Being wise means using your intelligence and knowledge to make decisions, but you also need to use your self-control.

Being a grown-up doesn't depend on how old you are - some children behave like adults and some adults still behave like children. You aren't a man just because you can grow a beard, and you're not a woman just because you have breasts. What makes you an adult is the way you think and behave. Being an adult means you know what you should be doing, and you do it, even when you don't want to. Adults have more self-control than children.

What Growing Up Means

When Annabelle was five, I asked, "Why do you want to be a grown-up?" And she replied, "because I can do anything I want. I can make my own rules and not be bossed around. I can eat candy at dinner time. I get to buy my own clothes. I get to go to bed whatever time I want."

Actually, adults have to follow more rules than children do. And although they don't get bossed around as much, they have to do a lot more things they don't like to do, especially things like chores, paying bills, or working, even when they'd rather be outside enjoying themselves. They'd like to eat candy at dinner time and go to bed when they want, but they know that if they do, they will suffer for it the next morning, so they don't.

Knowledge about the world, your body, and the way things work helps you become an adult. Controlling your emotions, or "self-control" is one of the biggest differences between adults and children. In pre-school you learned not to hit other people when you didn't get what you wanted, and that was your first lesson in self-control.

Self-control or will power can be practiced. NYT article Dec 6, 2007
Being a perfectionist NYT article Dec 3, 4, or 5
Dyslexiz and business success NYT article Dec 6, 2007

Words of Wisdom

100 Simple Secrets of Happy People by David Niven
#11 - Contrary to the belief that happiness is hard to explain, or that it depends on having great wealth, researchers have identified the core factors in a happy life. The primary components are number of friends, closeness of friends, closeness of family, and relationships with co-workers and neighbors. Together these features explain about 70 percent of personal happiness.

Murray and Peacock 1996 (p.22)

10 Eternal Questions by Zoe Sallis
Ten Things I wish 'd Known -Before I Went Out into the Real World by Maria Shriver

Parents' Advice Winners
What Kids Need to Know Contest

Wisdom/Sunscreen Speech
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...and it's all small stuff

"Men marry women hoping they won't change. women marry men hoping they will. both are disappointed."

Other wise sayings at: www.wisdomquotes.com or just Google "Wisdom quotes"

How Adults Behave

When you are an adult, you will:
  • Think of what you'll want in the future, not just the things you want now.
  • Save money for the future, instead of buying things today.
  • Do chores you don't like, because you know they need to be done.
  • Think of others' needs before you think of your own.
  • Think before you speak, and ask yourself how your words will affect others.
  • Learn to compromise, because you'll realize you can't always get what you want.
  • Realize you have to take responsibility for your own actions. When you're 16, no one is going to say, "Oh, she's just a kid. She didn't know what she was doing."
  • Respect other people's opinions, even if you don't agree with them.
  • Follow the rules even when no one watching.
  • Do your share, even when others aren't doing theirs.
  • Know not to say things that will hurt you in the future ("burning your bridges behind you.")
  • Practice what Benjamin Franklin said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."


    One advantage of being an adult is the wisdom you'll gain over time. You'll learn to read between the lines. You'll learn what people want, even if they don't tell you. You'll learn when people are trying to cheat you. You'll learn that many people aren't paid to think. You'll learn that the race isn't always to the swift and that some people are succesful for the wrong reasons. You'll learn that life isn't always fair, but you'll still try to do your best. You'll help others even when you know it won't make much difference, and you'll never be thanked, but you'll still feel good for doing it.


    With advantages also come responsibilities. If you have a car, you have a responsiblity to take care of it. Being married means you have a responsibility to care for them when they are sick. Having children means you can't think only of yourself anymore. In fact, your children's needs now become more important than your own. The selfish days of thinking only of yourself are now gone.

    Wisdom Has Two Sides

    One of the most difficult lessons, is realizing you'll never make a difference in the world. That you will be stuck in the same job for the rest of your life and never be promoted, never be fired and no one cares what you do because it's not important.

    But remember the man running along the beach throwing starfish back into the sea. The beach was miles long and there were millions of starfish. A man walked up to him, pointed to the beach and said, "you'll never be able to throw all the starfish back into the sea. You must realize what you're doing isn't making a difference. The man turned to face him, pointed to a starfish he was holding, and said, "it makes a difference to this one," as he turned and threw it back into the sea.

    Doing Things You Don't Want to Do

    There are lots of things you don't want to do but know you should, especially chores and homework. The hardest thing to do is just get started, but once you've started you'll find it easier to continue. If it's a long project, though frequent breaks may make it harder to finish, because you can always find something else you'd rather do instead.

    What the Young Have Done

    Do you want to grow up because you want a chance to accomplish something? Well, there's a lot you can do before you're a grown up. Kids have done some amazing things. But you're right, the older you get, the more you can accomplish. But think how I feel. I've already passed the second to the last age on this list, and my name isn't anywhere on here!

    What the Young Have Done

    Last words of Charles Adams Grandfather - If you've had health and companionship, there's no reason to complain. An old english professor, Felicia Campbell told me that Charles Adams, who suffered a lot, never let it get him down. "I think part of his secret was the way he savored all of life's little pleasures from a beatiful scent to a bite of food or glass of wine."

    Mike says,

    Well, Adams didn't have health, that's for sure. Really, the last 20 years of his life he had an assortment of problems. But you know, he never complained. Never. His wife told me once he was at heart a pessimist. He was having back trouble a year ago and the doctor said, we'll run tests. It could be anything from scoliosis to spinal cancer. She told me he decided it had to be spinal cancer. It was scoliosis.


    Some people say if you believe in something hard enough, it will happen; or you want something bad enough, you'll get it. Now that's baloney, but a dream is the beginning, because if you don't believe, and don't dream, then you can be 100% sure it will never happen.

    "Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark...."

    (a) Don't miss the boat. (b) Remember that we are all in the same boat. (c) Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark. (d) Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big. (e) Don't listen to critics. Just get on with the job that needs to be done. (f) Build your future on high ground. (g) For safety's sake, travel in pairs. (h) Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs. (i) When you're stressed, float a while. (j) Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals. (k) No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.


    Aju Fenn's Thoughts of Forgiveness

    The Last Lecture

    Actually, I was never good at the milk bottles. I'm more of a ring toss and softball-in-milk-can guy, myself. More seriously, though, most people try these games once, don't win immediately, and then give up. I've won *lots* of midway stuffed animals, but I don't ever recall winning one on the very first try. Nor did I expect to. That's why I think midway games are a great metaphor for life.

    Randy Pausch from Amazon.com interview for his book, The Last Lecture Last Lecture
    Randy Pausch's Website
    Video of the Last Lecture
    "A Final Farewell by JEFFREY ZASLOW Wall Street Journal May 3, 2008