course in first aid. Of course, the most obvious reason is that you never know when an accident can happen and it’s always best to be prepared! But more than that, if something happens, you can’t always look for the adult in the room to come forward and fix things — you ARE the adult. 

Adult-ing Skill #2:
How to have difficult conversations

Being an adult means sometimes having difficult conversation. This conversation could be about anything that has a large impact on your life — your relationship, health, finances, etc. Learning how to have a difficult conversation can ensure a successful outcome and less heartache down the line.

Adult-ing Skill #3:
Self-care

We get so wrapped up in caring for other people that we often forget to care about number one. You need to make sure you take the time to care for yourself. This means prioritizing your hygiene, as well as sleep. A lot of people underestimate the importance of getting a restful night sleep. However, a lack of sleep creates irritability, as well as health issues down the road. On top of good hygiene and lots of sleep, taking time to pamper yourself every now and again is important, too!

Adult-ing Skill #4:
Nutrition

Living a healthy life is not something that comes naturally. It is something you need to learn about. A good place to start is learning how to read labels on food packages. Knowing exactly what you are consuming and how it impacts your body can go a long way.

Adult-ing Skill #5:
Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is quite the buzzword these days. And for good reason! It’s important to understand how your actions and words impact other people, as well as  the emotions that other people feel and the position this puts them in. Emotional intelligence is a quality that all the best leaders exhibit because it helps them pinpoint ways to interact with people that will harvest the greatest results.

Adult-ing Skill #6:
How to communicate effectively

Another skill that people need to learn is how to communicate effectively. No one makes it through this world alone. So, if you are to get where you want to be in life you need to know how to communicate with others. You need to master the art of both written and spoken communication. It is through communication that we form meaningful friendships and relationships, not only in our social life but in the workplace as well.

Adult-ing Skill #7:
Technology

You cannot just bury your head in the sand when it comes to technology. It is no exaggeration to say that technology has changed everything. It’s changed the way we work, the way we interact with people, the way we go about our daily lives, and even the way we think. Technology can be a useful and powerful tool that can enrich your life and simplify it. So let go of the fear that you will break something or that it will be too complicated, and embrace technology!

Adult-ing Skill #8:
Listening

The importance of learning how to communicate effectively goes hand in hand with listening to others. If you find you are someone that only ever listens so that you have the opportunity to speak, then you need to find a new approach. Listening is all about really hearing what the other person saying. People’s stories matter!

Adult-ing Skill #9:
How to vote

You can’t moan about the state of the current political climate and the issues that plague the country if you are not prepared to go out there and cast a vote. You may feel like your voice is insignificant and doesn’t matter, but if everyone felt this way, what would happen? It is important to learn about how to cast a vote so that you can express your opinion and make a change. 

Adult-ing Skill #10:
How to have a sense of humor

If there is one thing you need to learn in your life, then this is it. Learning to have a sense of humor can get you further than you may realize. Humor can help you to deal with problems , as well as relieve stress and pain. While it cannot eradicate underlying issues that cause us stress and heartache, it can give us a little bit of relief. Learning to laugh during the tough times can be challenging, but once you have found this skill, it will help you to live a happier life, I promise.

Adult-ing Skill #11:
How to focus

Learning how to focus is something that everyone can benefit from. Nevertheless, it is also one of the most difficult things to do. This is especially the case in today’s society when it seems that there are so many distractions. Moreover, learning to focus does not only relate to learning to focus on a specific task that you are doing, but it also relates to focusing on your goals, your actions, and your directions. We waste so much time on activities that do not get us to where we want to be in life. By focusing our goals and our efforts, we can ensure that we live a more valuable and fulfilling existence.

Adult-ing Skill #12:
Money management

Personal finance isn’t often taught in school. So when we start earning money and we have matters such as credit cards, investing, saving for retirement, and bills to deal with, it can be overwhelming. This is why it is important to take the time to master the art of money management so that you do not end up making a financial error that stays with you for many years to come. To begin with, learn how to put together an effective budget. A simple budget is an easy skill to learn, but it is something that will help you throughout the entirety of your life. It will ensure that you do not end up living beyond your means, as well as giving you full clarity over the money that you have coming in and going out every month so that you can use it to full effect.

Adult-ing Skill #13:
Car maintenance

Whether you drive a Ford Fiesta or a Ferrari, you need to learn how to maintain your vehicle effectively. If you don’t, you could end up wasting a lot of money in the form of repair bills. Maintaining your vehicle properly will prolong the life of your car while also ensuring that any issues are picked up quickly before they become bigger and more expensive problems. 

Ok, gotta get back to my moving schedule! #adulting

What adult-ing skills would you add to this list? 

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Acting Like You Know What You’re Doing!

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No matter what you’re up to in life, no one wants to feel like they don’t have things together. At work you want to come across as a professional with plenty of experience…even if you can’t get that printer to work. Within your family you want outsiders to see you as the head of the household…even though deep down inside, you still consider yourself a kid. And that hobby you picked up a couple years ago? You want to be the best at it…even though you can only commit an hour or two here and there.

