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James Altucher


How To Be An Adult

I wish I had learned all of these things earlier.

    1. How to Rent an Apartment

    This is a critical life skill because it covers many other life skills.
    - being patient
    - knowing what you want and being honest with it.
    - rejection (either others will be competing with you for the apartment or the apartment owners might reject you for some reason)
    - paperwork paperwork paperwork - it's almost a full time job and a fool time job.
    - having uncomfortable conversations. For instance, asking your old landlord for a recommendation.

    2. Clearning your house.

    I never cleaned my room the entire time I was growing up. It was either an EXPLOSIVE mess or my grandma would clean my room from top to bottom and I'd begin destroying it again.

    But, when you are an adult, you have to keep your space clean. It's better for your stress, better for your hygience, and if you have roommates or dates, you need to be respectful of others.

    I'm still learning how to do this. But I like @talha idealist from before about keeping your space organized and clean: https://notepd.com/idea/5-smart-ways-to-stay-organized-at-home-and-work-983

    3. How to Give Constructive Criticism

    Most criticism is destructive. "Hmmm, I don't like it." "Why?" "I don't know, I'm just being honest".

    Well, don't be honest if it's not constructive. Constructive criticism at a basic level should note what is good about X [whatever it is you are giving criticism on]. And be honest about what your specific difficulties were when experiencing X, and then give constructive and realistic ways to improve X.

    If you are criticizing a science fiction novel written by a friend, for instance, don't say, "I would have liked it better if it were a Western." Say, "I wish I understood more the motivation of the main character. Maybe the tensions with his childhood friends could erupt into more conflict later."

    Someone once wrote me after a talk: “ Was impressed with your creativity and perspectives, but not with your delivery and coherence.” "

    Well, what the hell does that mean? What, specifically, was wrong with my delivery?

    Which also means, as an adult, you have to learn how to take criticsim. I read the above email, decided if there was useful content on it (I watched a video of my delivery and noticed I said "umms") and then act accordingly.

    4. How to make small talk

    As an adult you are constantly thrown into uncomfortable social situations where you don't know people. Or you are at a party or a meetup and you feel shy and in the corner. At least this is true for me.

    I grew up in the same place for most of my childhood so I just knew how to talk to people I had known all of my life.

    Learning the nuances of constructive small talk (not just, "what do you do for a living?") is key to being an adult.

    Here's an article about small talk which I found because I was searching on "altucher" and "small talk" . the article quotes me: https://projectadulthood.medium.com/how-to-make-small-talk-as-an-adult-95b4bcca1112

    5. Learn how to say NO

    Adults have boundaries. That's how you protect yourself from spending even one moment on things you don't want to do. As well as how you teach the other adults around you how to respect your boundaries.

    Note I didn't say, "Say No!". There are many ways to say "no" without offending. I wrote a book, "The Power of No" about this important adult skill.

    6. How to negotiate

    - everything in life is a negotiation
    - most people think they are good negotiators and they are not. So part of this skill is understanding your own strengths and weaknesses.
    - learning the basic techniques of negotiation.

    In "Skip the LIne" I give some of my favorite negotatition techniques but I'll write a comprehensive list here this week.

    7. Learn how to Apologize

    You are not always right. And when you are wrong (which will be often as an adult), then be able to accept it and remedy it, in part, by apologizing. Most people never learn this skill on the path to adulthood.

    The more times you take risks out of your comfort zone (which should be often but calculated so the risk is not too great) the more you will make mistakes. If you are not apologizing enough then you are probably not taking enough risks to carve out the zone that is uniquely you.

    8. Keeping your promises.

    9. I ran the concept "How do I apologize better" into the AI engine on the site and it spit out these responses:

    Don't Say "I'm Sorry":explain why an apology is needed and what you are sorry forIcon
    The Magic Words: "I was wrong":admit that you were wrong and take responsibility for your mistakeIcon

    A Sincere Gesture: express your remorse with a sincere gesture, such as a handwritten letter or flowersIcon

    The Effort Counts: make a genuine effort to improve things after your mistake, whether it's apologize in person or taking action to fix the problemIcon

    Mean It: be sincere in your words and actions, or else your apology will fall flat

    10. Follow up

    I wish I had been better at this in life. If you meet someone, follow up. Keep them in your network. I'm still bad at this.

    11. Ask for Help when you need it.

    It's so hard to ask for help. A) it gives status to others B) it admits weakness where others might have thought you had strength. C) you risk rejection. Many other reasons.

    Hay House, the Publishing company., once asked me to write a book called, "The Power of Ask".

    I said, "yes" but ultimately couldn't do it since I didn't feel I had properly developed the skill for myself.

    Too many people write books when they haven't experienced the topics in the book themselves. So corrollary to this is: don't write a BS book about something you don't know anything about.

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