10 Core Competencies From a Guest Blogger

Yesterday, in the Scorpio horoscope, I asked for suggestions for a list of core competencies that an adult human of this species should possess.  My daughter posted the list below as a comment, reminding me yet again that if I do nothing else, ever again, I have birthed this amazing person, who essentially spends her waking moments making the world a better place for all concerned.

I thought it deserved to be a post on it's own.  And throwdown to the everyone else -- Send me yours!

Marisa's list:

1) Know of 15 things that generally irritate other people (to find out, use the scientific method, preferably before age 18), that you can commit to NEVER DOING. Reducing irritation in the world is good for all of us. On my list: drawing on people's faces without consent, waking people up from naps prior to the 1-hour mark, not leaving a note if I ding somebody's bumper, etc.

2) Be able to make a good potluck dish, recommend a few good books (real books), dress for the weather, and identify 80%+ of the produce in the grocery store (up to 20% can be wishy washy on the name, as long as you could confidently cook with it.  You get a 6-month grace period if you recently moved to a new country)

3) Make sure to cut your toenails. The real purpose behind this is: If there's something you can do to prevent discomfort in your life that takes less than 10 minutes per week and isn't terrifying, do it. Doing terrifying things may also benefit you, but since the camel can only carry so many straws why don't you start out carrying the easy ones?

4) Know the life cycles of basic plants and animals (ie, those that are likely in children's books). When I named my company Chrysalis, I was unprepared to confront the reality that most people don't know what a chrysalis is! It will enhance your life to know how miraculous and mysterious other life can be.

5) Know how to basically orient yourself in your environment without a Device.

6) Have something on your to-do list. If you don't, consult your bucket list (or your science experiment book). If you don't have a bucket list, you could put that on your to-do list. 

7) Have at least one healthy coping strategy. It doesn't have to work every time, but you do have to be able to a) recognize when you need it and b) implement it to the best of your ability. The only restriction here is that it may not harm anyone else, and it's preferable if you can do at least part of it alone.

8) Be able to paraphrase at least 80% of what the person you're talking with said in the last minute. Percentage goes down as the conversation is less intimate (ie, there's a presenter, or a podcaster, or you're in a conversation with more than one person).

9) Celebrate something. It could be Christmas or something obvious, but you have to actually celebrate. If you're not celebrating something, consider why. Maybe you need to invent something to celebrate, or change your life so you have something to celebrate. Must occur at least annually, but you might get a badge if you celebrate weekly.

10) Strive to be flexible open to change. In your belief system, in how you treat yourself, in how the best way to make cookies is, etc.


  1. Marisa is just so wise beyond her years. She got some good training, I think.

    1. I don't think I can take any credit for her -- she arrived that way!

  2. I agree with Seattle Mom. All the way. This is a great list. Are you the napper she learned not to awaken before the one-hour mark? That is an extremely important life skill if you live with me as well.

    1. Yes, the 1 hour minimum nap. Good to honor that! And yes, I love this list. It may become a quiz soon.

  3. I have been so stumped by this amazing post, I haven't responded til now. I'm trying to come up with my own 10 essentials......ah, miserable failure. And help me through the Lit Crawl. I might have an attack of bilious envy.

    Your hopeless friend

  4. I was kinda blown away at the elegance and grace your daughter summed it all up with. Brilliant. I don't think I have that elegance but for days I've been thinking about this post so I could articulate the skills that have been core in my own growing into an adult and some that I surely need more practice with. Thank you in advance for the question and the motivation and vehicle for my personal answer.

    1. Remember that every human is the center of their own Universe and it most probably is nothing like your own. Some may not even be carbon based. So part of the remembering is honoring each others path and not being arrogant enough in our own Universe to think we might know what that path is.
    2. Leave art in the world anonymously. Making it yourself would probably be the best for everyone in the long run but as long as it's something you believe to be beautiful, you can know that it's sacred.
    3. Try new things and laud your achievements, especially if they aren't perfect. It's the trying that counts.
    4. Find joy in the successes of others and be open in your expression of it.
    5. Learn that vulnerability is more precious than power or control.
    6. Talk with your Fears and find out where they live within you. Then befriend them so that your life decisions come from a place of love and not a place that will only create more fear.
    7. Only make promises you know you can keep. If something changes, keep them anyway.
    8. Strive to be compassionate toward all life. It may be the single most important emotion that we are capable of.
    9. Know how to take time for solitude. Gather it around you like a lover and a friend who will help you to remember who you are.
    10. Remember to breathe.

    1. That's a beautiful list! Thank you!


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