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9 Examples of Maturity

Maturity is the capacity to deal with the real world in some reasonable and independent way. This is a character strength that tends to improve with experience but should not be confused with age as a 20 year old can be more mature than a 60 year old. The following are illustrative examples of maturity.

Self Discipline

Self discipline is the ability to do what you know you should do. For example, the ability to focus on work, study or practice for extended periods of time because you are trying to achieve something.

Self Direction

Self direction such that you set your own intentions and goals. The mature cultivate and implement plans without anyone ever holding their hand or telling them what to do. Likewise, the mature will resist doing things other people pressure them to do where it doesn't feel right or make sense to them.

Self Awareness

The mature attempt to look at themselves in a realistic light in order to improve. They try to defeat delusional thinking and identify their own weaknesses and character flaws. Improving these things is hard and failures can be expected -- even when you're mature. The important thing here is that the mature are familiar with many of their own faults and try to do better.


The ability to handle stress without losing it. The mature come to expect hardships and have bounced back from failures and insults many times such that it is relatively easy for them.


Class is a mindset whereby you treat others with respect. It is common to confuse maturity with conformity, mediocrity and complacency. For example, someone might tell you that maturity means that you are on time for things. This isn't necessarily true. The mature respect others and will try to respect the time of others. However, they may very well skip meetings that they find useless. If someone is specifically waiting for them, class would dictate that they be on time or be candid with the person if they will be late.

Taking the High Road

Taking the high road is the ability to act well when dealing with people who are acting badly. The mature don't argue with disgruntled strangers in the street or social media. They don't react to insults with poor behavior. This frees them from being emotionally manipulated by others whereby they don't become the bad person in any dispute.

Risk Taking

Maturity should not be confused with the prudish, priggish, pompous or pedantic who avoid risk and take a smug attitude towards risk takers. The mature don't necessarily avoid risk but rather take calculated and managed risk. For example, a sailing enthusiast who makes ambitious oceanic crossings but prepares properly for each trip.


Pragmatism is the ability to get things done in the real world where things are imperfect. The mature tend to deal with realities and spend little time complaining and wishing for an ideal world as this often isn't helpful in actually moving forward.


A tendency to be honest with oneself and others. For example, the mature don't pretend to be something they are not.


Mature individuals are quite diverse such that it is incorrect to assign them specific strengths such as confidence, humility, compassion and tolerance. The core of maturity is the ability to deal with reality as it really exists. This requires resilience and benefits from self-discipline, pragmatism and self-direction.
Maturity can be simulated with risk-adverse behaviors such as carefully doing what is expected of you in order to avoid criticism. This is better described as conformity than maturity whereby maturity implies independent thinking that is more than simply complying with rules and expectations.
In some cases, people who have serious weaknesses endure so many problems in their life that they emerge from the experience with maturity. When this occurs, the person may overcome their previous weaknesses and be all the stronger despite their misadventures. This process is known as antifragile or resilience.
Overview: Maturity
The capacity to deal with the real world in some reasonable and independent way.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about maturity.
Risk Management
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