Once upon a time…
While her neck is not anything worth drawing attention to, I would argue that anything covering the neck has been desperately needed for quite some time. In any case, she always liked that necklace so I am happy for her to receive it. And now that my daughter’s inheritance is accounted for, let’s move on to the one asset everyone in my family is salivating over… my glass eye collection.
When I last checked, its value was somewhere in the hundreds of thousands. And who knows? It could even be in the millions by now. My father used to say, ‘Money belongs in the safe we keep in the guest house, not in our hearts and minds.’ He was a man of great wisdom, and he knew a good investment when he saw one. That’s how he wound up with a wooden leg collection. One of the finest ever compiled outside of a pirate museum.
When he died, my seven siblings and I were enthusiastically waiting to hear who would be the recipient of all those wooden legs. We anticipated selling the collection to the School for Rare and Discomforting Things so that we could have our own fortune to kickstart our lives. We dreamed of buying boats and houses and that our sister Hattie could purchase a parrot since none of us could stand talking to her.
Even though we had grown up very well to do, father shielded us from the trappings of privilege by refusing to buy us toys or allowing us to join him on his many overseas adventures. When it was announced that father had instructed us to burn his wooden leg collection on his death bed, I was furious. That assortment of artificial limbs was his most valuable possession, and he wanted us to destroy them.
He said he wanted us to make our own fortune in the world. Assemble our own noteworthy valuables. Acquire our own puzzlements. That’s how I began collecting glass eyes. Some of the most realistic-looking eyes this side of the equator. Sometimes, when I open the chest they are kept in, it’s as though dozens of tiny faces are staring back at me. It gives me the most delicious little fright, and when you’re one hundred and six, you take whatever thrills you can get!
I wish I could offer you the same excitement, my wonderful sons and daughters – all thirteen of you. I wish I could bequeath each of my eighty-six grandchildren one pair of eyes each. The hazel eyes for the well-behaved children, the blue eyes for the mischievous ones, and the brown eyes for those whose names I can’t remember, because their personalities are so unremarkable.
However, I can do no such thing, because I am also decreeing that my collection be burned the same way father’s was all those years ago.
The fortune you all may have been expecting is not forthcoming, and I declare you will all be the better for it. My expectation is that this will inspire you all to go out and capture your own little trinkets to rack up in value. Then, as those who have come before you have demonstrated, allow them to sit gathering dust on your mantles or in the back of a cupboard somewhere nobody can see them. For in this family, we do not gather together priceless antiquities to one day sell them, but rather to think about how we could sell them if we wanted to, but we never will, because we’re not savages. It’s not all about dollars and cents. It’s about legs and eyes and maybe one day some other weird and wonderful accessory.
Our family comes from a long line of minimalists, many of them monks who would sneak away from their monasteries to make trouble with the local village girls. Of course, now you know why I was never much for genealogy. We aren’t exactly the descendants of philosophers and kings. Still, I take pride in knowing we’ve come a long way. I believe you all are a large improvement over those who came before you, if only because your chins aren’t nearly as pointy and most of you are able to grow fingernails. I consider that a success.
As much as I’ll miss my ever-expanding family, I have faith that you will each create the most sensational life, and that you won’t be the least bit angry that you cannot use my collection of glass eyeballs to do it. I must apologise in advance for how long it will take to burn them. The wooden legs went up rather rapidly, and I suppose glass won’t be as swift. Nevertheless, I ask that you stand firm and wait until the fire has transformed my most prized possession into nothing more than liquid and smoke.
At that moment, you may not feel much gratitude for me, and that’s all right. Gratitude, like all good things, comes to those who wait. And regardless of the fact that I am currently deceased, I can assure you, I will be waiting.
“Without struggle, success has no value.”
Moral of the Story:
You are not really adulting if you still rely on your parents to bail you out of life’s little emergencies. Eventually, we all have to support ourselves financially and emotionally – that’s what adulting is all about. Finding it hard to stand on your own two feet? Look the monster square in the eye. If you have debt, know the amount right down to the cent. If you’re overweight, know by how much. If you are overspending, know exactly where that money went. If you’re underperforming, know what your peers are doing differently. You’re not stuck because you’re lazy, you’re stuck because you’re in denial. Here are our top 18 tips for epic adulting:
Start dreaming in strategy, not theory. Think about how you might create or accomplish something, not if you could.
Stop speaking to people who drain, exhaust, frustrate and fundamentally misunderstand you. It’s a waste of your valuable time and precious energy.
Trust people’s motivations over their intentions. And do not be spiteful or greedy. There is a difference between being abundant and being all-consumed with having more than anyone else.
Are you only treating the symptoms? The most common ways people screw up their life are symptoms of deeper issues, fear and unresolved trauma. Realising this is half the battle won.
Trust people’s actions over their words. Stop putting effort into spending time with people who consistently make you feel frustrated and uncomfortable. If you are serving the wrong people, the right people are not being served.
Stop waiting for success to be linear. Instead of being defeated by every setback, stay focused on the big picture. Success does not tend to come in big breakthroughs. The shifting of your daily habits and routines are breakthroughs in themselves.
Write down everything you worry about in a day. Pick out the key themes. These are the areas of your life that need your attention.
Stop seeing adversity as a setback and start seeing it for what it really is: a point at which you are primed to experience radical growth and transformation.
Feed off of your dissatisfaction. Let it fuel you and push you and dare you to create the life you actually want to be living.
Stop using being “busy” as a status symbol. It does not make you look successful, it makes you look like someone who does not know how to manage their time.
Start enjoying your life in simple, everyday ways. All your finest efforts will be for nothing if you look back and realise that you never found even a degree of contentment with where you were in the moment.
If there’s someone in your life that you care about, tell them and tell them often.
What you give out, you get back. This is Universal Law. Don’t expect to receive kindness if you are not kind. Don’t expect to be respected if you do not respect. Don’t expect to be valued, if you don’t appreciate.
Stop trying to master your habits and start learning to master your mind. Your mind is your control panel and it needs to be attended to first and foremost.
Evaluate how well you’re doing in life not by the virtues of your personality, but those of your character. Your personality is who you are to other people. Your character is who you are when you’re alone.
Write down everything you did today and take the time to imagine if you repeated this day for the next 25-years. Where would you be? How would you feel?
If you have to throw something out, throw it out. If you have to start over, start over. This time you’ll have wisdom.
If you are waiting for a sign, this is it. If you are waiting for someone to help you, save you, or create for you the life of your dreams, go and look in the mirror. This is where you begin.
“Take responsibility of your own happiness, never put it in other people’s hands.”
Affirmation: I am the CEO of my life.
I am 100% responsible for my life. I claim my personal power and I live in alignment with my highest values. I find it easy to stand on my own two feet and I just naturally take control of my life. I forgive myself. I release guilt and shame in exchange for my freedom. The past has no power over me because I am willing to learn, change and grow. I give myself permission to do what is best for me and I have all the tools I need to be successful. I consciously connect to my authenticity and release all the false or outdated versions of myself. When I am being my true self, I feel expansion, freedom and happiness. I accept and harness my personal power and I let my accomplishments speak for themselves. The time for making excuses for my actions is over. No matter how I feel, I will Stand Up, Show Up, Suit Up, Shape Up, Buck Up and Grow Up. I am responsible for who I allow in my space. I am the master of my own destiny and how I respond to my life is my choice.
“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”