Practical Advice for Living in the Real World
John Hawkins’s book 101 Things All Young Adults Should Know is filled with lessons that newly minted adults need in order to get the most out of life. Gleaned from a lifetime of trial, error, and writing it down, Hawkins provides advice everyone can benefit from in short, digestible chapters. Readers of this engagingly conversational and informative book will take away practical, achievable advice they can implement immediately. Hawkins provides anecdotes gleaned from his own life and from the lives of people he knows to counsel a young audience without patronizing them. Each of the 101 chapters is thoughtfully structured, and doses of humor lighten some of the heavier advice. Hawkins’ heartfelt but practical counsel will be useful not only to new adults but to their parents as well.
|Publisher:||Greenleaf Book Group, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
John Hawkins runs Right Wing News and does weekly appearances on the Jaz McKay show and writes two weekly columns for Townhall. His work has been published at the Washington Examiner, The Hill, TPNN, Hot Air, The Huffington Post, and at Human Events.
Read an Excerpt
101 Things All Young Adults Should Know
By John Hawkins
River Grove BooksCopyright © 2017 John Hawkins
All rights reserved.
1. Be the one who moves first in social situations.
Unfortunately, whether you're talking about dates, friendly outings, parties, or just about any other type of social gathering you can imagine, most people have a tendency to wait for someone else to reach out to them.
There are a variety of reasons for this. Some people are shy and don't feel comfortable making the first move. Others fear rejection. Then there are the people who get so caught up in their routine that they hate to break it, even to do something fun. You also can't discount the people who aren't that social, lack confidence, or who forget how much they enjoy being with other people until they're out doing something.
What it all boils down to is that if you want to have a thriving social life, you need to accept that YOU are the one who has to make it happen.
That means with some friends, if you don't reach out to them, the friendship will die.
It means that if you aren't the one asking a woman out on a date (or at least being unsubtle in your flirting, ladies), then that date may never happen.
It means that if you aren't the one who suggests your friends go somewhere, then you may not be going anywhere.
Is that fair? No, it just is what it is.
As a practical matter, let me tell you what being social looks like.
When I go to political conventions and head out to dinner, I invite all the people I know who seem like they're entertaining. Sometimes that means twenty of us head out somewhere, sometimes it means six or seven of us, and on occasion, it means only three or four. It means that entertaining online friendships I maintained for years disappeared when I stopped reaching out. It means that out of every woman I ask on a date, maybe one out of three says "yes" and the other two beg off because they have to brush their hair that night. (Yes, I have really had a woman tell me that.)
Can that be a lot of hassle at times? Sure, but it also means that when I'm at conventions, people ask me where the parties are. It means I go on trips with friends. It means I'm fantastic at networking.
Do you have to do all that? Can't you be the friend who gets invited places? Sure, but remember, if you leave how social you're going to be to other people, you may end up spending a lot more time alone than you like.
2. Set hard boundaries in your personal life.
You ever wonder why a woman stays in a relationship with a man who hits her? Ever seen someone enable an alcoholic or drug addict who makes her life a living hell? Have you ever asked yourself why you put up with a "friend" who treats you like crap?
It's all about boundaries.
Human beings test each other's limits. It's just part of what we do — and in certain areas, some of us will go further than others. So what happens when someone who likes to push it to the limit runs up against another person who can't say "no?"
To put it another way, people get treated as well or as badly as they allow themselves to be treated. That doesn't mean that people with boundaries don't ever get treated poorly; it means they don't allow it to continue.
Take the first example of a woman who has a man hitting her. I've known women who have put up with that for years. I also knew a woman who dumped a guy she had been dating for years because he got angry and shoved her once. They were both attractive, intelligent, likable women, but there was one big difference. One of them had a firm boundary and the other one didn't.
Want to know why someone in your life treats you like absolute garbage? It's because you allow him to do it. There are plenty of guys who will dump a woman without a second thought for cheating on them, and plenty of women who will end a relationship if they hear the c-word drop.
So, knowing that, what are you going to allow in your life? Are you willing to lose respect for yourself to keep someone in your life? Are you okay with being abused because you don't want to be "mean" enough to tell someone to stop? How important is your happiness?
There are some people you just don't screw with because you know they're not putting up with your BS. Take it from me, it's good to be one of those people.
3. You will become like the people you spend the most time with.
I'm sure you've heard someone say, "Birds of a feather flock together," but a quote that may be even more apt is, "A good friend will help you move, a great friend will hire you a lawyer, but a true friend will help you hide the body."
Here's a pro tip: You don't want to have friends who ask you for help hiding a body. You may laugh, but the prisons are full of people who broke the law because they didn't want to disappoint their friends and ended up in jail because of it. You hang out with friends who get drunk out of their minds every weekend, use drugs, curse, or who are just a-holes, and you will probably do the same thing because you don't want to disappoint your pals.