Adults juggle many responsibilities. It’s impossible to know what we’re doing 100% of the time. So let’s all let out a collective sigh now that we’ve got that weird and impossible burden off the table. And instead, let’s talk about the ol’ adage — FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT. How do we create the careful balance between having our shit together and not caring when we don’t? I believe that looking like you know what’s up (aka fakin’ it til you make it) can go a long way. Let’s break down how to achieve this —

Sounding Like You Know

Sounding like you know what you’re talking about when you, well, don’t, isn’t always easy. But if there’s one thing over a decade of competitive speech & debate taught me, it’s how to string together some bullshit. Here are my top tips:

1) Charisma is key. A charming personality with a positive attitude can create a sense of know-how pretty quick. Be nice to those around you, crack a joke or two, and remain confident.
2) Remove verbal filler. Work towards flowing sentences without the ugh’s and um’s. This will take practice, sure. But what are you doing on your commute that’s more important? Instead of screaming obscenities at fellow drivers, choose a topic and start talking (out loud) to yourself.
3) The wonder of word economy. Ever notice how the people who babble the most sound like they know the least? Adding a bunch of filler when you’re fakin’ it ain’t gonna fool no one. Stick to what you do know (or believably “know”) and skip the rest.

Here’s the thing, if you don’t know how your presentation skills impact leadership success, then it’s time to brush up on your public speaking.

When you think of “PUBLIC SPEAKING” you might imagine standing at a podium addressing a crowd. Which might not be your reality in the slightest. In fact, you might break out in a cold sweat just thinking about it. But the same tips & tricks used by the top speakers in the world can benefit you in a simple day-to-day conversation.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the importance of active listening in this point. React to other speakers, nod where you’re supposed to, and let other people dominate a topic if you’re not sure about it. Active listening ensures others will still remember you as part of the conversation even if you didn’t have much to say.

Looking Like You Know

In competitive speech & debate we absolutely faked it ’til we made it in the looks department. Heck, I was wearing business suits before I fully understood ANY business concepts. Why? Because a blazer can give you confidence…and when you’re a 15 year old braceface standing in front of a room full of strangers you need all the confidence you can get!

If you look like you have confidence, even when you’re churning up inside, people start to look at you with a lot more respect. So how do we fake this confidence?

1) Hold your head high and draw your shoulders back. Take strong steps so it looks like you’re walking with purpose and pride.
2) Control your face. Your facial expressions are something you might need to work on. A lot of the time we aren’t aware of what our faces are up to when in conversation, as reactions are involuntary. So when you’ve got a few spare minutes, practice reactions to possible scenarios in the mirror. If you’ve got an important client you’re meeting tomorrow, it’s time to make sure your face is friendly, with plenty of eye contact.
3) How the outfit makes you feel. When dressing for confidence, consider how the outfit makes you feel instead of how it looks. Does it make you feel like the best version of yourself? Will it help you create the person you’re trying to be? I don’t think clothes have to be expensive or even necessarily “stylish” to accomplish this. 

Acting like you know what you’re doing is a blip on your journey because, before you know it…you’ll know what you’re doing. The “fake it” only exists to proceed the “make it,” right?

So project confidence, with your posture on point and a smile on your face, and you’re halfway to becoming the person you’ll be in the end anyways. You got this!

Do you have any fun FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT stories? How did you act, sound, or look like you knew what you were doing? What happened in the end??? SHARE BELOW! 

mid-week round-up

Good morning my delightful friends! How are you today? We started watching Big Little Lies last night. What an all-star cast! The characters are super compelling but I’m not sure if I’m in love with the format just yet. I’m certainly hooked enough to keep watching though! Tomorrow we’re headed to the aquarium and I CAN’T WAIT! Hope you all have beautiful days, and here are a few things you may enjoy reading…

The politics of conspicuous displays of self-care.

50 things you need to eat in Miami before you die.

I NEED this In Omnia Paratus poster in my life!

The true story of the American work force as told by nine folks in the trenches.

How to become an adult. 
“Suddenly realize that you are now older than your parents when they got married, older than your parents when they had a kid, maybe older than your parents when they had you, even. Notice the ages come and go at which you had always told yourself you would have various little boxes checked, see them fading behind you like road signs, and feel a mix of disappointment and empowerment: “No, I am not the person I promised myself. Yes, I actually like this person better.”

French cartoonist Pénélope Bagieu has taken a unique opportunity to correct public misperceptions about the life of Mama Cass.

Related: Adding California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before The Mamas and The Papas by Pénélope Bagieu to my Amazon Wishlist.

Also Related: Five Great Graphic Novels!

To the women of America — A warning and a rallying cry from Poland.

Betsy DeVos and the history of homeschooling. 

Never been to Tokyo? Here’s a crib sheet of stuff that is useful for your first trip. #goals

The baby in the plastic bag. #longform

A call to travel abroad…in your own country.
“I was a foreign correspondent for many years, work that involves the shedding of assumptions and absorption in place. To see what’s over here, you have to let go of what’s over there. Scott County, for coastal metropolitan Americans, is a foreign land. In a fissured nation, there are fewer and fewer moments of genuine encounter between rival tribes, each confined in its ideological canyon. So what could bring the country together, usher Brooklyn closer to Scottsburg?”

Working while female. 

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Carol Rossetti’s Colorful Illustrations of Female Empowerment and Winter Wardrobe Pieces.