Growing Up and Being a Mature Person

Some may argue that maturity comes with age. Some argue it comes with experience. I don’t know which one is right, but maybe it’s both. What I have learned at my ripe age, is that maturity isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being real. It’s about being honest, and it’s about not letting the desire for pleasure or fear of pain be the motivation for the decisions we make in our life.

Immature people speak and behave based on their current emotions and personal feelings. This behavior is based on their understanding of rules, trade-offs, and the social order around them.

For an immature person, everything is seen as a trade-off. These children (and a shocking number of adults) approach life as an endless series of bargains. I will do what my boss says so I can get money. I will call my mother so I don’t get yelled at. I will do my homework so I don’t fuck up my future. I will lie and pretend to be nice so I don’t have to deal with conflict.

Nothing is done for its own sake. Everything is a calculated trade-off, usually made out of fear of the negative repercussions.

You can’t live your life this way, otherwise, you’re never actually living your life. You’re merely living out an aggregation of the desires of the people around you. In a sense, you’re a slave. To become a mature and emotionally healthy individual, you gotta break out of this bargaining and calculating way of thinking, and realize the higher guiding principles.

“Ideally, after some time, we will begin to realize that the world cannot always be bargained with, nor should we subject every aspect of our life to a series of transactions. You don’t want to bargain with your father for love, or your friends for companionship, or your boss for respect. Why? Because feeling like you have to manipulate people into loving or respecting you feels shitty. It undermines the whole project. If you have to convince someone to love you, then they don’t love you. If you have to cajole someone into respecting you, then they don’t respect you. The most precious and important things in life cannot be bargained with. To try to do so destroys them.”

You cannot manipulate happiness.

While people who navigate the world through bargaining and rules can get far in the material world, they remain crippled and alone in their emotional world. This is because transactional values create toxic relationships — relationships that are built on manipulation.

A mature adult gives without expectation, without seeking anything in return, because to do so defeats the purpose of a gift in the first place.
Life is far more complicated than simply pursuing one’s pleasure and avoiding pain.

As children grow up, they experience the shocking realization that the world does not cater to their whims, and that the only things in life of real value and meaning are achieved without conditions, and without transactions.

As a mature adult, you sit and think critically about yourself and about what you’ve chosen to care about, not through word, but through deed.

What level of maturity are you actually operating on?

Sit down, get honest with yourself, and really pick apart whether or not your interpretations of your actions actually make sense. Are you just deluding yourself? Do your actions reflect what you think is important? If not, where is the disconnect?

Happiness and health come when there is no disconnect with your virtues and your thoughts and behaviors.

Don’t get me wrong: The problem is not you. The problem is what you’re choosing to value, how you’re choosing to see the world and the way in which it operates.
You didn’t fuck up because you caused pain. You fucked up because you caused pain for bad reasons.

Sometimes we think we are the mature ones, so we go around trying to make others “mature like us”. But you can’t go from a child to an adult without being an adolescent in between.

Maturity happens when we realize that it’s better to suffer for the right reasons than to feel pleasure for the wrong reasons. Adulthood occurs when we realize that it’s better to love fully and unconditionally and lose, than to never know what it means to really love, and what LOVE is really about.

Eventually you learn what pain is worthwhile, and what pain is just kicking you further from inner peace and joy. Choose wisely.

grow up

(NOTE: This is a summary and interpretation of one of my all-time favorite authors, Mark Manson, in his article “How to Grow the Fuck Up: A Guide to Humans”; a VERY long, but VERY WORTH TAKING THE TIME TO READ piece I absolutely LOVE.)

One thought on “Growing Up and Being a Mature Person

  1. Bill Benoist says:

    Sometimes age comes without maturity too. Always enjoy your posts and looking forward to more in 2019. Happy Holidays!

    Like

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