Does anyone really think of themselves as a grownup?
I’m definitely an adult, but I still see myself as a kid. I still make dumb mistakes, I still say stupid stuff, and I still wish I had more social finesse. I sometimes wonder out loud what I’m going to be when I grow up.
And the funny thing is that I know I’m not alone, as several of my friends have told me they feel the same. So, my guess is that either I run around with a lot of Peter-Pan-wannabes, or the majority of people still relate better to their inner kid than the adult they think they should be.
But aside from the gray hair I try to ignore in the mirror, I do occasionally see some hints of being an adult. So for everyone else who channels their inner child (you are not alone!), I thought I might share some of the things I have learned that might actually be signs of maturity:
1. I know my limitations.
I’ve always been good with my hands, so my first house was a never-ending series of DIY projects. I learned a lot, and a few of them were even successful, but I certainly have a better sense of what I am good at, and what I’m not. I now know there are people out there that are more talented at certain things than I am, and I have no problem asking for professional help. (Let me tell you, a good plumber is a true professional.)
2. I don’t try to do it all myself.
For most of my life, if I wanted something done I did it all. College reinforced that approach, since every assignment was solo. My first jobs after college were similar. At one job I was basically a one-man advertising department, developing concepts, writing copy, doing photography, designing layouts, then buying media. Once I started my own company and started hiring some amazingly talented people, I found out just how much better things can turn out with a team approach. Especially when clients were willing to be part of that team.
3. I know it is usually better to save time than money.
In a conservative company or economy, no one will question when you pick the slower, less expensive way. But deadlines are called that for a reason, and the true secret is that no one cares if the budget was slightly bent when everything looks amazing and you exceed your goals.
4. I’d rather be successful than safe.
Anyone can do safe, that’s why it is considered, well, safe. Only those with the guts and vision to swing big will actually get to knock it out of the park.
5. If I don’t enjoy it, then I probably ought to stop doing it.
Life is too short to go through the motions, mailing it in every day. Do what you love, make a difference, and stop the boring.