Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.

Ralph Marston

I’ve been looking forward to writing this article.

There are some huge misconceptions when it comes to learning how to become a grownup and I’d like to address a few of them.

First thing I would mention is that your parents (or the adults in your life) care about you.

They also have expectations concerning you.

They’d like you to be responsible, to be happy, to be respectful, perhaps hard working, and the list goes on. This list (and I’ve only shared only a small taste) is common to parents. I’ve never actually met or even heard of a parent who loved their children and didn’t have some expectation of their children.

That’s not to say they shared these expectations with you. I’ve met many parents who didn’t want to ‘pressure’ their child into anything, so they keep silent.

A good example is religion. Parents choose not to introduce any particular belief to their child because they want to leave that decision to the youth for when they grow up.

The problem with this route is that without some belief structure or influence growing up, the now adult will most likely choose what they were given.

Nothing at all.

I bring up this example because it directly transfers over to character traits, traditions & knowledge.

If you grow up celebrating Christmas or Easter in your family, you’re likely to follow that same route. The tradition/habit is there, so most of us continue to follow in those footsteps.

The same holds true if you didn’t celebrate those holidays. It wasn’t shown to be important, so it’s likely you’ll avoid them or ignore them.

Make sense?

Your parents have expectations of you, but so do other adults around you. Your teachers and professors in school, instructors at a trade school, preachers or pastors at church,…even the police, judges and your boss have expectations.

But the real question is…

Don’t You Have Expectations For Yourself?

This is about your life, after all.

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That also means I’m assuming you think for yourself (or at least want to).

Have you thought of your dream job or perhaps a business you wanted to create—something you love doing or have a brilliant talent for, that you’d like to develop into a career?

Have you thought of the impact you’d like to have on society around you, by expanding your influence and inspiring others?

Maybe you want to go out and travel the world, to see what those close to you have only dreamed of, but were never willing to strike out and see for themselves?

Do you want to be rich…or even better, have enough freedom to simply have both the time and resources to do what you’d like, when you’d like to do it?

Perhaps you have your sights on being the very best in a particular field or profession? Music. Art. Dance. Architecture. Medicine. Robotics. Agriculture. Genetics.

…or own your own food truck.


Learning how to become a grownup should involve your dreams and goals in life.

Have you stopped listening to what other people want for you and thought about what you want for yourself?

Adulting: How To Become A Grownup (Peter Pan Style)

Whoever said that growing up had to be boring, hard or depressing? Cause if that was the case, I’d be the first to walk away!

Look, as of this article, I’m 48 years old.

I’ve always had expectations for myself and though I might not have everything I was hoping for or in the way I thought it would happen, I’ve received far more than I ever expected. I’m equally blown away at what I have accomplished.

Always wanted to draw comic books for a living. I did comic books for 2 1/2 years, and I did do it for a living. A car accident wounded my hands and cut that short. However, I have made money (and a living) through artwork for over 30 years!


Always wanted to marry a beautiful woman who adored me and whom I could completely adore. Never honestly thought this would happen, but it did. My darling is the most beautiful (and wonderful) woman I have ever known and I kiss the water she walks on. Still get butterflies when she smiles at me!


Always wanted to write a book. Turns out I enjoy this even more than art and I’m fairly decent at it. Took me over two years to write & publish my first book of 140 pages. Loved it so much, I wrote another 8 books in the proceeding 18 months—three of them being over 500 pages.


I’ve also developed classes, courses, games, taught classes and been a public speaker to thousands of people over the years. All this while raising 12 children and striving to be the best dad I know how to the best kids in the world.

My point is, no one ever said you couldn’t be fun, engaging, comical, hilarious, dynamic or youthful as an adult.

As a reminder, the definition on this website for Adulting is:

The process of becoming an emotionally and mentally mature person who lives by specific principles and “self-governing” rules.

I read comics, watch cartoons with my kids, play video games, sing songs and dance in my bathrobe in the kitchen when the mood strikes me. 

All fun and endearing things…except the singing.

Put’s the neighborhood dogs on edge.

At the same time, I pay bills, talk with clients, build websites, build businesses, teach classes and do charity work, fix broken doors, change tires and if I have to, mow the lawn.

All of which Millennials would categorize as Adulting.

This Is All About Your Character

Growing up doesn’t mean giving up who you are—it’s about refining your definition and process of being who you are.

Don’t think of it being less because it’s not.

It’s about being more.

More reliable, more responsible, more respectful & more disciplined.

Who said anything about giving up who you actually are…unless that’s unreliable, irresponsible, disrespectful and undisciplined?

If that’s the case, then yup—you’ve got a problem.

For the rest of us, Adulting becomes a piece of cake once we realize that this is about honing our character and not blaming or waiting on someone else.

In the end, this all comes down to understanding what you really want out of life, recognizing the rules around you, and then fine-tuning that process of becoming an emotionally and mentally mature person.

A person that loves life and lives it to the fullest.

You do that by understanding the principles of life, then crafting personal rules to assist you in your daily interactions and challenges.

Trust me, you’ve got this.

Jaime Buckley

What expectations do you have for yourself? Let me know in the comments!

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