We like to tell ourselves that we're "set apart" and can't be easily influenced. That's a load of bullshit. There are corporations you care nothing about that pay millions of dollars to get their ad in front of you for thirty seconds because they know they can change your behavior, but you think friends you like and spend hours with can't influence you? Of course they can!
So ask yourself some tough questions about your friends. Would you introduce these people to your parents? Do they have good character? Are they people you'd trust in an emergency, which hopefully would not involve moving a dead body?
Most of all, are these people you want to be like? If the answer is "no," you should ask yourself some questions about whether these people are ones you want to spend a lot of time with.
Don't get me wrong; everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. If we cut people loose for not being perfect, we wouldn't have any friends; however, don't wave off the fact that your friends help shape who you are as a human being. If your friend is a liar or a thief or a junkie, you're more likely to be that way too if you hang out with him long term.
Choose your friends wisely because they aren't only your friends; they're people who have an outsized influence on who you're going to become as a person.
4. Don't loan money to your friends.
I'm not talking about a "Hey, I forgot my wallet, spot me $5 until tonight" sort of loan; I'm talking about a "The rent's due and I'm broke. Can you help me out? I swear I'll pay you next week!"
Why shouldn't you loan your friends money?
For the simplest reason in the world: you'd like to continue to be their friend.
Let me explain: Most of the time when people ask you for money, it's because they're terrible with money in the first place. That's why they don't have any. They're in an apartment or car they can't afford, they drank the rent money, they bought some shoes instead of paying the power bill, or they have too much lifestyle for their salary. The other people who end up asking you for money are the people who don't have any in the first place. Either they have a lousy job and a lot of bills or, alternately, they've lost their job and haven't found another. Those two groups encompass 99 percent of the people who'll ask you for money outside of outright hustlers.
Of course, people don't admit to that. They come to you and tell you they had some "unexpected bills" and just need to get over the hump and then you'll get paid as soon as their paycheck comes in, they swear!
But think this through: If someone is terrible with money or is flat broke, how likely is she to have enough money to take care of her bills and have enough to pay you back?
Then what's going to happen when you don't get paid back?
You're going to get huffy. She promised to pay you back. Where's your money? She owes it to you! Meanwhile, the person you loaned the money to begins to see you as one more jerk hassling her for cash, like the power company and the phone company. However, they can cut off the power and disconnect the phone, while you can only give dirty looks; so who's getting paid first?
This is not a situation you want to get into. So tell your friend the truth: Sorry, but you don't loan money. Yes, you understand his situation is different, but you don't loan money. Sure, you know he needs it, but you can't help him because you don't loan anyone money.
Alternately, if you have the money to spare and your friend is really in need, then here's an idea: Give it to him. Over the years, I've bought two weeks' worth of groceries for friends. I've bought Christmas presents for another friend's kids. Those weren't loans; they were gifts. I was glad to give them, my friend was glad to receive them, and we had no friendship-wrecking expectations that I would ever be paid back. Is that a good idea? A bad idea? Well, let's put it this way: at least you'll still be friends when it's over. You can't necessarily say the same thing after a loan.
5. "It's not what you know; it's who you know." Use that to your advantage when you can.
I have metal business cards. They're heavy, they look fantastic, and typically, they stand out from every other business card that people get at an event. They also cost a little over $2 each.
Why would I pay so much for a business card? Because I want to make an impression — and I do. People often "ooh" and "aah" over the cards; they remember that I had a metal business card years later and most importantly, the cards give the impression that I must be somebody important and worth knowing, or else why would I have a metal business card?
Along similar lines, even though I've never been particularly big on holidays, I typically send out personalized Christmas cards to friends, family, important business associates, and people I want to get to know better. It's a personal touch that gives people the impression that you're friendly, and it sticks with them.
Even though I genuinely dislike air travel, there was a time when I was going to five or six political conventions a year, and when I did, I met every person I could, handed out business cards, invited people to dinner, and went to parties left and right. Why? It helps build that personal connection. When people have talked to you in person, shaken your hand, or better yet, gone to dinner with you, they tend to be well inclined toward you. They pick up the phone when you call, they respond to your emails, and if you need a small favor, they tend to grant it.
Do you think people go to schools like Harvard and Yale for the education? No, they go to those schools for the contacts and because a "Yale (wo) man" is likely to do well and is more willing to help another "Yale (wo)man." You might not be able to go to Yale, but can you go to church? Can you make a good impression on your boss's wife at the company picnic?
Some people don't think it's worth it to do all of this, and then they wonder why someone who's dumber, uglier, and less talented is getting opportunities they'd kill for while they're stuck in neutral. Why does it seem like people are falling all over themselves to give Prince Charming whatever he wants while everyone treats you like Prince Schmuck? It's because Charming took the time to build relationships with people and it paid off, while you didn't bother. When people know you and like you, they will look for ways to help you out. You need that in your life. As an introvert who once had poor people skills, I know this isn't easypeasy for everyone. It can feel intimidating to walk up and introduce yourself or to glad-hand your way around the room. Furthermore, if you're an introvert, it can tire you out because talking to people may take energy from you instead of hype you up like it would an extrovert. So read some books about communication, get in some practice, and start meeting some people who can help you get ahead in life!
