Advice for Graduates (and Other Adults)

Nice article by Gretchen Rubin on LinkedIn.  This applies to all of us – not just the newly-minted young adults.  Be sure you read the last one.  The article is a great starting point.

My Best Advice for Graduates: 12 Tips for A Happy Life

  1. Know yourself
  2. Beware of Drift
  3. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good
  4. Write (and re-write) your own set of personal commandments
  5. Identify the problem
  6. Take care of your body; exercise regularly and get enough sleep
  7. Don’t expect to be motivated by motivation
  8. Give time and energy to keep relationships strong
  9. Ask yourself, “Whom do I envy?”
  10. Remember, everyone makes mistakes
  11. Know your “tell.”
  12. Collect your own Secrets of Adulthood.

Top 10 Things Your Kids Don’t Want

This is a MUST READ for anyone who is “downsizing,” and especially to parents who are thinking about estate planning and a move to a smaller home or independent living facility.

Some of the hardest conversations I have with my clients (both the parents who are engaged in estate planning and the children who are administrating the estate of a deceased parent) is what to do with the “stuff.”

This article is completely in line with the sentiments of the surviving children – they don’t want your (pardon the directness) OLD STUFF. They do not have the sentimental attachment to your china or your mother’s costume jewelry, or your collection of Precious Moments figurines, and certainly not to the furniture.

If you have a lifetime of accumulated STUFF and are ready to downsize, use this Forbes Article to help you decide how to dispose of it.

Even if you are NOT ready to downsize, it’s a Very Good Idea to KonMari your “stuff” every so often to give you some breathing room and take a substantial burden off your children who will be left to deal with your stuff after you are gone. If it is taking up room, and it if doesn’t “spark joy,” please dispose of it.

If you think that this is a little harsh, please note that I speak from experience, having provided “storage space” over the years to both sets of grandparents and my own parents’ lifetime accumulation of “this-and-that,” so I have a personal taste for the burden of sifting through decades of furniture, collectibles, and the like. I have also watched my aunt agonize over whether to keep or dispose of her mother’s lovely collectible items, knowing that her children and her nieces had little interest in the items, as lovely as they are.

Now, to step back from the rant – seriously consider whether your keepsakes will be considered as keepsakes by your children. I am completely charmed by my grandmother’s diary, which dates back to the 1930s, but am completely indifferent to every single Christmas, birthday, and greeting card that she also saved. I pulled out the letters I wrote to her when in college and put them in a binder and I kept the letters my grandparents wrote to each other when courting because those things have sentimental meaning for me. However, I don’t expect my kids to get the same “joy” out of these “keepsakes” as I do.

Good Leaders Delegate

Something I tell young people and those in new leadership positions – A good leader knows when and how to delegate. I am not impressed by “leaders” who put in long hours and risk burnout because they are trying to do everything themselves.

[That said – I fully acknowledge that I am guilty of “failure-to-delegate” syndrome.]

Read the Harvard Review articles for a great overview of how to get started:

To be a great leader, learn how to delegate well

This Tax Season – Watch for IRS Phone Scams

New telephone scams come along faster than word can get out about old ones. The newest is a caller claiming to be from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Services (which is a real thing), offering a large refund in exchange for a bank account number. If you decline, the offer turns into a threat to suspend your driver’s license or to arrest you.

Remember – the IRS will never ask you for a credit card number, will never ask you for payment over the phone, and will never ask for personal information.

WHAT TO DO: If you are unsure, the best way to handle the caller is to say, “I’m sorry, but I do not give out information over the phone. Please send me a letter, and I will call you if I have any questions.”

Political Prejudice by Geography

This is worth a look. I was astonished to learn that my home county is on the far “less prejudiced” end of the spectrum, versus my state capitol city of Indianapolis (Marion County), which is on the far “more prejudiced” end of the spectrum.

It is also worth noting that – at least in my home state – the political intolerance is highly prevalent in the counties that I would tend to label as “very liberal.”

Click link for interactive map: Political Prejudice by County