When you see someone behaving in a manner that is unbecoming, or even juvenile, do you think to yourself, “He needs to show some maturity and stop acting like that”? But what do we mean when we say someone needs to show maturity – and even more so, are we mature in our own lives?
To get a better understanding of maturity is let’s take a look at some of the qualities of maturity and see how they relate to our lives and our actions. I am curious to hear if you agree with these or if you judge maturity in an entirely different light.
- Maturity is the ability to control anger and settle differences without violence or destruction. How often do we let anger and destructive habits taint our responses to a situation? As stressful as any situation may be, we need to learn how to resolve them without turning towards anger and potentially destructive behavior.
- Maturity is patience. It is true what they say: the best things in life often take time to come to fruition. We have to be willing to pass up immediate pleasure or rewards and realize that sometimes the best solution to a problem is to go for the resolution that gives us long-term gain. We may not get what we want today, but in the long run we will grow our lives in a multitude of ways.
- Maturity is the capacity to face unpleasantness and frustration, discomfort and defeat, without complaint or collapse. Life will present us with any unpleasant situations. Sometimes we will not only face frustration, but also defeat. We must learn that no matter how difficult or unpleasant the situation may be we should face it without complaint or giving up on it altogether. Life is about learning and we can learn a lot from the situations we face that may put us in situations where we would rather not be.
- Maturity is humility. The hardest words in the English language to say are “I’m sorry” and “I was wrong”. Yet, these words are growth words – they grow you as a person. There are times when you will be right in life, despite what others have said. Instead of rushing to say “I told you so,” realize that everyone has a different view of reality. You don’t need to gain satisfaction by gloating about an outcome. People will respect you when they see that you are willing to admit your mistakes, and when you are big enough to just let things go.
- Maturity is the ability to make a decision and follow through. Doing be a talker, be a doer! So many people have good intentions but they never follow through on them. Don’t spend your entire life thinking of all the ways you can do things and then end up doing nothing.
- Maturity means dependability and coming through in a crisis. When you say you are going to do something, do everything in your power to make it happen. If you find out you cannot do something you said you were going to do, be sure to let the other party know why and explain alternative options. Get organized in life so that people learn that they can depend on you and know that when you say you will do something they can guarantee that what you say is golden.
- Maturity is the art of living in peace. Know that there are some things in life we simply cannot change and be accepting of that. Also know that there are opportunities to change things in this world. With this knowledge you can have the courage to go forth and help bring about change for the better. Have the wisdom to know when you can make a difference and when you must be accepting of what is presented to you despite how you feel to the contrary.
After reading over this list, do you believe a person with all of these traits is indeed mature? If not, what’s missing and perhaps more importantly, do you have all of the traits?
Maturity is a trait that can change our lives in untold ways. What impression will you leave upon others?