Tired of the soul-sucking 9-to-5 job? You can prepare to ditch it for good. Here’s how to plan your escape.

Less than a year ago, I quit my job.

I didn’t quit working. I just quit working for someone else. I feel as good today about that decision as the day I left.

The best part about quitting my traditional job was watching the cycle of emotions my friends and family went through after I told them I quit.

Their eyes opened wide when they heard the news. This was followed restrained winces, as they considered the loss of steady income, health, and insurance, security, two weeks of vacation a year. All those things we expect from a job.

Then, as if on cue, they’d drift into a daydream and pondered quitting their own jobs.

If you dream of a life of employer independence, you too can leave the 9-to-5. Here are five keys that helped me take that major step:

Sticking to what I know.

One of the main reasons people say they can’t quit their day job and start their own business is that they don’t know what to do. Don’t think too hard about it and get stuck in analysis paralysis. Stick with what you enjoy, are already doing, or are good at doing.

Listen. If the universe is pulling you in a certain direction, go.

My and my husband’s careers have been in finance. Despite this, when got together we had a combined total of $51,000 in credit card debt. We applied our theoretical and practical knowledge to pay off our debt and turn our net worth around.

We enjoy finance, investing, and financial planning. Because of our experiences and our desire to help others with their money, we’re using our personal and professional experiences as the foundation of our business.

We put ourselves out as writers, speakers, podcasters, and experts on personal finance and we’re now helping others and, in turn, growing a business that let me leave the 9-to-5 grind. David’s not far behind me.

We saved money.

Before I quit my W-2 job, we added an additional $10,000 to our existing emergency savings account.

We did this by cutting back on non-essential spending and putting it into our emergency savings account with no bells or whistles. We don’t have debit cards or checking writing on this account. We don’t connect it to other accounts for outgoing electronic funds transfers (EFT). This money is hard, though not impossible, to access. This reduces urges to spend this money on whims.

We’ve resumed some of the habits we used to pay off our $51,000 in credit card debt. This includes only buying groceries that are either on sale or for which we have coupons. We cook at home rather than dine out. Cardboardeaux has replaced Bordeaux because it’s cheaper per bottle and stores longer.

All of this is temporary and we know this is temporary. We can live frugally today to grow our business because we lived frugally yesterday to pay off our debt.

Hustling harder than ever.

Thomas Edison said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

I used to think I worked hard at my W-2, but I worked just hard enough to keep my boss happy.

I’ve never worked so hard in my life as I am now on our business.

With each day, the 9-to-5 is getting smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror, but to say it’s been easy would be disingenuous.

There’s a meme of an iceberg I frequently share on Facebook. Ten percent of the iceberg is above water and represents the “overnight success” that people see. Ninety percent of the iceberg is below water and represents the work no one sees: waking up at 4:30 am, working until midnight, on weekends, and holidays.

There are times that I’ve questioned if this is worth it. When I hear about rush-hour traffic jams, friends stressed about their bosses and disappointment with nominal raises, I’m reminded that it is.

I prepped.

There were steps I took before I decided to actually leave the 9-to-5.

I researched and updated my health insurance, acquired life insurance, and created a plan to consolidate my employer-sponsored 401(k) with my personal broker.

We talked with our accountant about what my W-2 and 1099 employment status changes would mean for our personal income taxes. We created a week-to-week budget that accommodates our drop in regular income.

Being thorough and meticulous before I quit has made temporarily cutting our income in half a little easier.

I took the leap.

Finally, I took the leap. Many people struggle to make big and seemingly scary life changes because they’re waiting for the perfect time. There will never be a perfect time. As Voltaire said, “better is the enemy of the good.”

Many people struggle to make big and seemingly scary life changes because they’re waiting for the perfect time. There will never be a perfect time. As Voltaire said, “better is the enemy of the good.”

To be fair, I delayed my original termination date by 90 days because my employer asked me to complete a project on which my team was working. I considered delaying my termination again because the economy showed signs of weakness. The problem is we can always come up with reasons to stick with the safe and familiar.

