Rule #2: Remember who you are before the world told you who to be.

Life has a funny way of coming crashing down around you at the exact moment you believe the tide was turning.

That crash reminds you just how much on the precipice you always were, and in many respects–always will be…

However, in your moment(s) of weakness, despair, and misery the veil of illusion is pulled back. You remember who you are, your purpose, and your destiny long before the world super imposed the wishes, desires, and hopes of society and conformity upon you. It is in your darkest hour you remember who you are before the world told you , who to be.

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Rule #6: Everything at one point in time was impossible.

I am going to get straight to it,  rule #6: everything at one point in time was impossible.

Some days–for example, like yesterday for me–you wake up and a task that is before you seems impossible.

As the day goes on the mere thought of even beginning the task seems momentous and unfathomable. Next thing you know, the sun rose and set and you have made no progress on a seemingly impossible task.

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Photo by Pixabay on

Then, there are days you wake up and it feels as if you can bend the very fabric of time itself and move mountains.

I have come to realize the only difference between the two above described days is mindset.

In 1954, Roger Bannister became the first athlete to set the record for a 4-minute mile. Since then, over 1,400 athletes have broken the record.

Before Ernest Rutherford’s discovery of atom splitting in 1919, atomic energy would not be possible. Nor would Albert Einstein advancement and discovery of the theory of relativity.

From Roger Bannister to Albert Einstein, their works and contribution to their respective fields stand to show us that at one point in time what was viewed as impossible became possible. It is only through a change in attitude, mindset, and with tenacious belief and unfettered determination does impossible become I’m- Possible! 

So regardless of the day you have before you, the task that may stand in your way to completion, or the circumstances that you are presented with, remember rule #6: everything at one point in time was impossible.

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Rule# 81: Forgive wholly

So yesterday, was my 28th birthday, and with the beginning of a new year–of sorts– comes new goals, new hopes, new plans, new worries—and overall newness!

However, if life has taught me one thing it is that humans have capacity levels (future rule forthcoming). When those capacity levels are reached, it is incredibly difficult to function as the best version of yourself.

I myself have found that when I am at capacity–

  • My ability to process and move on from grievances, no matter how slight, is tested and likely to fail;
  • My desire to communicate and work through issues is exhausted (see rule #2) and I match rather cast off the problem–either through avoidance or banishing it from my life–then to implore my diplomatic prowess; and
  • I have a general overall sense of continuous lethargy and defeat.

In recognizing the affects on my mind, body, and soul of reaching capacity, I am able to stymie the challenges that cause me to reach capacity. I have also learned that a challenge that plagues most of us–especially Adulting millennials– is the inability to forgive.

The inability to forgive others. To forgive past actions or missteps. Most importantly, the inability to forgive yourself.

While adulting, I have made countless missteps, mistakes, and engaged in misdeeds. Some at the time, I believed to be the best course of action. Others at the time I seen a cataclysmic end but failed to stop myself, out of sheer fear of the unknown alternative. Regardless of the reason, in the end I am left with the pain and burden of the impact I made, and the potential hurt I have caused.

The weight and burden of failure, hurt, and pain grows with each mistake, misstep, or misdeed–until finally, you are rutted in the quick sands of despair. Sinking quickly and going nowhere fast! Stuck in place only to stew over every past action you caused or that has been done to you.

Life at this point is best summed up with the adage– a watched pot is slow to boil. Stuck in the dusty recess of your minds graveyard of hurt and despair, waiting for a magically moment to happen where all of a sudden life is better and all is grand….will not come without taking a noble and powerful step on your behalf.

This step is what I have learned to do, although it has taken me 28 years to be made known, fully comprehend, internalize, and act upon it. The step is rule #81: forgive wholly!

Les Brown once said ” It doesn’t matter about the things that you’ve done, that you feel guilty about, if you wouldn’t do it today you’re convicting an innocent person.

If you have thought about it, prayed about, dreamt about it, and figured out why you did, what you did, when you did it and have determined that it was necessary thenForgive yourself !

If you have thought about, prayed about, dreamt about it, and determined that what you did, when you did it, was uncharacteristically you and you would not do it again, then forgive yourself!

If you have asked about it, thought about it, read about it, and figured out why whomever you believed did you wrong, did what they did to you, and some how you can forgive them for it then do not feel bad for forgiving yourself!

Even if you cannot for the life of you figure out why someone you thought was close to you, did what they did to you, still forgive yourself!

Most importantly, forgive yourself wholly! Everyone has a capacity level at which point you are doing yourself a disservice, and the world a displeasure!

As we are adulting we will make mistakes! Take the time to learn from your mistakes, missteps, and misdeeds and for your health, wealth, and piece of mind– forgive yourself wholly! 

Here is to being 28 and forgiving myself wholly– to all my past mistakes, past hurts, and those who hurt me– I ask for your forgiveness and I release you!

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Photo by Anthony on

Rule #8: Always hold something back!

I can tell you a thousand things about me but, I will always hold onto one.

I can tell you a thousand things about me but, their always must be something that separates us–one from another.

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Photo by Min An on

My journey as an Adulting millennial-like many–has not been easy. Learning, tussling, and often losing sleep over the tortious task of discernment between what oft seems as to mutually exclusive counter-weights.

Transparency and Discretion.

Openness and Reservation.

Friends and Associates. 

True Progress and In-place stagnation. 

In my struggle, I have learned many lessons in the tug-of-war of competing interest:

Transparency and Discretion.

Not sharing enough of yourself and people find it hard to relate to you; society stops seeing you as human and begins viewing you as alien. Conversely, share to much of yourself and you are either ostracized for being an oversharer or being seen as unable to keep a secret.

Openness and Reservation.

