“I guess this is growing up.” -Blink 182
Much to my chagrin, I've recently come to terms with the fact that I'm growing up. And yes, it's as painful as it sounds. But…
Everyone needs to grow up.
It's time to get over yourself. To stop asking the world what it can do for you and start asking what you can do to make a contribution to this big ball of dirt that we all share.
Maturity has nothing (or perhaps, very little) to do with age. I've met grown men (quite a few, actually) who act like adolescents.
No, maturity is more a product of experience coupled with character than it is an automatic “in” to the adult life once you turn a certain age.
So how do you tell a mature person from the rest of the bunch?
Better yet, how do you know when you are growing up?
At first, it may be hard to detect, but knowing a mature person from an immature person (regardless of age) is an important skill for anyone to have, especially a good leader.
Signs of Maturity
There are several signs of mature people.
As you look at the people with whom you'd like to change the world (whether it's your friends, family, team or community), consider enlisting those who are real grown-ups.
Here are five things to look for (in others and in yourself):
1. Saying you're sorry
Mature people don't have to worry about always being right.
They're comfortable with saying when they were wrong. They have the wisdom to know that no one is ever correct all the time.
They're humble enough to say when this applies to themselves.
2. Taking the blame
Mature people take responsibility for when the ball is dropped or failure happens. They don't pass the buck or try to sidestep responsibility.
They meet it head on, willing to accept the consequences of their actions.
3. Giving away credit
Mature people don't need to get credit for their actions. If done for the right reasons, the acts themselves are the rewards.
Whether at work or on a team, they're comfortable with giving away the credit for their fellow team members.
4. Willing to wait
Mature people are patient; they're not fixated on instant gratification.
They're willing to wait for some things; in fact, they realize that the best stuff in life takes time.
It's not easy, but it's good.
5. Giving up the right to be right
Even when they're right, mature people are willing to waive that right for the sake of relationship.
They're sure of themselves; they don't need to win an argument to affirm their identity.
What about you?
As I read this list, I'm convicted. I've grown in all of these areas since I graduated from college, but I still have a lot of room to grow.
I tend think of myself as an “old soul,” but I need to grow in all of these areas. I guess I'm still growing up.
Here's some fun additional reading: Nation Down to Last Hundred Grown-ups
What about you? What are other signs of growing up?