Lesson 85: Act your age

Published 3:23 pm Thursday, August 5, 2010

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Anais Nin

The last thirteen lessons have covered a variety of topics. Some involve universal concepts while others deal with mundane, everyday tasks. But they all share a single theme: living as a grownup in your everyday life.

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Develop an appreciation for the immense, astonishing power of your own human will; with it, you can accomplish almost anything (Lesson 72). The concept of discipline, which is the bane of many a kids existence, can now be one of your best friends if you know how to use it (73). When it comes to human friends, choose them carefully. Posers and negative people constantly want to pull you down to their level, while true friends will help you to be your best (74).

Pay attention to what is happening around you; the simple act of awareness can benefit you in a wide range of situations and ways (75). One of the most important ways to pay attention is to listen really listen to others (76).

Like it or not, money is important but only because of the security and choices it can provide. When money becomes an object in itself when you fall in love with things and use money to define your own value relative to others youre making a deal with the devil (77).

There will come a day when youll need to have a very large pile of money saved up. The only way to get that pile is to save it rather than spend it. Start saving now; if you wait too long, the pile will never be big enough to meet your needs (78). When you do save, dont just put the money under the mattress or in a savings account; learn enough about investing to make your money work for you (79).

Debt is bad the more debt you have, the worse off youll be. Its very easy to slip into a hole of debt and very hard to dig yourself out (80). One of the worst debt traps can be the purchase of a car, so set your vanity aside and buy a car thats safe, reliable, and cheap to own and maintain. Youll learn to love it (81).

Multitasking doesnt work and can actually be hazardous to your health (82). Always try to keep in control. Losing control of your thoughts, emotions, or actions can lead to problems from which it can be tough to recover (83). Remember that you cant get something for nothing; theres a trade-off in every

important decision you make (84).

As we said early on, life is different now. The old patterns of thinking and behaving just wont work anymore. Act like a grownup, and youll be happy with the results.

Excerpted from The Graduates Book of Practical Wisdom: 99 Lessons They Cant Teach in School by C. Andrew Millard, published by Morgan James Publishing, available in bookstores and online. &opy; 2008 by C. Andrew Millard; all rights reserved. For more information visit www.wisegraduate.com.