Actress Sarah Paulson loves her career.
The first years she spent in the Entertainment business? Not so much. She would book a job and then the phone would stop ringing. For years at a time.
Still, she wouldn’t change a thing. She says, “If any of what I’m having happen now – the successes – would have happened to me when I was younger, I would have been ruined. Because when you’re young, and things come super easily to you, and you have success right out of the gate, you’re liable to think that’s how it actually works. You start to think you don’t need to be fully prepared or committed to have these things meet you.”
The September series, Welcome to Adulting, has looked at ways to practice maturity. Paulson’s statement highlights a big difference between kids and adults. Kids want to jump to the end, but that means missing all the fun. Self-confidence comes from knowing what you’re doing. Sometimes you’ve just got to equip yourself.
Yvette’s star was on the rise when we met. When a District Sales Manager job opened up, I was sure she had it locked down.
I thought things hadn’t gone her way when she stayed in place. We finally had a heart-to-heart at her good-bye party. Two years later.
She explained, “I thought that interview loop would be so easy, but I wasn’t ready for the questions. Business modeling? That was new to me. Managing people? Uh, I hadn’t even led a group project. And I was totally stumped when they asked me about opposition research for some of my biggest customers. My self-esteem was in good shape. My actual qualifications? Not so much!”
“That was a big day for me. OK – my meetings were a wreck, but it was the day I quit waffling and decided to get the MBA I had thought about for years. Looking back, I would have washed out of my new job in a year if I had been able to talk my way into it. Now I’m ready!”
That kind of discernment has run through this series:
- In “Time To Get Serious”, we learned that adults have the long view. Chris Rock’s mother warned him about his new set of high school friends. Five years later, he was packing concert halls; they were still on the front stoop.
- In “I Saw What I Valued,” Caleb Smith showed that excellence and success are built on thousands of small, smart decisions. Kids get bored; adults know how to follow through.
- We saw how grown-ups maintain a delicate, sophisticated balance in “All About Collaboration.” Teenagers dig in to their belief systems. Adults know that practical solutions combine head and heart.
If you think adulting is a drag, make it fun. Think of it as the destination where you can be the most committed, wise and insightful. When you do those things, you’re an incredible boss of you.
Now that the Fall equinox has arrived, it’s time to break out your mixer. Pumpkin? Yes. Spice? Yes. But skip the fake sweeteners and flavors and also give a big “YES!” to apples. Why?
Because they keep the doctor away. Seriously – eating apples can improve your digestion, and help with anemia, diabetes and heart disease.
They go in everything from sandwiches to salads.
They were an essential part of this week’s celebration of Rosh Hashanah, symbolizing a sweet new year.
The Pumpkin Patch in Oregon has over a dozen apple recipes to choose from. They’ve got you covered for everything from applesauce to muffins.
The nice people at King Arthur Flour will keep you busy – 35 different kinds of ginger cookies, to be exact. And that’s just one category!
You can start prepping for Thanksgiving using Williams-Sonoma’s “Guide to Pie.” With 8 weeks left to experiment, your friends and family may thank you!
And if you’re itching for a new pumpkin recipe, try the pumpkin crumb cake muffins at Sally’s Baking Addiction
You can always keep it simple by slicing a few of your favorite apples, adding a little butter and honey and baking them at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. It’s my go-to all Winter long, but especially when Honeycrisps are in season. Comfort food at its easiest…
Are you ready for a mic drop moment? Hold up, says psychologist Gay Hendricks. You could be starting, not ending, a very long dialogue.
Hendricks jokes, “When has your spouse said, ‘Thanks for letting me know. You’re completely in the right, and I’m completely in the wrong. I’ll never do that again!’”
In the September series, Welcome to Adulting, we’re looking at how practicing maturity works in everyday life. Gay’s advice about using discernment may do more than help your marriage; it could save your career.
Google faced a firestorm of controversy in August when engineer James Damore wrote a paper questioning its diversity practices. Google has long allowed its employees to discuss and even criticize company policy on internal forums. However, social media went crazy after Damore’s 10-page paper was leaked.
The premise was simple: Google’s diversity efforts had the opposite of their intended effect, resulting in “discriminatory practices”. He suggested that Google should rethink, and even dismantle, its programs.
The hub of Damore’s theories were aimed at women, itemizing personality traits such as neuroticism, higher agreeableness and a lack of assertiveness. A take-away was to “de-emphasize empathy” claiming, “Being emotionally unengaged helps us better reason about the facts.”