Some people might say we should’ve saved more than that extra $10,000. Others might say I should’ve waited until after the last presidential election ended. Still more might say leaving, at all, was foolish.

Despite all the reasons I could’ve manufactured, I leaped and I don’t regret it.

If your dream is to leave the 9-to-5 behind, too, these five steps may help you. I challenge you to be thorough and meticulous before you take such a leap, but I also challenge you to not get paralyzed by fear or analysis.

As Zig Ziglar said, “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”

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Everyone is outraged over everything all the time. It’s so negative. Break the cycle in your life by ditching the 24-hour outrage news cycle.

Once upon a time, there was one hour of local news and one hour of national and international news and it was good.

Americans went about their lives with a focus on their family and local community. Twenty-four-hour news didn’t exist; 24-hour television barely existed, and it was good.

It wasn’t perfect. But it was good. You could reasonably expect to avoid negativity in the news.

Americans didn’t know everything that was going on in the world. They didn’t know everything that was going on in their country. Americans didn’t much mind, and the country and the world still worked.

Rise of the 24-hour news cycle.

Then. came cable television. Americans had more stations than three from which to choose. In 1980, a billionaire buffalo farmer launched a 24-hour news station. He reasoned that if people wanted to watch 24-hours of music television, they’d surely want 24-hours news. American’s could get national and international news from around the world almost in real-time.

Americans had more stations than three from which to choose. In 1980, a billionaire buffalo farmer launched a 24-hour news station. He reasoned that if people wanted to watch 24-hours of music television, they’d surely want 24 hours of news. Americans could get national and international news from around the world almost in real-time.

Americans could get national and international news from around the world almost in real-time.

It was innocent enough until everyone realized that finding 24 hours’ worth of news that people would actually watch was a lot of hours a day, every day, to fill.

In theory, Americans wanted to know about important current events on the other side of the globe. In reality, they don’t.

Then came competition. Now there were three 24-hour news stations. Then there were stations that covered individual segments of the news for 24 hours.

It wasn’t long before sensationalism was the 24-hour news channels’ business model.

If you couldn’t rely on politicians or celebrities to provide something sensational every day, create your own pseudo-celebrities to argue with guests, make outrageous comments, and call that news.

Trying to avoid negativity in the news became much harder.

Fast forward to a world in which Americans learn about policy decisions in 140 characters and it’s all be a bit much.

Everything is outrageous whether it’s outrageous or not. Everything is in real-time whether it deserves to be or not. Clicks are more important than truth and being first is more important accuracy.

How can you avoid negativity in the news? Here are five ideas:

Turn off the 24-hour news.

Go back to where it all began and end it. With Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Sling, no one needs to pay for cable anyway. It’s too expensive. There’s too much of nothing to watch. And, it would be good if we all got off the couch more, The Walking Dead notwithstanding.

MTV doesn’t play videos and most 24-hour news channels don’t report the news.

If you want to avoid negativity in the news, stop getting caught up in the cycle.

Delete social media apps.

Social media was fun when it more about what people were eating, where they were partying, and where they vacationed.

Yes, it’s a free country and it’s our right to say what we think, but it’s also our right to not listen or read every opinion of every non-expert on everything that doesn’t really matter.

Until this last election cycle, I didn’t know how many of my 500 friends were political experts, legal experts, espionage experts, military experts, civil rights experts, and international relations experts.

We’re talking about people I watched do keg stands at frat parties, wear sexy nurse costumes at Halloween, and jump from job to job until they found one that didn’t require a drug test.

Some of my friends are pretty brilliant, but they don’t seem to be the ones filling my Facebook feed with every article or meme that “shuts down,” “slays,” and “buries” their opposition.

Seeing all their crappy news sources makes me want to avoid negativity in the news that much more.

Cancel your subscriptions.

In this age of technology, it doesn’t make sense to have traditional newspaper and magazine subscriptions.

As another way to keep negative news at bay, stop letting the negative news invade your home in video, audio, and print. With their shiny covers and eye-popping headlines, it’s hard to not want to open every issue and become equally outraged, but most of it doesn’t serve us.

