Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How Much is Your Immaturity Worth to You?

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. -- St Paul

A few nights ago I am lying in bed and hear email downloading on my phone. I am awake so I grab it and begin scrolling through the mail, stumbling upon this Subject Matter: How Much is Your Immaturity Worth to You? My first thought was that this could only come from one of two friends, both of whom are top echelon transformational trainers: Dan Tocchini or Davide Zaccariello. I was so intrigued that I sat up and turned on the light, put on my reading glasses and read …
“How Much is Your Immunity Worth to You?” It was an advertisement from Shaklee vitamins. Monte: “I don’t always use vitamins, but when I do, it is Shaklee.” (A riff on the advertizing campaign for Dos Equis: The Most Interesting Man in the World.)
Yes, yes, I laughed at myself for a long while. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about the cost of immaturity.

I didn’t get my way when I was 15, so have refused to turn 16 for 30 years. (Arrested Development)

My parents made me the center of the universe: Thou shalt go and do likewise.  (Narcissism … cute in children, ugly in adults)

See my childlike weakness, neediness and helplessness? Please take care of me and protect me or I shall perish. (Victim, utilizing guilt and pity so as to exert control)

Constantly showing up late for meetings

Arguing over minutia with co-workers

Pissing contests with all-comers

Being invisible in team meetings

Demonstrative pouting when you don’t get your way

Temper tantrums when someone points out the weaknesses of your proposals

Defining and interpreting everyone’s words and behaviors in terms of how they affect you

Refusing to take risks because failure is “bad”

The inability to laugh at yourself

Pretending to be someone else, because you fear not being liked for yourself

Treating others, as you fear you will be treated

Pretending to be an authority on all subjects

Refusing to rejoice with others when they rejoice and weep when they are weeping

Constantly making excuses and creating alibis to explain your failure to produce as expected

Demanding perfection of yourself or others

All of this is evidence of a childish immaturity that is robbing me of health (psychological and spiritual) and success in every context of my life.
What is so sad about such behaviors is that all these people are seeing is the momentary pay-off, not the long-term costs. Take any of the behaviors I mentioned and play the movie all the way out to, say, 10 years from now. How much respect do you have for yourself, looking back at how you behaved? How much respect have you earned from those people that matter in your life? How many opportunities for advancement in your career were shut down? How much of your potential are you realizing, compared to 10 years ago?
Putting away childish behavior is a choice, a determination to keep moving forward in the maturation process. Some days you will only make small steps, other days you will take giant leaps forward but, in 10 years, you will look back on your journey and see that the rewards of maturity are far superior to the minimal pay-off for immature behavior. Or so I believe …

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2012

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