Today, I’d like to talk provide a similar list for grown-ups that will make life easier. I don't know if they'll lead to success, but I can guarantee that they will piss people off because they require people to rise above the their feelings to master their universe in a way that's realistic, right, and balanced in a world that is anything but that in this day and time:
Read and follow the instructions. I know your ideas are better, but the instructions exist because they tell you how it all works together in the fastest and most efficient way possible. The instructions tell you how things flow the best and will guarantee the best results. I know you’re smarter than they are, but they’re telling you how things get done the best, regardless of everybody elses’ bright ideas.
Stop and think before you ask a question. The thing I heard the most from my parents growing up was “stop and think about that for a minute” when I asked a question. People are too quick to use their telephone as a surrogate brain. There are even studies that imply a direct correlation between increased technology and decreased intelligence. There’s no doubt that common sense is on the decline. Reverse the curve in your personal life. When you don’t understand something, stop for five minutes and think about it to make sure the answer isn’t in front of you already. Do appropriate research (everything is on the Internet) and read the instructions before you ask the question. Nothing’s more embarrassing than to ask a question and find out that the answer was right in front of you the whole time.
Manage your emotions. I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but yelling at people is the fastest way to lose respect and credibility. It doesn’t inspire a fear of crossing you; it says “I’m an insecure spoiled brat!” It’s a psychological fact that people who keep their cool keep control of conversations and maintain the upper hand in every situation. Use the “stop and think for 5 minute” rule above not only to figure out questions, but to reign in anger, frustration, or tears that will leave a permanent impression that’s detrimental to your character and can’t be overcome.
The days of getting trust and respect based solely on age or position are over. You have to earn it now, and people aren’t forgiving when you’ve put them down or made them feel bad. Yes, you need to set boundaries and stand up for yourself, and there are intelligent, calm, respectful ways do this. As they used to say back in my high school days “check yourself before you wreck yourself.”
Take personal responsibility. There’s an epidemic of failure to take personal responsibility in the world today. Nobody is ever wrong; it’s always somebody elses’ fault; and consequences aren’t fair. People have become lazy and complacent. Be an adult and take responsibility for your actions, and you’ll find that life is much easier. Find the internal motivation to do your best, to be honest, and to treat others with the same respect that you expect to receive from them. I know life gets in the way sometimes, but be realistic about your abilities and be honest with others about what you can, cannot, did, and didn’t do immediately, without excuses. Owning your choices and failure with the same confidence that you own your success is the fastest way to earn respect and credibility. Life still won’t be fair, but it will smack you in the face a lot less when you take control of what you can control. It’s your responsibility get your crap together and to take care of it. Just do it, and you’ll be amazed at how much you reap when you sow a measure of grace and humility.
Get comfortable with computers. People told me in college that I’d have to get comfortable with computers if I wanted to have a decent job and be successful as an adult. That’s certainly true. What shocks me is how many people are still “technology holdouts.” Folks, we’re nearly two decades into the 21st century. Computers are everywhere now, and you have to be comfortable with them if you’re still alive and functioning in society. You don’t have to be an expert, but you do need to have basic knowledge of how to use a debit card, credit card, cell phone, and computer for daily living. Take a class at a local technology college, and buy a reference book on the basics of computer use. Don’t stay trapped in the 20th century. It’s downright dangerous to do so.
These are probably the five traits that we hate the most, because they require people to stop whining and actually do something to change their reality. People have deemed these things “unrealistic” or “old fashioned,” but the truth is that produce amazing results if you aren't too lazy to take up the challenge to live by a higher standard. That’s also why they’ll make you stand out against others. The good news is that they aren’t dependent on intelligence, talent, or special abilities. Anybody can do it if they’re willing to commit to higher principals, and those are the people who really rise above the rest.
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great week.