Clean your favorites.

Admittedly, there was a time when the first thing I’d do in the morning was to click on each of my five “favorite” news sites. I use quotes because there were a couple of sites I completely disagreed with, but I felt it was important to have a holistic view of the news. I’ve since concluded that even this is not the best use of time.

I now give myself an hour to two a week to read The Week. The Week seems to try its best to report the news in, what one 24-hour news channel calls, a “fair and balanced” way. It’s not perfect, but most things aren’t.

But, for me, it’s one way to avoid negativity in the news while still being informed.

Get social.

Of course, you want to stay engaged and hold a conversation. So, disengage from the one-sided conversations, step outside the echo chamber and get social. Talk, debate, disagree, and change your opinion with face to face conversation.

We’re social creatures. We teach each other. We learn from each other. We tell great stories. Your friends whose opinions and experiences you respect likely have better opinions and more information about most news than a political pundit on television whose first responsibility is to sell advertisements. Their responsibility to the news is a distant second, at best.

Doing all of these at once may be hard or impossible. But it’s a good way to avoid negativity in the news and keep it from dragging you down.

If you disconnect even a little, though, you’ll be more connected to what matters.

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Traveling with your S.O. probably seems like a dream, but it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be. Do this so you don’t regret your shared vacation.

Successful relationships require compromise. And nothing shows your ability to compromise like traveling with your S.O.

If you plan on marrying your S.O. someday — or even if you’re just planning on moving in together — you should first travel to a strange land, even if it’s Poughkeepsie NY.

Traveling with your S.O. is a good insight into what life together forever will be like.

You’ll be out of your comfort zones. You’ll spend more uninterrupted time together than you do at home. You’ll get insight into each other’s idiosyncrasies. You’ll have to manage a micro-budget. You’ll interact with strangers. You’ll disagree on directions. You’ll likely fight.

So, go away with your S.O.

But watch out. You might discover that you like different things when you travel. How do you prepare for this life-lesson when you want to holiday differently together? Here are 11 points to keep in mind:

Talk before you walk.

If you’re certain you want to travel together and certain you’ll want different things from traveling, have a talk before you head off on your big adventure.

Be open and honest about what you both want. Talk through your differences. You may relish lying on the beach with a good book. Your S.O. may want to hike every trail available.

It’s possible to do both and both be happy. It’s just easier if you talk first.

Talk money.

I did say talk before you walk, but money requires its own talk.

Traveling with your S.O. can bring your different money beliefs into sharper focus. Before leaving with your bae, be clear on your vacation budgets. Know how you’ll divide and conquer expenses.

Be okay if you’re not splitting it 50/50, but know that you’re not splitting it 50/50 before you go. Be clear with how you’ll spend your money and how long it must last. If you each have your own budgets, be okay with the idea that you won’t spend the same amount.

Go slow.

Traveling long distance for a long time may be the ideal vacation, but it’s only ideal if your S.O. is your ideal travel buddy.

Take it slow at first. Go away for the weekend, maybe just a short road trip. After you survive 24 hours, maybe shoot for 48 hours, and then 168 hours, and so on.

With each successful trip, move onto longer and farther trips. It sucks when your first trip is two weeks together on the other side of the world and you have no place to go to escape from what turned out to be a Bad Idea.

Spend time alone.

You’re an extrovert and your S.O.’s an introvert. You’re the drummer and your S.O.’s the lead singer. This is okay. It’s not often that couples are the exact same and that’s okay. It’d be kind of boring otherwise. Be okay with time alone. Get away from each other. Distance yourselves from yourselves and make your hearts grow fonder of each other.

Use each other’s strengths.

The Wonder Twins are wonderful because they’re not alike. They have different strengths and personalities. Leverage what you’ve got and let your boo leverage what they’ve got.

One of you may be directionally challenged while the other can’t itemize a dinner bill. One of you may be better at driving on the opposite side of the road while the other is better at speaking the local language.

Let go of what you’re not good at and relish the ways your other half makes life easier on the road.

