Half the job of becoming an adult is discernment and choice. We have the ability to choose to do what we want – and the ability to choose not to do things too. Every little thing that pops in our heads doesn’t have to be done right then, or ever. We think we are free to do it all, and we are. But that freedom comes with a price. Nothing is ever done 100% when we try to do everything. A lot of little projects lay scattered, all a quarter done.
Remember when you were a child and you chafed at the fact that your parents told you what to do? You’d want to play games and they would tell you it was time to go to school. You’d want to read a comic book and they’d make you do your homework. You’d want to stay out until midnight and they’d set a curfew and insist that you are in on time or you’d lose your car keys. You want to eat candy for supper and they serve you broccoli and carrots instead. You swore that the minute you were on your own, you’d do whatever you wanted.
And that is the problem. Growing up means that you don’t have anybody telling you what to do – you have to do it yourself. You have to be the one to get up on time and go to work. You have to make yourself complete your projects at home. You have to make sure that you get enough sleep. You have to make sure that you eat well or you’ll get sick.
So many people are stuck in the child’s mentality of “You can’t tell me what to do” that they don’t do what they know to be right out of a sense of obstinacy or entitlement. They aren’t giving the finger to their parents when they do this. They are giving the finger to themselves and their health – mental, social, emotional, and physical.
Then they are so overwhelmed with being able to do whatever they want that they do anything and everything, and nothing gets done. They have dozens of projects going because nobody is managing them or their time. They are giddy with power, and helplessly lost.
So the trick to growing up is having the ability to make good choices – and then doing so. We don’t need parents or managers telling us what to do, because we are doing it. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we are doing things exactly the way that they did it – we aren’t them. But it does mean that we are exerting discipline and control over ourselves and our lives.