Yonatan Zunger, a former Google Distinguished Engineer and manager published a stellar response.
Surprisingly, what was its primary theme? Maturity.
Here are some excerpts:
Essentially, engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers…All of these traits which the manifesto described as “female” are the core traits which make someone successful at engineering.
I need to be very clear here: not only was nearly everything you said in that document wrong, the fact that you did that has caused significant harm to people across this company, and to the company’s entire ability to function. And being aware of that kind of consequence is also part of your job.
You talked about a need for discussion about ideas; you need to learn the difference between “I think we should adopt Go as our primary language” and “I think one-third of my colleagues are either biologically unsuited to do their jobs, or if not are exceptions and should be suspected of such until they can prove otherwise to each and every person’s satisfaction.” Not all ideas are the same, and not all conversations about ideas even have basic legitimacy.
Are you irritated by this story? That’s ok…because you’re learning a lot of adulting skills.
Adults understand that awareness – knowing how your actions affect others and how others see you – is essential. When you’re all about collaboration, you get that practical, workable solutions combine head and heart.
Do you want true, effective collaboration, at work or home? Temper your genius solution with heartfelt kindness and empathy.
There’s something about September 11. Time passes, but it never seems to get easier. That’s why Jason Neubauer’s Tweet was the silver lining in a dreary day.
There’s so much to love about his idea. It’s simple. It only takes minutes. And it keeps you in the flow.
End the week on a high note and give the 5 + 3 + 5 practice a try, Soul Bosses!
“Hey – I’ve got a job for you!”
Do you cringe every time you hear that question? Somehow you know the job isn’t glamorous. You’re not getting your name up in lights for doing it. And you’re certainly not making a million dollars.
Are you already wishing your boss would get someone else?
OK – let’s flip the story. What if you’re the one asking, like convincing your kids to rake leaves in the yard or your partner to wash out the dinner pots and pans? What would you say if they asked you to get someone else?
We’re talking about the Good that can happen from maturity in the September series, Welcome To Adulting. An important part of adulting is understanding that there’s a lot on the continuum of life – some things are a peach, others are a pit, but there are many, many good things in the middle.
This is what Soul Bosses are about – integration. Meaningful moments can happen when you’re in the middle of yoga class or out in nature. But they don’t have to wait until after hours – they can also happen when you strike up an elevator conversation with a stranger or laugh at yourself. The key is to stitch all those times together.
Caleb Smith thought he’d help out when his parents purchased an older home six years ago. It was hard to call it “remodeled”; it was more like remuddled. He recalled, “With an older house, you can see the effect of previous owners making little mistakes along the way.”
“Little mistakes” was putting it mildly. Caleb and his stepfather spent hours making things right. They’ve fixed sagging floor joists, converted a decaying outbuilding to a one-room guest cabin, and cleaned up all the problems in between.
Caleb took the first step toward turning all that effort into a career when he applied for the “Work Ethic” scholarship from the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. Caleb says, “I am accustomed to hard work, and when I looked at the [SWEAT] pledge, I saw all the things I valued and that were important in life, but I had never known how to word them.”
What made the Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo pledge so natural for Caleb? The fact it included things he already did like, “I believe any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm” and “I believe I am the product of my choices – not my circumstances.”
That kind of starting place is an important difference between adults and kids. Children only see the task at hand, and well, sometimes that task isn’t so fun. Grown-ups see the big picture as well as the little stuff. They understand that big changes, like a remodeled house, are actually the result of thousands of small, smart decisions. That kind of vision is exactly what a potential business owner like a general contractor needs.
This week, challenge yourself to embrace the SWEAT pledge with an outlook like Caleb. Where you start could make all the difference in where you land. And don’t forget pledge #7 – “cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.” That’s advanced adulting!
Hurricanes. Wildfires. Crazy politics. Are you ready for a break?
I’ve got just the thing for you.
WARNING: Chick lit ahead.
I took a couple of Hannah Swensen mysteries with me on my recent trip to Berlin, and I’m hooked. Hannah lives in the small town of Lake Eden, Minnesota. When she’s not running her bakery, she’s running around town solving the latest murder. (So much for small town safety!)
Joanne Fluke’s writing is perfect for the long nights ahead. Her books are entertaining without being gory or salacious. In fact, the only thing that might scare you is how much sugar Hannah uses in her recipes. Yes – there are actual baking recipes included. But that’s part of the appeal!