Compromise.

Whether you have a short-term S.O. or a long-term S.O., the success of your relationship hinges on compromise.

Don’t lose yourself completely in the life of your other half, but also remember that you’re not the only one in the relationship. Give a little while you get a little. That leads to a lot. The reward is you both get a little of what you want and a lot of time and experiences together.

Set a low bar.

When you first travel together, set low expectations. Don’t wish for or expect the worst; just don’t expect a honeymoon. Sometimes it best to hope for the best and plan for not the best.

Practice patience.

Practice does make perfect. Patience isn’t just a Guns & Roses’ song.

You’ll both be out of your elements when traveling with your S.O. You won’t have the comforts of home. You won’t have your reliable resources. The environment may be unfamiliar. All of these variables, when different, add up and add pressure on both of you. Give each other the benefit of the doubt and forgive easily.

Chill.

Practicing patience is about your reaction to your S.O. Being chill is about being patient with the unfamiliar.

Everything may be new and different to your bae and one (or both) of you might go off the rails. You need to stifle the urge to freak out and try to be calm.

Realize that things rarely go exactly according to plan. You need to be chill when traveling with your S.O. Be okay with how everything flows — or doesn’t flow.

Live in the moment.

Lao Tzu said, “If you’re stressed about something you’re worried about the future. If you’re depressed, you’re worried about the past.” Neither the future nor the past is

Neither the future nor the past represent true reality. Only the here and now exists. Live in the moment. You both will have a much better experience.

Remember the point.

Don’t forget that the point of traveling with your S.O. is to spend time and create experiences.

Remember that you had enough interest in this person to make them your boo. You enough interest to go away together. Value the time you spend together because before you know it you’ll be back to your old routine.

A vacation should be fun, exciting, and relaxing. Focus on the fun and whether you and your S.O. want the same thing, you’ll have a good time.

Safe travels!

Do you have a story of traveling with your S.O.? Was it a nightmare or bliss? Let us know in the #Adulting community on Facebook.

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Just like any good relationship, you need to nurture your money relationship. Here’s how to prepare for a good date with your money.

When you a that big date, you want everything to go right.

If everything goes just right, you’ll get lucky. Maybe enjoy more than dinner and drinks.

To have the kind of fun you really want to have, you must first prepare. You need everything in its place, everything looking good. And feeling good.

To get the results you want, you must plan, plan, plan.

This is the same when making a date with your money.

If you want your money date to be bigger, better, and more exciting, this six-step plan will satisfy you.

Prepare.

Sure, you could dive right into it and hope for the best. With a little pre-date prep, though, you can make your money date pleasurable and certain.

Get online access to all your accounts and account statements. Include investment and savings accounts with bank and investment firms, retirement (company sponsored retirement plans and individual retirement accounts, such as your Traditional or Roth IRA), and credit card accounts.

Don’t forget about your Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Get access to your mortgage account and any personal and home equity lines of credit (HELOC).

Get access to any account you have anywhere. Have all this information accessible so you can peek at it as needed.

Gain an understanding of what kind of accounts you have and how they work. If you have a company-sponsored retirement plan, what kind of plan do you have and how does your employer manage it? If you have a HELOC, know your terms, such as withdrawal limit, interest rate, and payoff requirements.

Lay the groundwork for a successful date with your money so you aren’t stuck.

Get intimate.

It’s hard to get what you want when you don’t know what you want. You can’t be fulfilled if you don’t know what you crave.

To get the most from the date with your money, know your goals and dreams. If you don’t know your goals and dreams, do some self-reflection, meditate, journal, read, and talk with friends and family.

Find out what it is you most want in life and then structure your financial plan to achieve those goals.

While you’re self-reflecting, figure out what scares and concerns you. If you’re afraid to lose money, for example, you want more conservative investments.

If you’re concerned by what would happen if you lose your job, you want to devise a plan to save six-months’ worth of living expenses in an emergency savings account.

Be honest about your limitations and weaknesses. If you’re prone to misuse credit cards, then all those credit card hacking articles you’ve read don’t apply.

