The True Mark of Maturity

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The true mark of maturity is when somebody hurts you
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The true mark of maturity is when somebody hurts you and you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back.

Judging one’s maturity is not as easy as judging the ripeness of a fruit. Maturity comes in many forms and we have encountered people whom we deem mature based on their looks, demeanour, and accomplishments, but turn out to be emotionally or socially immature. That is because real maturity often manifests itself in dire situations, in conditions that put an immature person an inch away from regressing.

In Robert Keegan’s Theory of Maturity, he postulated that people are initially embedded in their own subjective perspective. That means we start off as indifferent to other people’s feelings and existence as we still try to make sense of our own. The more we progress into the stages, the more we get to see ourselves from another perspective other than our own. The goal therefore is to break free from our subjective perspective and develop an objective awareness of ourselves and other people.

When a person reaches the Interpersonal period, he begins to understand that the world is shared by other people. This realization would encourage him to respect and appreciate the otherness of other people, expanding his perspectives at the same time. An interpersonal child becomes aware of other people’s needs.

It’s hard to antagonize people when we’ve understood their perspectives and where they’re coming from. When we reach the highest point of social maturity, it becomes unnecessary and a waste of time to take things personally and hold a grudge. Imagine a world of socially-matured people!

The Real Fools…

The real fools are those too scared to look foolish
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The real fools are those too scared to look foolish.

In the words of Steve Jobs: “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” We can achieve great things by pushing ourselves to the limit and trying various approaches until we find what works best for us. But here’s the drawback: we may appear foolish to some people.

In Osho’s 1999 book “Creativity: Unleashing the Forces Within,” he described creative people as “rebels” in a society that revolves around conformation. These creative people, ranging from artists, to CEOs, to “soccer moms” aren’t afraid to look foolish and so they accomplish more without sacrificing their identity. Osho proclaimed, “A creator has to be able to look foolish. A creator has to risk his so-called respectability.” He said that in such cases when creative people gain respectability through recognition of their work, they tend to stop being creative for the fear of looking foolish.

Creators are considered eccentric in our society but creativity is a trait all children possess. As Picasso said, “All children are born artists.” Unfortunately, this trait is mostly discouraged and highly frowned upon in most schools and formal institutions. Children lose their creativity as soon as they try to fit in a world run by people who stigmatize mistakes and unconventional ideas. As a result, we live in fear of looking foolish.

To borrow the words of Greek philosopher Epictetus: “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” It’s a small price to pay for unleashing our potential and living an extraordinary life!

The Choice to Have a Great Attitude

Background Image – D. Sharon Pruitt – Wikipedia – lic. under CC-BY-2.0

“The choice to have a great attitude is something that nobody or no circumstance can take from you.”Zig Ziglar

When we meet someone with a great attitude, we can’t help but feel attracted to their energy yet we feel envious at the same time. These people have a greater chance of living a happier and more successful life. Fortunately, a great attitude can be imbedded in us. All it takes is our commitment to living a more positive life!

According to positive psychology, the way we talk to ourselves affect our perceptions. It’s not about ignoring the bad stuff; it’s about how we string the words in our head. This positive science found that self-talk or the stream of thoughts in our mind can either shed a positive a light or draw darkness to an event or circumstance. Just like how we manipulate a story, we can also alter reality with misconceptions.

Optimism takes practice and the most difficult part is modifying how we self-talk. Psychologists say the human brain tends to magnify the negative aspects of a situation while filtering out all of the positive ones. One other easy mistake is personalizing the bad stuff and blaming ourselves for it. Next comes our tendency to think of the worst and then seeing things only as either good or bad.

Positive self-talk begins with using logic and reason. To think clearly, we need to be aware of the misconceptions and lies we tell ourselves unconsciously. We need to take things as they are and break the habit of seeing things in a skewed way.

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