20 Things Nobody Tells You About Growing Up

Life.

It’s a journey of twists and turns, peaks and valleys, mountains to climb and oceans to explore. Good times and bad times. Happy times and sad times. But always, life is a movement forward.

No matter where you are on the journey, in some way, you are continuing on — and that’s what makes it so magnificent.

What nobody ever tells you, though, when you are a wide-eyed child, are all the little things that come along with “growing up.” The things pull you down from your dreaming cloud and force you to plant your feet on the ground.

1. Most people are scared of imagination.

2. Your dream doesn’t really matter to anyone else.

3. Friends are relative to where you are in your life.

4. Your potential increases with age.

5. Spontaneity is the sister of creativity.

6. You forget the value of “touch” later on.

When was the last time you sat on a sidewalk and looked closely at the cracks, the rocks, the dirt, the one weed growing between the concrete and the grass nearby.

Do that again.

You will feel so connected to the playfulness of life.

7. Most people don’t do what they love.

The “masses” are not the ones who live the lives they dreamed of living. And the reason is because they didn’t fight hard enough. They didn’t make it happen for themselves. And the older you get, and the more you look around, the easier it becomes to believe that you’ll end up the same.

Don’t fall for the trap.

8. Many stop reading after college.

9. People talk more than they listen.

10. Creativity takes practice.

If you want to keep your creative muscle pumped and active, you have to practice it on your own.

11. “Success” is a relative term.

What does that really mean? Success to one person could mean the opposite for someone else.

Define your own Success.

12. You can’t change your parents.

They are who they are.

Whether they approve of what you do or not, at some point, no longer matters. Love them for bringing you into this world, and leave the rest at the door.

13. The only person you have to face in the morning is yourself.

You don’t.

Do what makes you happy, and create the life you want to live for yourself. You’ll see someone you truly love staring back at you every morning if you can do that.

14. Nothing feels as good as something you do from the heart.

Follow your heart, and the rest will follow.

15. Your potential is directly correlated to how well you know yourself.

Those who don’t know themselves, and avoid the hard work of looking inward, live life by default. They lack the ability to create for themselves their own future.

16. Everyone who doubts you will always come back around.

The girl who didn’t want to date you will call you back once she sees where you’re headed. It always happens that way.

Just focus on you, stay true to what you believe in, and all the doubters will eventually come asking for help.

17. You are a reflection of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

We are all mirror images, sculpted through the reflections we see in other people. This isn’t a game you play by yourself. Work to be surrounded by those you wish to be like, and in time, you too will carry the very things you admire in them.

18. Beliefs are relative to what you pursue.

Nobody explains, though, that “beliefs” then are not “fixed.” There is no “right and wrong.” It is all relative.

Find what works for you.

19. Anything can be a vice.

Again, there is no “right” and “wrong” as you get older. A coping mechanism to one could be a way to relax on a Sunday to another. Just remain aware of your habits and how you spend your time, and what habits start to increase in frequency — and then question where they are coming from in you and why you feel compelled to repeat them.

Never mistakes, always lessons.

As I said, know yourself.

20. Your purpose is to be YOU.

To be you, all of you, always, in everything you do — whatever that means to you. You are your own creator. You are your own evolving masterpiece.

Growing up is the realization that you are both the sculpture and the sculptor, the painter and the portrait. Paint yourself however you wish.

This article originally appeared on Inc Magazine.

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