If your dream is to be a social worker, then a top-tier college that costs six figures doesn’t make sense.

Understanding what you desire and what you can handle will take you a long way in creating a financial plan that works for you. Most people create a financial plan to simply look like they’re doing better than their neighbor.

That’s a plan for failure.

Shoot to score.

If a date with your money includes someone else, good on you. The more the merrier.

If your money date includes someone else because that someone else is included in your family plan, know all the above about them as well as you do about yourself. When you have that level of understanding, you can seek mutually happy endings.

Money is one of the top three leading causes of stress in relationships. Understanding your partner’s financial personality and having them understand your financial personality will help you both feel satisfied.

It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t need to have the exact same financial goals as your partner. You can support your partner in reaching for their individual financial goals.

Protect yourself.

Because you’re getting so intimate, it’s wise to use protection.

Get life insurance, even if you don’t have a spouse or children. Today’s life insurance isn’t our parent’s life insurance.

Policies today often allow you to leave an inheritance to heirs that include partners, children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, or anyone unrelated to you by blood but related to you by love.

Many policies permit leaving charitable donations. You may leave a donation to one or more organizations in your name. If you choose the latter, it’s wise to assign a trustee to your estate to oversee that the donations are distributed appropriately and not a la Eva Peron.

Get life insurance as soon as possible because the earlier you do the cheaper it is.

Whether you have health insurance through an employer or through the Affordable Care Act, make sure you have enough coverage to meet your needs. Risking that you won’t get sick or hurt is taking the risk of losing your health and your wealth.

Bank or credit union savings accounts or money market accounts with no bells or whistles are ideal to use as emergency savings accounts. You don’t want this money too easily accessible, so decline debit cards and check writing.

In a real emergency, you won’t mind driving to the bank or requesting a wire for this money. If you have an urge to buy a new television, the effort it takes to access your emergency savings funds may motivate you to find the money elsewhere.

Clip, pare, prune, and trim.

Less is more. As designers, writers, and editors often say, “Edit. Edit. Edit.”

That’s often the case that our lifestyles grow proportional to our incomes. We spend all we earn – and sometimes more.

In any case, cut excess spending and waste. When you trim, your prize becomes clearer and appears bigger. You will achieve any and all financial goals sooner rather than later.

Concentrate.

If you’re reading this article, it’s likely that balancing your accounts and paying bills is low on your list of enjoyable activities.

To make this date with your money a quickie, take a deep breath, relax, and release. The more you focus on the task at hand and the goal in mind, the sooner you’ll be finished. We don’t always want dates to end quickly, but sometimes it’s all we can do.

With these steps, you can have the money date you need and achieve the money goals you want. It’s only as hard as you make it or want it to be.

Now make that date!

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It sounds hokey, but you really can change your destiny. Be real about why your life sucks, and then take steps to make positive change.

One of my favorite quotes is by Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul:

“You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about.”

I like this quote because it makes you the master of your destiny, the author of your own story.

It often feels like we’re at the mercy of a million external forces. The boss has unreasonable expectations. Children and spouses have needs. Mom and dad think we should do this. The neighbor is upset about that.

Have you ever wondered, “How did I get here?” or “This isn’t the way it was supposed to be.”

Life took over and suddenly we’re living up to everyone’s expectations but our own.

But you can change your destiny. It takes some effort, but it’s possible if you take the right steps.

We made our today.

If we’re the masters of our tomorrow, then we were the masters of the yesterday that produced our today.

Today is the future yesterday. Today didn’t happen by accident. Whether you realize it or not, you consciously or unconsciously led yourself to this moment.

Our decisions, thoughts, and actions yesterday resulted in what we see, live, and feel today.

Do you like the results around you?

At this point, most people deflect to their perceived circumstances. Rather than take responsibility, it’s often easier to blame someone or something else for today’s results.

“He did this to me” or “She made me do that.” Blame your family’s social or financial status. Blame your place of birth, the economy, or politicians.

Blame any and everything you can except yourself. In the litany of blame, you’re innocent.

