The 10 Lessons of our Manifesto: How to be a Successful Non-Grown Up

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This year we met up with a fellow NGU Lexi Butler founder of who agreed to publish a 10 part series of Lessons from our Manifesto. We don’t believe in Grown Ups, you don’t have to grown up either! We are successful non-grown ups and we can tell you how to do it too:

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Lesson I: Always Question Authority

As a NGU it is your duty to be in charge of your own destiny. As such, it is important to realize, much of what we do every day; we only do because someone else told us to do it! Is it what I want to do? Is it what I should do? Does it compromise my morals and what I believe?  We must ask these questions concerning our own actions everyday. Why are you matching your socks, mowing your lawn, using straws, writing in cursive, working 9-5, or even having children?  If what we are doing is simply because “I was told to”, or  “because that’s the way society is” we need to nix that Nazi-mentality and take a good look at the authority doing the telling. Keep Reading

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Lesson 2: Never Follow the Rules

This is an immediate callback to Part I-Always Question Authority, but we feel that it’s important to reiterate that rules are a form of applied authority that should also be questioned extensively, but really why even follow rules?

Rules you should never follow:

  • Rules on Bulletin Boards
  • Laws (That don’t apply to hurting people, OBVIOUSLY!!!)
  • Decrees by Queens or Princes
  • Guidelines
  • Etiquette
  • Rules that are on signs
  • Rules that are written anywhere…Keep Reading

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Lesson III: Be Creative

When being creative, it always helps to not follow the rules (see Part II). Creativity is just trying something in a different, maybe even weird-way, that usually goes against the norm. This is how you can recognize creativity. The greater the creativity the greater the outside opposition will be to it & the more butterflies you will feel in your stomach. I was 2 when I created ‘Windows’ :medium Pink Puppy Wallpaper & Permanent Black Marker: size 4×3’ much to my Mother’s horror. I was forced to scrub off my banksey-like act, but I knew from that day forward no matter the cost, I always wanted to be creative. The best part about creativity is that it’s FUN! Keep Reading…


Lesson IV: Play Everyday

Play is the best way to learn, de-stress and have fun!  Play is a great way to use your creativity (see part III). Pretend grown ups don’t think that games are fun, but NGU’s know that all games can be fun. Think about things you did as a kid. You will probably still find those things fun. Playing everyday will make you a happier, healthier person. Keep Reading


Lesson V: Love & Protect Animals

Just like modern Stone Age families, every day we have to decide to kill the animals before they kill us. Or let them in our home and name them Dino. Meat and survival is one thing, but getting hurt for fun and money is not what animal brains crave. Keep reading…


Lesson VI: Love & Protect the Earth

We are all traveling on this Earthship and that means it is up to each of us to be it’s caretakers and custodial staff, yes we must clean the metaphoric ‘toilets’ of the earth.  This will undoubtedly go along with loving and protecting the beings of this planet including humans & animals (part V).  We are all earthlings there is no separation, or differences between us that’s been imagined that negates the fact we are all in this together! Keep Reading…


Lesson VII: Love Color

What colors are you wearing? Beige is not a color! (It is a tint to be specific.) We want you to LOVE color in it’s purest form. Love all the colors of nature. Stop buying only black or white cars and every shade of beige houses. I’m getting lost in your neighborhoods. Is it the Ecru duplex or the Khaki bungalow? Stop wearing bland clothes and fading into the bland walls of bland places Mr. Blanderson. Express yourself and enjoy the color around you. Yes you will have to be creative (see part III) and that is the fun part! Where can you infuse color? Keep Reading…


Lesson VIII: Be What Ever You Want

Sometimes when people say just be yourself, I’m like ‘What? How can I not be myself?’ I’m always myself, just in different situations.  Like ‘Business me’, ‘Party me’, ‘Responsible me’ ‘Anarchist me’. It’s just so much better to be what ever you want! Like instead of being ‘myself’ in a situation that would cause anxiety, why couldn’t I be Wonder Woman? If I have to make a phone call why can’t I be British? If I need to go to the dentist, why can’t I be an astronaut exploring a new planet or a documentary filmmaker scoping out a location? Being yourself is great if “yourself” is the best person for the situation, but when life gives you lemons-Cosplay! Keep Reading….


Lesson IX: Just Do it Yourself

In this magical land where commercials pop up every time you look at a TV, phone or computer for more than 3 minutes, it’s easy to start to think: “There has to be a better way!” and that better way comes sealed in plastic for $9.99 and up.  So why bother doing anything any other way? Because sometimes it’s actually better to do some things yourself.  That’s why sports-athletes play sports themselves instead of paying someone to take over. Keep Reading…


Lesson X: Be Helpful, Encouraging & Grateful

Saying please and thank you, I have found, is sincerely lacking in pretend grown ups. And yet these same people would never let their kids get away with it. I have spent my life wondering when I will become a grown up, and I am so glad that I never did! I never unlearned all the things I was taught as a child. To ‘Give a hoot and don’t pollute’, to share, help those in need, and to say thank you! These are hardwired into every kid, but at some point those kids give up trying and I think that is when all that is left is to pretend to be a grown up.  There is hope! Do not give up, ‘do not go gentile into that good night, Rage, rage against the dying of the light!’ –I know people say Dylan Thomas was talking about growing old, but I think he was talking about grown ups! Keep reading…

Thank you to for publishing our Lessons over the past 10 weeks! We hope we have helped some pretend grown ups become more Non-Grown Up and Successful! Tell us your tales of being a NGU-we’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment! Which Lesson is your favourite and which one are you the best at? I love being creative 😉 

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