Rules Of Adulthood Every Man Should (Try To) Live By

rules of adulthood

You thought there would be a eureka moment. A lightbulb would illuminate over your head, and suddenly you’d have all the clarity you’d been searching for. You’d feel calm, confident, competent. You’d officially be… an adult.

Adulthood doesn’t work that way. Instead, it’s more like a staircase – you can only travel one step at a time, but each step brings you closer to your goal. Sometimes it’s pleasurable. Sometimes it’s painful. At times you’ll wish you had a cheat sheet that reveals all the secrets to life.

So here it is, your cheat sheet. We’ve compiled 59 rules of adulthood every man should live by, whether he’s 18 or 38 or 88. Add your own in the comments.

  1. If you don’t understand something, ask before it’s too late.
  2. Quit multitasking.
  3. Be less judgmental.
  4. Staying angry or holding a grudge is almost always a waste of energy.
  5. Eat better, exercise regularly, sleep more.
  6. Go outside every day.
  7. Use your minutes mindfully. The average male gets 37,843,200 total minutes in his lifetime. Do you really want to spend them on Snapchat?
  8. Deal with uncomfortable situations sooner rather than later.
  9. Your home is your castle. Keep your castle clean.
  10. It’s okay to go to dinner or the movies by yourself.
  11. If it takes two minutes or less, do it now.
  12. Pick up a book every once in a while.
  13. Learn to give thoughtful gifts.
  14. Set goals. Write them down. Track your progress. Adjust accordingly.
  15. What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while. Build beneficial habits.
  16. Everything you do makes an impression.
  17. Gratitude is a powerful response to most situations in life.
  18. Don’t aim for perfection at the expense of beginning. You’ll never complete a novel if you’re afraid to write the first word.
  19. Don’t expect closure. It’s an added bonus.
  20. Know at least one good joke.
  21. Pick up the tab when it’s your turn.
  22. Take more chances.
  23. Put your phone away. Be present in your conversations (and everything else you do).
  24. Maintain and cherish your friendships. Good ones are harder to come by the older you get.
  25. Be nice for no reason.
  26. Living in the moment and planning for the future are not mutually exclusive.
  27. Know when to leave.
  28. Wear the right amount of cologne.
  29. Don’t take credit for work you didn’t do.
  30. Don’t fight or break up via email, text, or social media.
  31. Talk to people who are different from you.
  32. You can never change another person, only support them when they’re ready to change themselves.
  33. It’s ok to ask for directions.
  34. If you never fail, you’re not trying hard enough or taking big enough risks.
  35. Measure yourself only against the person you used to be.
  36. Give every job your all, even if you think it’s insignificant. There’s no point in doing something if you won’t do it well.
  37. Restock the fridge and household supplies before they run out.
  38. Refuse to let your imagination die.
  39. You are who you hang out with. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and help you grow.
  40. Appreciate your family and friends. There’s no telling how much time you have left with them.
  41. Strive for balance in all that you do – work and play, activity and relaxation, significant others and friends, etc.
  42. Celebrate every success, even (and especially) the small ones.
  43. Enjoy the company of old people. They have stories to share and lessons to teach.
  44. Admit when you’re wrong.
  45. Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Dwelling doesn’t make them better, and they’re almost never as bad as you think they are.
  46. Be kind to everyone.
  47. Be especially kind to bartenders, baristas, taxi drivers, janitors, and anyone else who is often looked over.
  48. The more you talk about yourself, the less great you seem.
  49. If you give your word, keep it.
  50. Know your way around a kitchen.
  51. Work hard, but don’t let work become your sole purpose for living.
  52. Do what you naturally love to do rather than what you think you should enjoy doing.
  53. In general, steer clear of shoulds as much as possible. Live the life that’s true to you, not the one you think is expected of you by others.
  54. Never use the excuse that it’s too late to change.
  55. You’ll be a lot happier if you stop convincing yourself that happiness will come when you finally get this job or that car. Find joy in what and who you have now.
  56. Let the cheers speak louder than the boos. Focus on your supporters, not your detractors.
  57. No one notices your imperfections as much as you do.
  58. If you have something nice to say, say it. There are far too few compliments and thank yous in the world.
  59. Keep your legacy in mind. Know the man you want to be remembered as, and aim to be him every day.