While it can make you feel better to approach things this way, it won’t help you change your destiny.

Gary Vaynerchuk points out that if anyone else with our perceived limitation has achieved success, then there’s no reason we can’t achieve success.

If anyone else with our perceived limitation has achieved success, then “the problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem” (Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean).

It’s a harsh truth: if we’re not happy with our reality, we’re responsible for it.

It’s also a refreshing truth because as much as we made our today, we can change our tomorrow. Instead of placing blame, we should change what we believe. Earl Nightingale said, “What we think about we become.”

What are you thinking? The answer is all around you, and it can change your destiny.

For the Bible says so.

If we don’t like what we see around us, we must change what’s inside us. We must change our beliefs about who we are, what we’re worth, and what we can be. We can be anything we want to be, we just have to believe. This may sound like another Disney quote, but it’s a truth that goes back to history’s oldest texts.

We can be anything we want to be, we just have to believe. This may sound like another Disney quote, but it’s a truth that goes back to history’s oldest texts.

Mark 11:23 says, “I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.”

Changing beliefs is easier said than done, but it is doable.

Many of our beliefs are etched into our subconscious. Because they’re buried so deep inside us, we often don’t know why we believe them. We dismiss them as “it’s just who I am” or “it’s just what I believe,” as if they’re inherent truths. If our inherent truths aren’t serving us, we would do well to change them.

We can change our subconscious programming, otherwise known as our neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). This is the script we tell ourselves. It’s the voice we hear inside our head.

Did you ever wonder why you say the things to yourself that you do? That’s your NLP.

Changing your NLP is the key that will help you change your destiny.

Changing your texts.

There are two exercises that can help change your NLP. I notice as soon I stop doing them. The first action is repeating affirmations. The second action is keeping a gratitude journal.

It sounds a little hokey, but these two actions really can help you change your destiny.

Draft a script you can memorize. It should describe the best version of you and what you want to achieve.

Be specific and include deadlines. For five minutes each day, in the morning or before bed, close your eyes and recite your affirmations out loud.

Picture in your mind’s eye what you say. Feel the emotions of achieving your goals and being who you know you can be. Imagine what it will feel like, smell like, and sound like. Involved all your senses.

This will feel like a strange at first, but it’s a repetitive exercise that, over time, will change your NLP. When you change your NLP, you change your beliefs, change your behavior, and change your results. You change your destiny.

Next, while you practice affirmations, keep a gratitude journal, even on days when it feels like you have nothing for which to be grateful. Focus on the positive. As you focus more on expanding the positive, you’ll see more positive results.

It’s easy for our thoughts to drift into negative territory because we’re surrounded by negative stimuli. Plus, misery does love company.

If your coworkers aren’t getting you down about work, your boss is on you about your job. If you’re not depressed about the weather, the news does it’s best to make you blue.

A daily exercise that fights negativity will change your outlook and, therefore, your beliefs, your behavior, and your results.

The truth is that we’re all responsible for our results. The sooner you acknowledge that and manage your beliefs, the sooner you can change your destiny.

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We’re all losers at some point. The key is in learning how to lose like a winner.

I’ve been adulting for a quarter of a century now.

As someone raised in a very politically engaged family, though, I’ve been politicking for even longer. By the time I had civics in high school, my political views were firmly planted. I knew everything I needed to know and my beliefs were facts.

I’ve since learned much more about myself and how the world works. I’ve learned that our ignorance doesn’t so much lie in what we know but rather in what we don’t know.

My biggest political mistake was not considering what I didn’t know, or that the opposite of what I know could also be true.

With this engagement and hindsight that I can say that in my lifetime each successive presidential election has been increasingly divisive. I’ve also noticed that the loser loses harder with each successive presidential election. This is true with both parties, as evidenced by the last five elections.

I don’t discount voters’ emotions and passions. I’m concerned about how our growing inability to learn how to lose with grace affects our national dialogue, our ability to work with differing political parties, and our progress as a country.

