Jason Kotecki and wife holding red balloons for adultitis photo shoot.

Got Adultitis? We Can Help

Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team

Too many of us live in ‘survival mode,’ when we could be living fuller, less stressful lives! Take these 3 steps to embrace your inner child and foster your greatest dreams — you’ll be happy to get rid of Adultitis once and for all!

“Are you suffering from Adultitis?”

Jason Kotecki asks as he points out a description in his book, Penguins Can’t Fly +39 Other Rules That Don’t Exist.

Adultitis: A common condition occurring in people between the ages of 21–121, marked by chronic dullness, mild depression, high stress levels, a general fear of change, and, in extreme cases, the inability to smile. It’s a giggle-worthy diagnosis to be sure. But it’s one that Jason and his wife, Kim, take seriously — and have made their lifelong mission to cure.

Under the banner of their whimsically-named company, Escape Adulthood (Opens in a new tab), the Koteckis spend each day teaching people to throw away everything they’ve learned about adulthood. They inspire people with new ways to alleviate stress, embrace spontaneity and most importantly — become more in-tune to their dreams.

“After falling in love, graduating college and getting married, we entered the ‘real world’ and quickly noticed a few things,” Jason says. “The first was that being a grown-up was not all it was cracked up to be. Second, a shocking number of adults are seriously stressed out and stricken with Adultitis.”

As Jason and Kim talked with friends and explored their idea further, they realized they were on to something big. Their theory? Too many adults live in ‘survival mode,’ when they could really be living life more fully and taking action on their dreams. And it all comes down to our day-to-day attitude and approach to life.

Escape Adulthood started when Jason began designing playful art and comic strips — and transformed into a lifelong passion. Today the couple shares their message through fun books, speaking programs, workshops, live events — even retreats. While their mission evolves every day, they stay focused on the dream that started it all.

Think you’d be a good advocate in the fight? Discover how you can help combat the Adultitis epidemic, and inspire others to do the same with these three simple steps.

Break rules that don’t exist. “I’m not talking about speed limits and tax laws,” says Jason. “Rather, the things you do merely because you’ve always done them. Eat dessert first once in a while. Quit waiting for permission to do something awesome. Following the rules is an excellent way to fit in and avoid being questioned, laughed at or scorned, but it’s not a particularly effective way of living an amazing story.”

Think like a kid. “Although we can’t all be five again, there are definitely qualities that children possess that we can reclaim to make our lives less stressful and more fun” explains Kim. “For example, kids are experts at being curious, delighting in the little things and dreaming big.”

Tinker. “Try small things in the spirit of playfulness and curiosity without any regard for the outcome,” suggests Jason. “Conduct small experiments just to see what happens. Visit a new restaurant. Start a new hobby. Kick off a meeting in a new way. Speak in an accent for a day. Ask that person out for coffee. Remind yourself that you don’t have to be an expert on your first try, and you don’t have to know your final destination before you take the first step.”

Being happy and having passion for the life you’re living is the best way to foster your dreams and live a more meaningful existence. Who doesn’t want that? Take a lesson from Jason and Kim and fight the rise of Adultitis in your life. In doing so, your dreams just may prosper!

Want more tips and inspiration? Join the dream movement today— we’ve got just the resources to help support and guide you along any dream pursuit!

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