Image credit: Instagram - @MrPorterLive

How to teach yourself enough to reach ‘adulthood’

What even is adulthood? That isn’t rhetorical, I genuinely want to know. In some cultures, adulthood is reached through a combination of time and ritual, in others, it’s more of an abstract concept. Is it the moment you become fully independent? Is it the moment you can drink legally? What is the criteria for someone who calls themselves ‘adult’?

Maybe these questions don’t have answers, maybe adulthood is just a state of mind. Like ageing or growing, it just happens over time without you realising. One day you wake up in the middle of the night and think about your tax return instead of the new X-Men film. Adulthood takes another victim.

This great new video from The School of Life is titled “Overcoming Childhood” and deals with how our actions and behaviours as tots can have monumental impacts on the type of adults we become in the future.

Here are the main things we learned from this profound but inspiring video:

  • Around age eight, between infancy and adolescence, that our emotional hard drives start becoming with discerning. We learn whether we can trust, what our doubts mean, what feelings can be expressed, how tolerant we are and how much can we be forgiven.
  • Humans, as a whole, hugely underestimate how stubborn this earlier faults and associations are.
  • There’s a societal trope for one to ‘get over their childhood’ but this doesn’t account for the ‘inner five year old’ that olds onto the experiences of the past.
  • Humility and consciousness are the key to developing out of a childhood spiral. Hanging on too tight can be dangerous but repressing traumas and conditions of the past is definitely not healthy either.


So there you have it. Regardless of what you consider adulthood to be or when it fully kicks in, the state of your childhood will determine the adult you become.