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries has adopted the Hannah Swensen series as “Murder, She Baked,” but make sure you add one of Fluke’s books to your Fall book bag. You’ll be charmed.
Are you resisting the start of the school year? Are you hanging on to the last sunny days and long nights of Summer?
You’re not alone. The mood shifts in the Fall. What happens?
It’s time to get serious.
That can be a hard thing in our society. There’s even a joke about it – “adulting,” as in, “I don’t want to adult today.” People laugh about hanging out in blanket forts and being mad they have to wear pants.
But have we gone too far? In the September series, Welcome to Adulting, we’ll look at all the Good that can come from being a grown-up.
First things first: it’s cool to be a kid. You don’t have to worry about paying a mortgage. Or making dinner. Or spending 8 hours with a boss you don’t like.
However, here’s the surprising part. Being an adult can be fun. I mean really, really fun. Why? A lot of reasons like:
- Kids hope that adults agree with their priorities. But usually the grocery store cart is filled with vegetables, not candy bars.
- Kids are dependent on adults to do things for their benefit, like take them places. If Mom or Dad aren’t going your way, you’re walking to the library, not getting a ride.
- Kids often try to convince adults to do whatever they are interested in. Yet most parents don’t have the time or inclination to spend every school holiday at Disneyland.
Hmm… When you put it that way, staying a kid doesn’t seem like such a good idea.
This was a truth Chris Rock found out the hard way. As he entered high school, his crew changed. They weren’t exactly a rough crowd; they just weren’t every parent’s dream.
His Mom made a casual comment or two which he let go in one ear and out the other. All that mattered to teen-age Chris was having fun.
You can imagine the look on his face when she sat him down for a heart-to-heart. Her perspective was simple – the choices he was made today created his tomorrows. That meant his choices needed to change. Immediately.
No more asking or joking about his friends. Her directive was clear: Stop hanging out with those guys who sit on the front stoop. You’re going places. They’re not.
Rock quietly acquiesced, even though he disagreed.
Fast forward to five years later. Rock was now a movie star and stand-up comic. In a private town car on the way home from a job, he asked the driver to take him through his old neighborhood, just for kicks.
Guess who was sitting on the front stoop of his childhood apartment building? The same group of guys! Just like Mama said!
This week, decide that you’re a grown-up. What’s more, decide that you’re going to love it. Because adults get to make conscious, independent choices. They know what to invest in; they’re not hanging out on the front porch, hoping their hopes and dreams show up on their block.
That’s real freedom.
New month, new season! Does your morning schedule need a reboot?
The most important thing you can do is be realistic with what can actually happen, then architect for the rest. Forget the idea that you’re going to get up at 5 AM, do all your laundry, write an amazing book and have a hot breakfast waiting for your family. If that was your jam, you’d already be doing it!
Here are 6 ideas to get your morning going:
Keep an eye on the big picture. Use your monthly Fall calendar to create activity placeholders (Monday/Wednesday/Friday for exercise, Tuesday/Thursday for reading or meditation, Friday for sleeping in or breakfast out). Make “Write it down, make it happen” your mantra!
Create a home for things. My life shifted when I made my garage a version of my kitchen. I had a handyman put peg board on the walls, and now the lawn gear goes into its home after each use. Likewise, putting away book bags, coats and the mail away is easy if they have a home. Start with a simple project like this homework caddy. It will get your kids’ supplies cleaned off the kitchen room table every night.
Plan for tomorrow. If you’re like me, it’s all over once I hit the couch. (See you later, good intentions!) Before I relax, I empty trash out of my tote and re-load it for the next day. If planning for tomorrow as soon as you walk in is tough, make it part of your pre-bedtime routine.
Build in 10 minutes extra. Emergencies happen. Your alarm doesn’t go off. You get toothpaste on your shirt. (Maybe that’s just me.) The point is that rushing can throw your whole day off. Make grace part of your start.
Keep customization to a minimum. I eat the same breakfast on work days, then mix it up on the weekend. Different breakfasts for everyone, especially if you’re the one doing the cooking, take time. Make your weekdays as simple and automatic as you can.
Time shifting makes a no guilt zone. You didn’t throw in that load of laundry or unload the dishwasher? Have no fear – they’re not going anywhere! Don’t put yourself down for what you didn’t get done, just time shift it to the evening or the next morning.
Give yourself the gift of a positive, relaxed start. And always remember – it’s a good day to have a good day!