What have I learned, with time and experience? Not much, I fear. Here are my latest Secrets of Adulthood. Although these items may not seem particularly profound, each one was a revelation when I finally figured it out:
- The things that go wrong often make the best memories.
- If you don't really want something, getting it won't make you happy.
- It's enormously helpful, and surprisingly difficult, to grasp the obvious.
- The quickest way to progress from A to B is NOT to work the hardest.
- Go outside.
- It's easier to prevent pain than to squelch it. (This is true literally and figuratively).
- Where you start makes a big difference in where you end up.
- Remember to choose your boss carefully.
- There's no place like home.
- Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. (Actually, Voltaire came up with that one, not me).
- Approval from the people you admire is sweet, but it's not enough to be the foundation of a happy life.
Here are my previously identified Secrets of Adulthood:
- The best reading is re-reading.
- Outer order contributes to inner calm.
- The opposite of a great truth is also true.
- You manage what you measure.
- It's nice to have plenty of money.
- By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished.
- People don't notice your mistakes and flaws as much as you think.
- Most decisions don't require extensive research.
- Try not to let yourself get too hungry.
- Even if you think they're fake, it's nice to celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day.
- If you can't find something, clean up.
- Turning the computer on and off a few times often fixes a glitch.
- It's okay to ask for help.
- Happiness doesn't always make you feel happy.
- What you do EVERY DAY matters more than what you do ONCE IN A WHILE.
- You don't have to be good at everything.
- Soap and water removes most stains.
- It's important to be nice to EVERYONE.
- You know as much as most people.
- People actually prefer that you buy wedding gifts off their registry.
- Houseplants and photo albums are a lot of trouble.
- If you're not failing, you're not trying hard enough.
- No deposit, no return.
I've modified one Secret of Adulthood to replace "Someplace, keep an empty shelf" with "Someplace, keep an empty shelf; someplace, keep a junk drawer."
One of my favorite things to do on the Happiness Project Toolbox (okay, my favorite thing) is to see what other people are saying. A few of my favorite Secrets of Adulthood from other people include:
- Some things are worth waiting for, some things are not.
- It's okay to like watching cartoons (even if you are 36).
- A job where someone pays you to do nothing is not awesome, it's boring.
- Maturity doesn't mean acting serious all the time.
- If you buy an item that has a part that will frequently need to be replaced, go ahead and buy a replacement at the same time.
- When someone is mourning a loss, don't worry about saying the right thing. Just say something.
- You need old friends and new friends.
- Seek mentors for more than your career.
- It is what it is.
I'm tempted to keep going. but will force myself to stop here. How about you? Have you identified a helpful Secret of Adulthood?
* I love getting the chance to see other bloggers face to face, so am very happy to be meeting Emily from TheMotherHood this afternoon.
* It's Word-of-Mouth Day, when I gently encourage (or, you might think, pester) you to spread the word about the Happiness Project. You might:
-- Forward the link to someone you think would be interested
-- Link to a post on Twitter (follow me @gretchenrubin)
-- Sign up for my free monthly newsletter (about 46,000 people get it)
-- Buy the book
-- Put a link to the blog in your Facebook status update
-- Watch the one-minute book video
Thanks! I really appreciate any help. Word of mouth is the BEST.