If you are too open, society gazes upon you in question of your genuineness and authenticity. Seeking to determine what may be the nature and purpose of your openness. On the flip side, if you are too reserved then you are viewed as weak and lack the grit to get ahead.

Friends and Associates. 

Similar goals, similar hopes, similar dreams, similar backgrounds, similar struggles. Friend or associate? The fine line of between being friend and being an associate is one that differs for each person. Requiring careful introspection to determine the values, duties, and obligations of friendship–undying loyalty? truth above all else? agreement even in light of heartfelt concern? Whatever your criteria is for friendship, know them and examine your relationships in light of them. If you do not know them, spend the time figuring them out.

True Progress and In-place stagnation. 

There will come a time when you question, have you made true progress or simple kept your self busy resulting in-in place stagnation? Figuring out if the task you completed, the day that is closing out, the job you are working is moving you closer to your life’s purpose, your divine calling is a never ending task…

But one that is learned only by thoughtful reflection and continuous action( see rule #1). 

Above all, what I have learned is that life is a continuous transition from one stage or phase into another–the moment you feel you are getting the hold of things is the very same instance in which things change. During these transitions we are always learning new ways to balance competing values, interest, and objectives; we are always being given new values, interest, and objectives to balance; and if we take the time, we should always be learning more about the world and ourselves.

While these transitions are occurring and balancing is being learned, it is important to remember rule #8: Always hold something backNot because you seek to be untrustworthy, disingenuous, or unrelatable but because during your life’s transitions and balancing acts you are in a vulnerable and malleable state. The scared part of you, the essence of your personhood–the very part of you that is inexplicably linked to the very unique spark that pulsates through you in giving you life– must be protected. Protected so that is nurtured, groomed, weeded, disciplined, and developed in a way that allows you to reach the true masterdom of your character and personhood without being broken or destroyed by the vicissitudes of life and sometimes evil perils of people.

Rule #1: You are born, life is tough, you die! (simply state: life is hard!)

When I was younger, I believed life was not hard but we, as in people, made it difficult. I still believe this is the case. However, while Adulting, at some point in time, I realized life really was…is…hard!

It’s hard for several reasons, in millennial bulleted fashion:

  1. there is always something you don’t know
  2. there is always something you don’t know that you don’t know
  3. there is always someone who has nothing better to do than to concern themselves with what you are doing, why you are doing it, and when you are doing it
  4. at some point in time you are likely to suffer, or are suffering from the disease known as more (where what you have is never enough and you want more)
  5. at some point in time you are bound to fall asleep behind the wheel, and when you wake up your life has been side-tracked–and you are not quite sure how to get it back on track
  6. the pain of believed sunken cost will consume you (i.e. I have already spent 3 years of my life as an English major, why change now– by the way I was a poli sci major, this is truly an example)
  7. sometimes life is plain and simple difficult and you do not know why
  8. Bullsh*t rolls down hill
  9. if you were born into a financially challenged family (because broke and poor are words that should be used sparingly) it may seem like you are in a never ending press to get ahead or if you were born into a family of comfortable means are always trying to escape the privilege or shadow of those means (so I’m told, I still am working on arriving)
  10. As your mom told you when you were younger, simply because….

Regardless of the reason accept that life is hard but never let it stop you from being even tougher. Roll with the punches, and when the opportunity presents itself, or you make the opportunity–throw a few blows back!

Rule #1: Life is hard…so deal! 

Follow me on Twitter @AoAMillennial or on Instagram @theaoamillennial 

Rule #72: When giving a f*ck is too much work…don’t!

On the Adulting journey, some days you wake up with little to no cares.  Your general disposition, attitude, and psyche can be summed up with this face:


Some how you need to still pull yourself: (1) out of bed; (2) brush your teeth; (3) take a shower; (4) get dressed; (5) get to your destination; and then (6) interact with your colleagues, friends, associates, and strangers…. But wait, as if that did not call for all the effort and energy you already do not have, you need to interact with others with a smile, or at least some feigned interest, care, and concern.

Meanwhile, your mind is going about as fast as the pour-over cup of coffee you are making (assuming you were able to afford coffee that month–who am I kidding, you are always able to afford coffee, maybe not food, but definitely coffee) scrambling with the real important questions of the day:

What’s for dinner?

If I pack everything up right now and move back home, am I failure or am I being financially prudent?

Hmmm, as to that last question, what is the difference between begin a failure and having failed?

Oh, Sugar, Honey, Iced, Tea—I forgot to lock the door! Wait, I did lock the door(phew!)

…Wait, did I lock the door?! Oh, yeah, I did !(at least that’s what I am going to tell myself because I simply cannot deal with anymore disappointment and not locking the door may very well break me right now)

Will I be able to pay my rent, car payment, utilities, and buy food this month?… Oh shot, I will– God is shinning down on me this month!!

After being side-tracked by contemplating real issues, you are snapped back to the misery of the day by some overzealous colleague, customer, client, stranger–person–needing something. A lot more something then you have to give.

At which point you scrounge up every bit of the little energy you have, to provide to the best of your ability a thorough and pleasant response. This act continues person-after-person, hour-after-hour, until your day comes to an end.

Finally, you gather your belongs, the remainder of your energy, wit, and mental capacity and shuffle off to your next destination…and finally home!

At long last you reach home…but wait, you have no energy to read the magazine article you planned to read, work on what you are sure will be the next great American novel, or paint a portrait that would put Da Vinci to shame. The endeavors you know some how in your soul will turn your situation around–reading that article will unlock the financial plan that will have you retire a millionaire at 30, or writing that novel will turn you into the next Stephen King.

So, rule #72: when giving a f*ck is too much work, don’t!Use this rule with caution– sometimes you have to pull yourself through the day, but remember always save a little energy for yourself and your own endeavors.

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