When Do You Become an ‘Adult’?

We are not adults until we act like one. And that has nothing to do with our chronological age, how much money we make, the number of kids, or titles we have.

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

Last week’s article “Are you an Amateur or a Pro?” raised more questions than answers from my community.

In conversations with clients and readers who reached out, it became clear that every distinction deserves its own chapter.

I, of course, knew this when I was writing the article. But the purpose of the piece was to alert readers to the main message I was putting forth.

We are not adults until we act like one.

And that has nothing to do with our chronological age, how much money we make, the number of kids, or titles we have.

I use “turning pro” as another definition for “turning into an adult”. It’s my experience that adult has become a loaded word, as well as a very subjective one.

One person’s definition of acting as an adult will not be the same as another’s.

We have labeled an entire generation, Millennials — as unable and unwilling to turn adult.

That’s not only unfair and harmful to Millenials, but it’s also untrue.

If they seem lost and unfulfilled, it’s our fault and responsibility, not theirs.

If you are the parent of a Millennial, go back to the 30 distinctions I highlighted in my last article.

Pick only five — any five.

Ask yourself if you explicitly taught those five “adulting principles” to your child?

If you did, then you are an exception and I tip my hat to you.

Most of us left the teaching to school teachers, tutors, and therapists we generously provided for our children.

Personally, I didn’t even understand the majority of these principles until the fourth decade of my life. Fortunately, I became a parent relatively later in life and my children were still young enough for me to infuse them with most of these principles.

But if you are a Millennial or the parent of one who would like to turn pro, there is abundant good news.

Turning pro is a practice, not a personality change.

It’s true that over time our practices decide who we are, but each of the 30 distinctions I share is a practice that can be cultivated at any age.

Every single one, if done with commitment, is life changing. The sum of doing the work to master all thirty will guarantee a powerful transformation.

If you’re ready to begin — keep in mind the first distinction, no hacks or shortcuts — then pick ONLY one that either resonates most with you or confuses you and reach out to me.

I promise to send you a few lines to get you going.

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.