6. Think twice before telling anyone to end a relationship.
When you have friends in relationships, inevitably some of them are going to go bad. They're going to be miserable, they're going to fight all the time, their partner is going to cheat on them, and they're going to tell you stories that make you go, "What the hell is going on with these people?"
When you're thinking, "I'd rather dig my eyes out with a rusty spoon than put up with the crap they're dealing with," it's tempting to tell them to break it off.
But unless you're talking about someone whose life is in danger, you're better off keeping your opinion to yourself.
Because people have a tendency to slant and exaggerate what's happening in a relationship. When they're telling you that their husband cheated on them, they don't tell you that they've been having their own affair and haven't slept with him in two years. Your friend tells you that his girlfriend screamed at him for ten minutes, but not that she barely left his side for three weeks when he was in the hospital a few months ago after a car wreck. He doesn't want to tell you that his "crazy" fiancée is the only woman in his entire life he's dated for more than a week.
Even setting that aside, people have different tastes, standards, and levels of self-esteem. In your mind, it's obvious they could find someone better, but they don't believe it. You find a cheating boyfriend to be intolerable, while they think all men cheat. You don't get why he doesn't try the single life for a while, but he's terrified to be alone.
So, what happens when you start encouraging your friend to dump their horrible partner? Well, if she decides to stay with him, suddenly she's going to feel uncomfortable because she's going to feel like she has to choose between you and her boyfriend. If she dumps the guy and gets back together with him again later, she's still going to be uncomfortable with you. Even if they do break up, what if she regrets it six months down the road when she sees him making out with somebody new in the corner of some club? She might say it out loud and she might not, but she's going to remember that you were the one pushing her to dump the guy she wants right now.
More importantly, you're not the one who has to live with the ramifications of a breakup; they do. It's pretty common to date someone, realize they're not right for you, but still have a powerful attraction toward them years later because they scratched an itch deep down in your soul. Do you really want to risk a friendship by getting in the middle of something like that?
So, ask hard questions. Feel free to tell your friend that what's happening isn't good, isn't normal, and is something they shouldn't tolerate ... but don't tell them they need to cut their partner loose. Ultimately, it's their decision and you should let them make it and live with the consequences.CHAPTER 2
7. There's a right time, a right place, and a right person to have sex with.
We live in a sex-drenched society. We hear about it in music; we see it on TV; it's used to sell us products. It has become so ever present that we barely even bat an eye when it's shoved in our faces. It has become so over-the-top that you almost feel like if you're not having sex right this second, you're missing out.
Now, I could come at this morally and tell you that ideally, you shouldn't have sex until marriage. While that's true, there are a lot of people who aren't going to listen to advice, so let's set morals aside and talk about sex — if you're going to have sex.
First of all, men and women both like sex, but they have different incentives. Men are never going to get pregnant. They don't ever have to worry about a woman raping them. They get high fives from their friends when they have sex instead of being called a slut. Because of this, men tend to have a much more casual attitude about sex. Not all men will admit this, but most of them are okay with casual sex and "friends with benefits" arrangements. Women, not so much, although I will tell you that there are an awful lot of respectable, buttoned-down married women who went through a "promiscuous stage." Maybe they went on vacation and had sex with two or three different guys, spent a few months going to bars and picking up men, or went through a lot of short-term sexual relationships for a year or two. If you're a woman, it's never hard to find a willing guy, and if your friends don't find out about it, it can be tempting to live out those sexual fantasies for a while.
Excerpted from 101 Things All Young Adults Should Know by John Hawkins. Copyright © 2017 John Hawkins. Excerpted by permission of River Grove Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Friendship,
Chapter 2 Love,
Chapter 3 Social Situations,
Chapter 4 No Regrets,
Chapter 5 Money Matters,
Chapter 6 Adulting,
Chapter 7 Health,
Chapter 8 Career,
Chapter 9 Success,
Chapter 10 Be Responsible,
Chapter 11 Self-Awareness,
Chapter 12 Live Life to the Fullest,
Conclusion It's Not All Downhill from Here,
Author Q & A,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and River Grove Books for the opportunity to read and review 101 Things All Young Adults Should Know by John Hawkins. Great guide full of helpful, down to earth tips for just about every situation a young adult/adult might find themselves in. The advice is given in sections that work together and focus on keeping balance in 6 key areas of life: health, career, romantic, social, money, and religion. This nonfiction book is helpful and to the point and answers questions about friendships, all sorts of relationships, proper ways to tip waitresses and other service employees, personal time spent and how to achieve and keep happiness. 5 stars!