How would a person be considered mature? Maturity to some may be a matter of age, but I propose that it is more of our attitudes that are built by experience. Does one need ample experience to be mature? Not necessarily, however that is how most people learn: through their own mistakes (it takes something special to learn from others). There are many people who may be advanced in age, but yet do not display signs of maturity. Below are a few things I believe what marks a mature person.
1. THEY VALUE THEIR PARENTS
Nobody has a perfect family, and I understand some may come from broken homes. However in this case I am speaking to people who come from an ordinary household of parents that do their best to provide and love their children. A mature person realises how much their parents actually sacrifice for them: you really do not know how much hardship they go through (physically, emotionally, financially) to ensure their kids have a shot at life.
They have certainly gone further in life, and many times their advice has more weight than we think. How many times have you looked back and realised that you parents were right about certain things? While not everything they say may be applicable, but they are due some respect nonetheless.
Your parents also naturally come from another generation, and hence some of their mindsets, values and even ways of communication may differ from you. There are times you may find these differences a little annoying, it is natural. That however is not a good excuse to speak to them harshly or to treat them with contempt.
Love and respect your parents!
2. THEY REALISE TIME IS PRECIOUS
One fact that is inescapable in life is that we are all bound by time. In fact, sometimes the greatest tragedy is not losing money or possessions: they can be gotten back. Lost time however, is a different story. No one can turn back or stop time, and often once a moment is gone: it will never come back again.
A person of maturity understands how precious time is, and makes full use of it. Every waking moment is an opportunity to learn, grow and expand your horizons. While things like social media, computer games, magazines and movies in themselves and not bad, spending copious amount of time on them is unproductive.
What is a productive way of spending one’s time then? Read, exercise, reflect, pick up new skills and knowledge (do your homework too if you are still in school ;))
3. THEY DON'T PLAY THE VICTIM CARD
In life, there will be times when people will hurt you, you will face disappointments, situations may seem unfair and things may just seem like they are in a huge mess. One thing that will not help you in any way, shape or form: feeling sorry for yourself. A person of maturity understands that playing the victim card achieves nothing and understands that they can make a choice to either get up, or to stay down.
4. THEY KNOW WHEN TO HOLD ON AND WHEN TO MOVE ON
Here is the reality of things: some things are worth fighting for, sometimes we are better off moving on (even from people). How one differentiates this is too lengthy to be discussed in this tiny space (maybe I will write on it someday) but ask anyone with enough life experience and they will tell assure you that this point is very very true.
5. THEY DON'T QUIT EASILY
Hey guess what? Life is full of challenges! The opportunities and chances you are hoping for are often disguised as challenges, problems and oppositions. If you are the sort that quits the minute the going gets tough, you are not going to get far in life regardless of how talented you are. Many successful people got to where they are today not because they were the brightest or the greatest, but simply because they did not quit while many others before them did.
6. THEY HAVE MANNERS
More on that here.
7. THEY DON'T HOLD GRUDGES
Life is too short to be consumed by bitterness and resentment. A mature person understands that the lack of forgiveness only serves to hold a person back and is rarely beneficial. You could whine and gripe about how unjust or terrible a certain person was towards you, but in the end it rarely solves anything and only causes you to become consumed by your own negativity (or worse, even those around you).
Holding a grudge against someone is like allowing them to live "rent-free" in your head; do yourself a favour and let it go.
8. THEY ARE OPEN TO CORRECTION (AND ALWAYS LEARNING)
Mature people are not know-it-alls, and they are certainly not ruled by arrogance. They are open to the suggestions and feedback of other people, and they have the attitude of "I can learn anything from anyone."
Learning is a huge part of life - whether it is acquiring new skills, gaining new knowledge or even just hearing of new experiences. We should always seek to learn - from our superiors, our peers and even those below us.
Guess what - receiving correction or a rebuke from someone is not going to feel nice. But "feeling nice" is not a good measure to everything. Athletes do not feel "nice" when they are going through training. But if you look past your bruised ego - you may find something helpful or something to be learnt, even if it is from criticism.
9. THEY ARE ADAPTABLE (AND DON'T COMPLAIN)
You cannot always control what kind of cards life will deal you, but you can control your response to it. A mature person understands the need to adapt: sometimes you cannot have everything you way, and you just have to adjust accordingly.
How much you are able to adapt is directly proportionate to how happy you will be. What used to work in a certain environment or season may not work where you are now: accept, acquire (learn) and adapt. Doing something and it does not seem to be working? Change it! Have the flexibility in your character to understand this, and you will definitely go far.
The least helpful thing you can do: constantly complain about things. Yes, we do need to talk certain things out at times - but it comes a point where you either need to do something to change the situation, or change your attitude about it.
10. THEY KNOW WHEN TO SPEAK AND WHEN TO BE SILENT
This is a big one. Particularly in the age of the internet where everyone has a say and a voice. A mature person knows that they do not have to attend every argument they are invited to. Not every comment is helpful, especially if you are delivering it to parties that are not interested in intelligent, logical discussions - or it may not be your place to do so (could be because you of your rank, the attitude of a person towards you, the intensity of the situation etc).
There are people who ask questions, and there are those who question everything - do not waste your time on the latter because often it leads to nothing being achieved (except for bruised egos and hurt feelings).
Special note: Youtube commenters, Online Forums - definitely places you want to avoid arguments.
THEY UNDERSTAND LIFE IS A PRODUCT OF CHOICES & CONSEQUENCES
While all of us are born into different circumstances, we are each a product of the choices that we make. Granted, some people may have certain privileges which gives them access to more opportunities but a mature person is not hung up about what they do not have; instead they focus on what lies ahead of them. Everyone has a choice to dream big, work hard and stay strong. It is a matter of decision that an individual makes.
A mature person also understands consequences: what happens to us is often a result of what we choose. We can still make good choices in bad situations. We should never blame circumstances or other people: if you are faced with a less than ideal scenario or come against a difficult person - you still have a choice. To not choose is in itself also a choice... which is easier to do than making the right choices at times.
You could say that everything written in this article could be concluded with this last point because ultimately, your life is shaped by the choices you make and the path you choose to take.