What does it mean to be mature?
Final high school examinations
Today the Italian maturità - high school exams - get underway.
I sat mine more than 30 years ago… Back then the exams started and took place in the month of July. In Milan it was a nightmare: the climate isn’t ideal and so as soon as people finished a session, like their written exams, they would escape from the city …
It is without doubt the most difficult exam in a person’s life - and that’s coming from someone who studied Engineering at Milan’s Politecnico and has an MBA from Bocconi, etc.
I had never thought about what it meant.
Today as I was reading a post from LinkedIn that I had put to one side to read more carefully – as I always do this with paper articles– I thought there was a connection with high school exams. I recommend you read it and want to comment on it.
I would like to dedicate it to people sitting their exams this year. It is my present to the young men and women and their parents who will obviously be supporting them throughout.
As I tend to do, I read it and put it aside and I really think it’s worth reading! I am a demanding and critical person but there’s a lot of wisdom in this article!
You often hear people saying that brief articles summarising important things are a waste of time and are just empty talk or marketing (in a disparaging sense), etc. NOT in this case.
I’d like to read it every morning and offer a little contribution for each of the points.
Let’s take today as an example…
1. Give up on the unhealthy lifestyle.
At lunch today my husband had a couple of spoonfuls of Nutella. I managed to resist the temptation…
2. Give up the short term mindset.
I can’t be bothered to write the report for my recertification as a business coach, but I already flunked the first exam, I need to pass the second one and it’s less than a month away! So despite the heat, my tiredness and laziness I’ll do an hour’s work in a little bit.
3. Give up on playing small.
Never let go, not even when you’re 55 years old. I’ll find the way to write for that famous national magazine. I’m going to give myself a few months to achieve my goal.
4. Give up your excuses.
I understood years ago– after turning 40 actually once I’d been through a midlife crisis that also included the “professional” sphere of my life – that I’m content if I do my bit! Every day is a new step and even this post is another step.
5. Give up the fixed mindset
Opening your mind is a long-term process: I read all sorts of things on the internet and in the printed form. I love reading but it can also be useful to speak to people.
6. Give up believing in the “magic bullet”
I discovered that every success takes dedication: in sport, for your body, in your working life and even in your love life! Every aspect of your life needs to be worked on.
7. Give up your perfectionism
Even though I’m a “busy” woman, I want my home and office to be clean and tidy. But I do make compromises as my job is my priority. And I dedicate what time I have left to myself, which may involve having a little nap after lunch …
8. Give up multitasking
I think that even listening to classical music as I work is quite a lot. I agree with the latest theories that suggest you can’t do too many things at once. Women might be able to manage multitasking to a degree, but to do things properly let’s do one thing at a time!
9. Give up your need to control everything
Why don’t they thank me? I might get a little angry but then I just let it be. If anything I might write a post on the value of saying "Thank you"!
10. Give up on saying YES to things that don’t support your goals
Focus: it’s ok to think of a few other things but you need a priority.
11. Give up the toxic people
At the start of my coaching studies I read a book by Laura Bergman Fortgang “Take yourself to the top!”, where I read about the concept: you don’t need to be loved by everyone. If some people annoy you then ditch them…
It’s true, there are people who might be irritating, who ask too many inappropriate questions, who only demand things without giving anything in return … You can do without them. As ever it’s a question of choices, but every now and again it’s good to do a bit of spring-cleaning!
12. Give up your need to be liked
As above. Is there any point in being liked by someone who takes advantage of you?
13. Give up your dependency on social media & television
There is some merit in TV and social media, I’m not denying that, but what you should avoid is “addiction”.
Last summer I was in Japan. Everyone has their phones out all the time. I’m one
of those people who dreams of places like Kalahari where there’s no reception!
In Milan I let my phone ring out, sometimes because I don’t hear it and other
times because I can’t be bothered answering.
Maturity is something you can see in small everyday actions.
And if you don’t believe me, come and get some coaching!