Since the most recent election, I’ve thought a lot about positive responses to losing. Below are three ways to learn how to lose that, to my mind, would improve our national dialogue, our ability to work together, and our progress.

Make a statement, not noise.

When I think of examples of recent leaders who set the benchmark for clear messages, I think of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Harvey Milk.

They both came to prominence at a time of great political and violent upheaval for their respective causes.

During the Civil Rights and Vietnam War Era, Dr. King advocated non-violent resistance. He famously said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Milk surprisingly encouraged talking. The most pain Milk wanted to inflict was for LGBT people to come out to friends, family, and colleagues.

He argued, “I know that it is hard and will hurt them, but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth!” Lasting change happens in the voting booth and it’s hard, though not impossible, to vote against people who know and love you.

Rioting, name calling, the burning of effigies, fighting, and all other forms of violent behavior do nothing to win the hearts and minds of the opposing side. Such acts simply make people stand more firm in their existing beliefs and make voters in the middle of the road sympathetic to those being attacked. This noise does not serve the long-term cause.

As activists, Dr. King and Milk set the bar for making statements rather than noise.

How to lose like a winner.

Our culture has enough sore losers. We rather need more people who win when they lose.

In 1965, a boy was born in England to West Indian immigrants. By high school, he excelled in track and field. By the age of 20, he broke the British record for the 400 meters and broke it again two years later.

After winning several international titles, he was primed for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul Korea. Due to an injury, he had to back out of his race at the last minute. Determined to achieve Olympic glory, he had several surgeries to remedy his injury and continued his training.

By the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona Spain, he was ready. With good performances in the first round and quarter-finals for the 400 meters, success was his to grab. Halfway through the semi-final, his hamstring tore. This eliminated any chance of Olympic glory but for the fact that he will go down as one of history’s greatest losers.

I challenge you to watch this video of Derek Redmond  triumph and not get emotional. As Redmond’s dreams crashed around him, he held his head high and set the bar for losing.

Redmond’s ability to be a good loser gave him the kind of Olympic glory few will ever overshadow.

Exercise self-reflection.

For those who read my articles on Adulting, you know I’m a super-fan of the “transformational life coach” Lisa Nichols.

Most people know of Nichols by her appearance in The Secret. Nichols continues to inspire people to live bigger, better lives through her personal story, her gift of public speaking, and her many books.

Nichols grew up in the rough neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles and, as she claims, was a below average student. In much of her work, she shares that a teacher once advised that she “get a desk job.” Another told her she’s not a good writer, and yet another recommended that she “never ‘speak’ in public.”

Later in life, Nichols found herself a single mother living on government assistance. At her lowest point, she had only $12 in her bank account and couldn’t buy diapers for her baby.

Nichols is now a transformational speaker who commands six figures for speaking in public. She’s had seven books listed on the New York Times Best Seller’s List. She is one of only two African American women founders to have a publicly held company listed on the NASDAQ.

How does one go from seemingly having no opportunities to being a multimillionaire positively changing people’s lives? You learn how to lose better.

She looked internally to make herself bigger, better, smarter, and stronger. As she says, she “ate a daily dose of ‘humble pie’” to learn what she needed to learn to affect positive change in her life and thereby affect positive change in the lives of others.

By all accounts, Nichols could’ve claimed that she was disenfranchised by her teachers. She could’ve said the institutions were designed to work against her. She could’ve blamed her circumstance on the father of her child. She could’ve said she wasn’t smart enough or good enough.

Nichols could’ve chosen to stay on government assistance. She could’ve masked her pain in drugs and alcohol. She could’ve chosen a life of violence and anger.

She didn’t. She said, “How can I be better?” She made herself step up to the plate and scored a World Series grand slam in this game called life.

These four people, Dr. King, Milk, Redmond, and Nichols, all of whom could’ve lost hard chose to lose better. That, my friends, is how you lose like an adult.

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You’re a grown-ass adult. It’s time to suck it up, get a job, and stop taking money from Mom and Dad.

According to a 2016 Fidelity study, 47% of millennials have received some sort of monetary support from their parents. This support was “most likely to take the form of help with a cell phone bill, utilities or groceries.”

