Blogger | Teacher
Being a successful adult doesn’t have to be hard and growing older doesn’t always have to mean growing up, but growing as a person does encourage a certain amount of development and maturity.
As we get older, we gain more responsibilities: more bills and expectations and struggles. And while it may seem like we’re not equipped with the right qualities or skills to deal with these adult issues, it really may be a lot easier to handle than we realize.
You are stronger and wiser than you believe, and more capable than you thought possible. And you may have more of the necessary qualities to be a thriving adult than you realize (even if it doesn’t feel like you do). But, in case you want a little reminder that you have it under control, here are some of the most important qualities to possess for being a successful adult.
One of the most necessary traits to have for adulthood development is reliability. Whether you’re in a work setting, around friends, or participating in a family event, being a reliable person can really help elevate you into the status of a “successful adult who knows what they’re doing.”
I think reliability is on most people’s list of “top 5 important qualities in a person” – even if they don’t realize it right away. We all want to surround ourselves with people who do their part and who are willing to put in as much effort as we are.
Do you remember in school when you’d be assigned a group project and you were always afraid to be paired up with one of the students who wouldn’t contribute or pull their weight? Adulthood is a lot like that, so it’s important to try and always show others that you’re the partner they want to choose.
Consistency is key in a lot of things in life, and this includes adulthood development. Whether you’re trying to impress your employer or foster a new friendship, being consistent in your positive habits, personality, and work ethic can go far in your journey to feeling like a successful adult.
For example, one quote I try to live by is the very dad-like phrase “If you’re early, you’re on time; if you’re on time, you’re late; and if you’re late, you’re fired.” I’ve always aimed to be a very punctual person, but hearing that quote during one of my college courses really solidified my consistent efforts to be early for every meeting.
Even if I’m just going to lunch with a friend, I do my best to make sure I’m early or on time. Why? Because my consistency to respect other people’s schedules makes people feel like they can rely on me to be there when they need me. And that’s important.
So no matter what kind of positive influence you are trying to have or whatever type of person you are trying to become, make sure you are consistent about it!
Independence as a trait for successful adulthood development is a little tricky to consider, mainly because it makes it seem like someone who is dependent on another person is not a successful adult.
But when I talk about independence, I don’t necessarily mean that in order to be a successful adult you have to be completely self-reliant. Instead, I mean that many successful adults build a set of goals, expectations, and interests for themselves that are wholly their own, making them an independent person who aims to grow and develop in order to achieve these individual needs.
When you’re a kid, so many of your plans about your future and goals for yourself are built from someone else’s ideas. You go to college because someone told you you should, or you participate in certain extra-curricular activities because someone expects you to. But as an adult, your whole life depends on you – you get to make the goals and call the shots about what you are trying to be.
Independence is about acknowledging that you are the captain of your own ship and you get to decide what kind of person you want to be, completely separate from other people’s expectations or ideas.
To me, being responsible is one of the most important qualities to have for successful adult development. But what many people may not consider is that responsibility really has two parts, and both are necessary for becoming a successful adult.
The first aspect of responsibility is the obvious: being responsible for your needs and the needs of those dependent on you. Paying your bills, working to put food on the table, and providing for yourself and your family – this is the aspect of responsibility we are taught from a young age and know is a central part of adulthood.
However, another aspect of responsibility that is also taught to children but can sometimes be overlooked as we get older is being responsible for our actions and the ways we affect the people around us. We are constantly interacting with others, and sometimes we make mistakes and hurt people accidentally or without realizing it. The people in my life who I consider successful adults are the ones who take responsibility for their actions and do their best to fix their mistakes.
We are all human, and will inevitably do wrong to others even if we aren’t trying to. What’s important isn’t whether you make a mistake, but rather whether you try to fix it and grow from it. These are the marks of a developed adult.
All of the above qualities mentioned for becoming a successful adult lead to one important trait: maturity. Now, maturity doesn’t mean giving up being fun or creative or childlike. I think everyone should try to stay as mentally young as possible for as long as they can, at least in ways that make life fun and interesting.
But you should also develop a certain amount of maturity by the time you reach what we consider “adulthood” in order to function peacefully and cohesively with the world around you. If you are responsible, reliable, consistent, and capable, you are a mature and thriving adult (even if you still let your inner child have fun sometimes).
Don’t let the word “maturity” lead you to believe you suddenly have to be stiff and “grown up” in order to be a successful adult. Maturity is just learning the truths about life and growing with them, evolving into a version of yourself that can have fun but still positively influence the people around you.
Confidence can make a world of difference when trying to be a successful adult. At the end of the day, no matter whether you check all the above boxes for “successful adult,” you may still feel like you’re lacking somehow or failing as an adult. I promise you, everyone feels like that sometimes.
The important thing to remember, however, is that believing in yourself is half the battle. If you don’t believe you can be a successful adult, then you’ll never feel like you are one. Being self-assured is believing that no matter what obstacles you face, you can make it through.
Self-assuredness can change the way you look at yourself and the people around you, and it’s important to understand that the person best suited for taking care of yourself is you. You are strong, amazing, and capable – don’t forget to remind yourself of this every day!
Saving the most important for last, being a considerate person is the most important trait for becoming a successful adult in my opinion. We are all doing our best to grow and mature as we get older, and I think it is so important that we keep this in mind as we look at how we interact with the people around us.
At the end of the day, we could all use a little more kindness, so be kind to the world and be kind to yourself. As Mother Theresa once said, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
Do you know of more important qualities for being a successful adult? Tell us in the comments!
About Draven Jackson
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.
To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.