Category Archives: maturity

Check Your Attitude

funny orkut scraps funny baby faces confident

I was reading an article online that had some helpful tips for parents desiring to encourage their kids develop some good habits for financial success. It talked about the habits of the wealthy vs. those of the poor. It was solid researched stuff and should have been welcomed by any parent wanting to give their child a leg up. What saddened and frankly shocked me a bit was the quantity of negative and angry comments that followed. Most of the comments were from people rationalizing their personal failures. They completely missed the intent of the article.

It was obvious that these people were blind to the attitudes that kept them stuck and the real possibility that they could be passed on to their children as well. They embraced hopelessness and helplessness instead of possibilities.

As an employer, I tried to avoid hiring people who were angry or negative. They were the ones that were most likely to get in conflict with other employees, alienate customers and blame others for their lack of advancement. I always chose attitude over aptitude. If they had a good attitude they were usually teachable. That was the problem with many of the comments that I read in the above mentioned article. They demonstrated an unwillingness to listen and learn. For whatever reason they would rather see themselves as powerless victims of an unknown and unseen enemy, or worse yet they looked for something or someone outside of themselves to blame.

Although the article was neither condemning nor shaming I suppose it was inevitable that some would have feelings of failure triggered simply by the subject. That can’t be avoided. But fortunately there were also other comments that indicated that the author was successful in communicating his positive intention. These are the people that will benefit. They understand that the right kind of knowledge is powerful as a change agent.

I have observed this phenomenon in couples as well.

When couples who are having struggles have a generally positive attitude they are likely to get better with time. They expect the difficulties to be temporary, and work toward that goal. Those that do not expect things to get better usually reach their goals too.

What sets apart the successful couples from the stuck ones is often their ability to receive constructive criticism. Successful people consider the input and thank you for it whereas the less successful become defensive and angry, especially when the input is given by their partners. It is not easy to hear about our shortcomings – we all would prefer to be praised for our strengths and hear encouraging words. But we grow when we incorporate helpful criticism.

It all depends on our attitude.


There are times when Nanand I tussle over the contents of this blog. I always give her editorial privilege, meaning she can critique my first draft. She will often say that my delivery is too stringent (or too vague). I just think I am speaking the truth in love. She thinks the love part is a bit too obscure. But she knows my heart and I know hers, so I only register a slight disappointment that she didn’t send up fireworks the first time around.
How we deal with disappointment is a sure sign of our emotional maturity level.
If we can take disappointing news in stride, we are probably operating at a pretty high level of maturity. If on the other hand we pitch a fit like a four-year-old when we encounter an obstacle, well, we are probably operating at that emotional level. And no one wants to be in a relationship with an immature partner. It gets old really fast. High drama = low maturity. 
What kinds of disappointments might we face in marriage?  
  • When a spouse doesn’t want us to spend money  
  • When a spouse turns us down for sex  
  • When a spouse doesn’t meet our emotional expectations  
  • When a spouse doesn’t remember times, dates, and promises  
  • When a spouse doesn’t want to be as social as we do  
  • When a spouse doesn’t hold the same priorities  
  • And so many other instances that frustrate and challenge our emotional balance 
There is another side to this as well. How are you at accepting other people’s disappointments? I often ask a counselee if they are able to let their partner be disappointed and not try to fix everything, especially if their partner needs to adjust to reality of some sort. Nan is always disappointed when I don’t go along with everything that she desires. But that doesn’t mean that I am necessarily wrong and need to fix it. Sometimes I just have to let her have time to accept my decision. And the same goes for me, too. 
I’ve noticed that many people will act much better when faced with disappointments at their jobs. They hold it together probably because creating a scene in public is humiliating. But those same people might not show restraint at home where the stakes are arguably higher and longer lasting.
I have empathy for people’s disappointments (most of the time), especially when they are being denied good things that have been earned or are reasonable, or having to suffer for bad situations that they did not cause. That is why we need a close, connected relationship with God. So we have a place to turn to in those tough moments. 
 Psalm 34:18 (NLT) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

All the Single Guys



It must be something inside guys from birth. I’ve been there many times. You sit with a list of possibilities – Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Honda, BMW, whichever. Or will it be Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony or Vizio. Then there are the options on each one. So many options, how can one decide? While you are stuck in indecision another year passes and another model becomes available. Now there is a whole new set of possibilites to factor in.
I think guys can be like that with relationships. Analysis paralysis strikes again.
Guys will get stuck kicking tires and slow down the experience being in the drivers seat of their own vehicle. Yes, they may test drive several along the way, but then give them back because of their uncertainty. And unfortunately they often return them empty of gas and covered with dirt. Have you ever washed a rental car? I think guys can treat the women that they date like that too sometimes. They use them and then leave them drained and sullied.
Are you one of those guys? I’m not saying you necessarily have bad intentions. You may seriously want to find a wife, and you are pretty good at treating women respectfully. But are you so stuck on finding “the perfect one” that you let the years and women roll by and never really get started? And then you wonder why women your age seem to be so anxious about getting married?
Or are you one of those guys that allow your relationship to drag on for years without making a decision? If you don’t know if she’s right within the first year then you will probably never know. Finish the job within two years or let her go find someone who will.
There is reality to a woman’s biological clock, and men just don’t feel pressured by it in the same way, (unless of course they are married to a wife who is). I don’t believe it is fair for men to negatively judge women who carry that desire to be married while childbearing is still possible or relatively easy. I think guys need to have more empathy.
Do women also look for the perfect man? Of course they do. But I think they are likely to become more realistic as time goes by and they hear that clock ticking. I think guys need to join them.
Are you holding back because you think you have to have it all together first — the home, the career, the bank account? You don’t need to be a home owner – but you do need to have a job. And it’s good to have a realistic sense of where you are headed in life. If you are having a hard time getting a woman to say “yes” to a marriage proposal it may be because you lack these basics. Or it could be that you still need maturity in other areas as well. Are you prepared to make compromises for the sake of a relationship? Did you learn how to share as a kid? You will need that skill as a husband. Long term singleness can make both men and women pretty rigid and selfish sometimes.

Is it scary to think about giving up the freedom that comes with singleness? Yes it is. But is marriage good for men? Yes. Is it good for women? Yes. Is it good for children? Yes. And it is good for society as well.

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