The cost to raise children today is much more expensive than ever before in history. In fact, between 2000 and 2010, the cost to raise a child increased 40% or $60,000. The most recent estimate from the USDA is that the cost to raise a child from birth to the age of 18, not including college, is $233,610.

If you’re taking money from Mom and Dad, you’re part of the problem. They’ve spent enough just to raise you, and now you’re asking for moar?

Every generation since the 1980s lives with their parents longer or boomerang back to the nest more frequently than the generation before them. Boomerang kids are now at its highest level since World War II.

When is enough enough?

Here are eight signs when it’s time to kindly thank Mom and Dad for their investment and walk away.

You have a job.

If you have a job, start cutting back on your parental monetary fund. Even if you only cut back a little at a time because you’re starting your career, the goal should be to become fiscally independent as soon as reasonably possible.

If you find your fiscal dependency is scheduled to last in perpetuity, you’re not doing it right.

You don’t have a job, but should.

If you don’t have a job but should, it’s time to grow up and get a job. Over time, complaints about the economy, who’s president, who’s not president, fairness or unfairness of life are excuses.

As entrepreneur and author Ryan Blair said, “If it’s important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” Over time, you own your lack of employment or your underemployment.

Stop taking money from Mom and Dad and get make your own money. Everyone will be much happier in the long run.

You hear your parents fighting about money.

As much as the cost of having and raising children have grown, so too has the cost of adulting.

Adult expenses, such as healthcare, medicine, and taxes have grown and wages have not. This means it’s harder and harder for Mom and Dad to get by from paycheck to paycheck.

By 35%, money is the leading cause of stress in relationships. Don’t add to Mom and Dad’s financial stress by being a financial leech. If you hear or sense financial friction between Mom and Dad, it’s time for you to become economically independent.

Your parents drop hints that it’s time you pay your own way.

It’s often hard for parents to push their kids fully and completely out of the proverbial nest. Therefore, they’ll drop sly or even passive-aggressive hints that it’s time you pay your on way.

If you hear comments such as “It would be nice if someone paid for me once in a while” or “It’s nice you have all that money (even when you don’t pay for a thing),” it may be time you paid for your own things.

Stop taking money from Mom and Dad when even they have exhausted their patience. You’re not that special.

Your parents are approaching retirement.

It’s more expensive to retire in America than ever. This trend has continued for decades over many presidential administrations.

Older Americans are finding it harder to hold onto jobs, if they can even retain incomes that keep up with the rate of inflation. As housing, healthcare, and prescription drugs costs increase, Social Security becomes less and less helpful.

Many parents have sacrificed retirement nest eggs to put children through college. As you may be struggling with student loan debt, Mom and Dad may be struggling with retirement insecurity.

As your parents approach retirement, within maybe decades, it’s time to stop stealing from their future.

Put on your big-person pants, stop taking money from Mom and Dad, and become a contributing member of society.

When your parents are in retirement.

If your parents are in retirement and you’re still taking their money, stop.

When you have nicer things than your parents.

If any or all aspects of your life (think: car, vacations, home, phone) are nicer than your parent’s, then it’s time to stop relying on parental funding.

Sure, mom may not need or want the new iPhone and dad may hate the idea of taking on a new car payment. That doesn’t mean they want to forsake a fat retirement account for your “phat” lifestyle.

If you’re living like The Kardashians and they’re living like Rosanne and Dan Conner, it’s time to cut the purse strings.

When you can cover your own essentials.

There will always be parents who can’t stop giving money to their children and grandchildren. It’s cute when grandparents give money to grandchildren. It’s not cute when parents give money to adult children.

While there may be many reasons for their drive to do so, there’s one reason to make them stop. You don’t need their money.

These are just a few of the reason to stop making Mom and Dad take care of you. At some point, it’s not their responsibility to take care of you. You need to stop taking money from Mom and Dad.

Do both them and yourself a favor and make this decision independently. And do it sooner rather than later. You’ll both be happier for it.

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