You Can Avoid Most Of Your Adult Problems If You Follow These 5 Rules

Adulthood is hard — don't make it more difficult than it has to be.

Woman exercising daily to avoid most of her adult problems Imageblend, grublee | Canva

A video of a young girl breaking down in tears after realizing she’ll be an adult one day is making the rounds on social media. This is a stark difference from me when I was younger. Back then, I desperately wanted to be an adult as quickly as possible, so I could do whatever I wanted, like say curse words and choose my bedtime. As I got older, I realized there wasn’t much joy in those things. I hardly curse, and I still have a bedtime.


To be fair, I don't want to be an adult either 😂

♬ original sound- LADbible

The truth is adulting doesn’t have to be as daunting as you, or the young girl in the video may think. Learning the rules to living a happier and more fulfilling life can help you avoid most of your adult problems if you enforce them. 


You can avoid most of your adult problems if you follow these 5 rules:

1. Exercise regularly

The second law of thermodynamics states that all things tend toward disorder. This means you naturally deteriorate as you age since chaos is a necessary part of the process. Regular exercise preserves your mind and body from this end for longer. It’s well regarded that adults who sit less and engage in some form of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, gain far greater health benefits than those who spend most of their time seated and not working out.

On top of that, studies show that being more physically active can improve brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to carry out daily activities. It can also improve your mood and decrease negative emotions like depression, stress, and anxiety. This is because exercise may increase the production of endorphins, which help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain.

You’ve got to work out. Don’t just do it for the sake of looking good; do it because it’s good for you.

Women running together Ground Picture / Shutterstock


RELATED: 10 Reasons To Exercise That Improve Your Body And Mind — That Have Nothing To Do With Your Physical Appearance

2. Live below your means

Living below your means doesn’t necessarily mean you should scrape pennies together and ditch your morning. You can live below your means and still own and do nice things. This is more about consuming less than you produce or spending less than you earn. If you’re forced to go into debt to maintain your standard of living, you’re living too excessively.

Living below your means allows you to reduce financial stress in your life. When you’re not spending more than you earn, you’re able to save and invest more, avoid bad debt, and establish a safety net for unforeseen expenses, like a breakdown or emergency surgery. This is how you achieve financial stability faster than you can imagine.

One of the world's longest studies on happiness reveals that the secret to a more fulfilling, happy life is filled with a deep sense of connection to other people. According to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you must feel a sense of safety and security before you can progress up the pyramid to love and belonging. In other words, without financial security, you can’t fully experience the power of intimacy, family, friendship, and a sense of connection, which is paramount to happiness and life longevity.


The way to fix this is by living below your means. Become aware of your income and ensure your spending never exceeds it. The only time it makes sense to go into debt is when the upside is far greater than the downside.

RELATED: Can Money Buy Happiness? Research Says Yes — If You Spend It On These Things

3. Optimize your life to do more of what you want

Whether you know it all or not, you have goals. You’re always going after a desired outcome. According to psychology, your motivations are either approach or avoid-oriented. 

When you’re avoid-oriented, your motivation is to move away from an undesired outcome. In other words, you’ve made it your goal to prevent a certain outcome like missing a bill payment, breaking up with your spouse, or letting others down. The problem with avoid-orientation is that it’s unfulfilling. You’re not powerfully moving toward something meaningful or creating a life you truly want. Instead, you’re trying to hold together the pieces of what you already have. With this type of motivation, life feels meaningless.


In contrast, being approach-oriented means you have a propensity to move toward a desired outcome. You've taken full ownership of the outcomes in your life. You’re doing things that move you closer to creating the life you want. To avoid most of your adult problems, you must be approach-oriented. There must be something you truly want and you’ve committed yourself to attaining it. It’s only when you’ve reached this point that you’re able to take deliberate action and find real meaning in your life.

4. Have more than one source of income

If there’s anything the pandemic taught me, it’s that you’re always one step away from poverty when you live on one income. This is why Warren Buffet insists people should depend on one source of income. He said, “Never depend on a single income. Invest to create a second source.”

Anything that creates the illusion of security is dangerous. The upside is usually low in such instances, but the downside is phenomenally high. Hedge yourself against risk by adding multiple sources of income — the more the merrier.  Start a blog. Grow an audience. Sell a product. Not only does this provide financial security and stability, but it also opens up new possibilities for creativity and career growth. When you’ve got money coming from various sources, it can help to safeguard your finances against unexpected fluctuations that may occur in one source.

RELATED: 5 Tiny Habits That Lead To Better Finances Than 99% Of People


5. Embrace life’s challenges

According to Holocaust survivor and Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, suffering is an inevitable part of life. The only way to survive and thrive through this suffering is to find meaning from within it. Frankl said, “If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering.” What he means by this is there must be a result you crave so badly that the suffering becomes irrelevant.

Muhammad Ali demonstrated this to the world when he said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” In Eric Thomas’ viral motivational speech, he said, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful.” 

As much as this speech is about success, it’s also about embracing life's challenges. There must be something you want. But wanting it is not enough… You must want it bad! You must want it so bad that the inevitable suffering you’ll through to get it is irrelevant. That’s the only way to fully embrace life’s challenges. You must find meaning!


Adult life doesn’t have to be filled with mandatory responsibilities that suck the life out of you. It can be thrilling, entertaining, and, ultimately, fulfilling. The secret to achieving this is following the rules for a good life. Yes, it means you’ll have to constrain your behaviors, but the outcome is far greater than the pain of enforcing the requirements.

Like Viktor Frankl once said, “Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.” You can either suffer to create the life you want or suffer living the one you must live. No matter what, suffering is present. Your quality of life is completely down to the type of suffering you choose.

RELATED: 15 Most Common Life Problems — And How To Solve Every Single One Of Them

Kurtis Pykes is a professional writer and author of the free e-book Don’t Just Set Goals, Build Systems. He's had articles featured on Medium, Nvidia blog, DataCamp, and, among many others.