A framework for growth.
Author’s Note: Source materials originally compiled on 2016 May 20.
Reader’s Note: This is a shortlist of descriptors of maturity and factors that contribute towards maturity that I put together for a lecture on the topic.
Length: 1,300 words
Reading Time: 4.5 minutes
Keys to Success in Life
Take responsibility towards your Work/Purpose – A Man’s Connection to the World! (These must be done in this order!)
- Make a decision and Take Action!
- Think it through as you increase efficiency.
- Sort out your emotions and maximize Flow.
On the first point above, making good/right decisions in life requires the personalization of the ego and the internalization of your life experiences. To do this, a man has to own up to himself (AKA “coming to terms” with one’s self).
- Open your heart, use your noetic nose. Learn to trust God. Learn how to selectively trust others, and how much. Exercise discernment. Set appropriate boundaries which are necessary to keep your heart open and alive. Knowing who to trust is key.
- Recognize your convictions, emotional constitution, personality, and values.
- Identify the nature, sources, or causes of your desires, fears, triggers, turn-offs, and must-haves. Remember that strengths and weaknesses go hand in hand.
- Develop effective and personalized habits of communication and self-expression.
- Find and take an acceptable and effective path of resolution.
- Periodically reflect on your experiences. Learn from your mistakes. Revise your mental paradigm, and continue.
If a person follows this outline with regularity, he should be making incremental progress towards his own personal maturity. However, there exist certain complicating factors that can interrupt this process. I may cover some of these factors at a later date. &
Elements of Maturity
I have come to understand maturity as the level of development and/or a state of completion of the self. So the remainder of this post will address the topic of maturity as it relates to the self.
Because maturity is a rather complex topic, I’ve put together a Cliff’s Notes version of descriptors of maturity and factors that contribute towards maturity. Readers are encouraged to use this list to gain insight, as an inspiration, for brainstorming, jumpstarting a discussion on the topic, or simply as a reference.
Accepting and Appreciating Your Human Identity
- Any unique features you may possess (e.g. physical comeliness or homeliness, social affect, mental acuity, psychological disposition, learning disabilities, etc.).
- Your culture.
- Your family background.
- Your generational characteristics and related social issues.
- Your height, weight, and appearance.
- Your nationality.
- Your nominal religion.
- Your personality.
- Your political views and affiliations.
- Your race.
- Your sex.
- Your socio-economic class.
In mentioning these, it is important to be aware of the characteristic attitudes and values of the above, and see them as distinct and unique from those who are different. This gives one a sense of one’s place in the world.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad / Roughing It (1869, 1872)
- Being calm and comfortable in yourself, especially in situations out of your control.
- Letting others be who they are without trying to manipulate, control, or change them.
- Making your own independent decisions and taking responsibility for your life.
- Being aware of how you impact others through your attitude, behavior, and speech.
- Being aware of how other people, environments and situations influence your moods and thinking habits.
- The cycles of your body: hunger, circadian rhythm, menses (for women), aging, etc.
- The needs of your body: sleep, hygiene, nutrition, leisure time, exercise, libidinal expression, etc.
- Your attitude, and knowing what makes your attitude change.
- Your emotional triggers, their sources, and how to handle them.
- Your feelings, and knowing when they do or do not convey the truth.
- Your gut reactions and what causes them, and what they mean.
- Your impressions, and being able to gauge the accuracy of them.
- Your opinions, and how they are different from others’.
- Your repetitive thoughts and trains of thought.
- Accepting the discipline necessary to achieve your goals in life.
- Being patient.
- Being rational and reasonable.
- Keeping to a schedule.
- Keeping your speech honest, pure, and constructive.
- Maintaining hope, a clear mind and psychological balance, especially in the face of confrontation with others and during adverse situations and circumstances.
- Managing your emotions well (especially anger).
- Not letting yourself be distracted nor wander too far from your goals and purposes.
- Sticking to a budget and spending wisely.
- Developing socially acceptable, appropriate, and efficient ways to satisfy your needs.
- Dressing in an appropriate and/or respectable manner (e.g. clean, kempt, professional, etc.) in order to create your own public persona.
- Facing your desires and fears, and discussing them with select others when appropriate.*
- Handling your significant relationships with kindness, tact, and sincerity.
- Maintaining a vital network of friends and career associates.
- Taking the time to study (e.g. the Bible, work related topics, finances, personal issues), and being well informed of issues that are important to you.
- Setting boundaries and enforcing them.
- Nuances of your personality.
- What creates joy or disgust in you.
- What makes you angry or elated.
- What motivates you and/or makes you passionate.
- Your communication style and choice of words that suits you best.
- Your deal-breakers.
- Your desires.
- Your expectations.
- Your fears.
- Your habits.
- Your likes and dislikes.
- Your limitations.
- Your values.
- Being able to play a role in order to fit in with a larger group (such as a family unit, a workforce, etc.) while still retaining an individual sense of self.
- Developing a field of accomplishments, increasing responsibilities and privileges, and growing a sphere of influence.
- Knowing your limits as to what you are able to do or accept, and handling the issue tactfully without being irresponsible or looking like an @ss.
- Having the wits to be able to put your thoughts and feelings into accurate and easily understandable words at appropriate times.
- Expressing your vulnerabilities and needs with dignity to those who are trustworthy. (Men are strongly encouraged to confide in other men, and NOT women.)*
- Knowing how to handle confrontations with others such to attain win-win outcomes.
I’ve found certain lifestyle habits can greatly enhance success in life, the owning of self, and the process of maturing.
- Choose friends wisely. Choose friends who recognize your identity and appreciate who you are, what you do, and what you bring. Also, make the effort to develop friendships with people who fit into your life purpose and others you want to emulate.
- Avoid toxic people. This means don’t be a beta orbiter who allows attention seeking but insincere women to siphon off his time and resources, leaving him with nothing to show for it but blue-balled angst and frustration.
- Manage a time schedule to maximize efficiency and productivity.
- Settle into a regular routine.
- Increase your sense of security and reduce unexpected and time wasting variations by making habits of things.
- Prepare things in advance, to save more time and effort later.
- Make a “To Do” list, and/or set out a half-finished task to be completed first thing early the next morning when your mind is sleepy and dull. This will help kick start your day. This also includes laying out your clothes the night before, and preparing your tools, bags, books, and other equipment at the end of the day, the day before the work is to be done.
- Limit your wardrobe to a specific style of clothes that best accentuate your personality and express your work/career aspirations.**
- Reduce your travel time and stress by living close to your place of occupation.
- Reduce or eliminate habits that are distracting, enervating, dissipating, or that waste time and/or money. These habits might include things like watching TV or movies, playing video games, excessive drinking, viewing p0rn, masturbating, etc.
- Take time to rest and worship.
Readers may add to these lists as they see fit.
* The primary purpose for talking about feelings and personal matters is not for catharsis, but to achieve self-understanding and work those issues out. An adage I use to describe this process is “Name it to change it.”&
** For me personally, I look best in either very formal, or very casual attire. I do not look good in semi-formal, current fashion, or “Ivy League/Polo Club” clothing. So when I go to work, I dress to the hilt – ties, belts, patent leather shoes… When I’m not at work, I dress down — shorts, athletic shirts, etc. As a comparison, my father was a carpenter, so he always wore plaid flannel shirts and brown leather shoes… with authority and style!
- Σ Frame: Redefining Manhood as Boyish Immaturity (2021-06-14)