An Adultitis Fighter is someone who rallies against rules that don’t exist and engages in ruthless, senseless acts of silliness that undermine Adultitis and its unadventurous version of adulthood. Once a month, we shine a light upon the most remarkable among us, holding them up as a dazzling example of what we should strive for in this epic battle against a formidable enemy.
If Dan Paulsrud were a Care Bear, he would be a wonderful mashup of Funshine, Tenderheart and Harmony Bear. He has a playful, kind heart and it shines through the minute you meet him and see his generous smile. His childlike approach to adulthood is a gift to those around him and undoubtedly impactful and contagious. His personal journey of changing his career 15 years in is a courageous example of wisdom that many do not learn until much later in life. He is a leader in this movement and many are inspired by his intentional and harmonious approach to fun and family.
In recognition of their efforts, Adultitis Fighters of the Month receive a special mini-canvas hand-painted by Jason, along with a certificate of honor, a sweet patch, and other Adultitis-Fighting tools. We asked Dan some questions about how he fights the Big A and what advice he has for others…
What are some of your favorite ways to fight Adultitis?
Play and talk with kids! My own kids, and I also recently became a substitute teacher so I could help teach kids from time to time, but not all the time because that would likely cause me to go into Adultitis again (having to plan and test students, go to lots of meetings, etc.). I was a production manager (lots of meetings and plane rides) for a large marketing agency owned by OmniCom for 15 years. I decided to leave that career – which was at the time my identity – to be home more with my family, they are only young once! When I am really feeling the Adultitis kick in, I go for a long skate on the bike trail – 7 to 14 miles – and listen to some great songs. Or play baseball with my son. When he gets that time to play ball with me, we both shine!
Who or what has been the greatest influence in your own fight against Adultitis?
My greatest influence for my fight against Adultitis were Allen Moulton and Mark Studinski, two guys I worked for who both owned their own businesses and were very successful entrepreneurs. They taught me that if you aren’t having fun you are doing the wrong thing. Find fun things to do and figure out how to get paid doing them. My favorite thing to do was inline skate! I worked at a roller rink through school. My second favorite thing to do was DJ. I worked for Mark as a DJ doing school dances, weddings, always partying with happy people! I’d also say Jason Kotecki more recently, as he’s constantly bringing great thoughts to light of how to look at things in a positive way. When we shift our mindset and look for the good, good things are always surrounding us. He is a tremendous bonus to my stable of motivational characters in my life! I am so so grateful to have this community to tap into!
What is something you loved doing as a child that you still do in some form today?
Inline skate (Rollerblading) and DJ / listen to music. I love skating and being active, as well as listening to music (ALL genres!).
What is your strategy for dealing with people who are obviously infected with Adultitis?
Avoid them as much as possible. LOL… When they need to be in my life, I keep in mind where they are at and if there is any way I can bring a smile to their face. I try to go above and beyond to help them out and bring that smile out. Sometimes it’s having a real conversation, asking good questions, and just being a good listener. They could just be feeling stuck in a place they don’t want to be in! It’s important to understand why and how people get into their slumps and dumps. Then they usually turn around knowing that you know where they are at. They will treat you better knowing that you know and understand. However it’s important that you don’t let them suck you into their vacuum of misery and Adultitis, because they will try. Adultitis loves company.
What advice do you have for someone who is feeling overwhelmed by Adultitis?
Get out!!! Nothing is that important that you should feel like you have to be a Debbie Downer to those around you. Find a way to find some joy in your life and know that you think about expands, so think happy stuff. If you have something coming up that you know is going to suck, do it first in the day so you can get on with your day and make the rest of your day happy. If it’s going to be later in the day, do something you love early in the day so that you will approach that sucky thing with a great attitude and perhaps that sucky thing won’t be so sucky! If you are feeling like everything is sucky in your day, change something about it. We are so blessed that we aren’t trees with roots in the ground. We can move and adapt. If you have to make some hard changes do it, your long term happiness will thank you for that. You have permission to get out there and change who and how you show up in the world. Start by reading “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon! Your energy can shift everything around you.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Yes, I’d love thank all my friends and family who made me the way I am today. My mom and dad, and previous bosses that had blessed me with so many great tips and tricks to approach difficult moments head on and with a smile.
Get out there and have some fun! Help others and share some laughs!
Congrats to Dan Paulsrud, December 2018 Adultitis Fighter of the Month. Thank you for making the world more awesome!