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"The mind is restless and difficult to restrain, but it is subdued by practice."

- Bhagavad Gita, Hindu scripture

Personal Growth – A Study in Maturity

By Mark Chaves on 16 October 2014

Before I became a full-time Wellness Consultant, I worked as an Engineer and Senior Technical Manager for Fortune 500 companies for 20 years. I have a BS in Engineering and an MS in Computer Science.

My first job as a Software Engineer was working for IBM. The division of IBM I worked for applied a Maturity Model for its Software Engineering development. I am using this model as a basis for developing a Maturity Model that addresses people and organizations in terms of emotional, professional, and personal (spiritual) maturity. This article is the first one in this series.

The term “Maturity” may throw some people of. Therefore, let me first set the context.

From the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI):

“The term “maturity” relates to the degree of formality and optimization of processes, from ad-hoc/chaotic practices, to formally defined steps, to managed result metrics, to active optimization of the processes.”

Kind of sterile, ya? So how does this work? The goal of this series of articles, which is based on the CMM idea above, is to highlight a relationship between emotional/professional/personal maturity to one’s wellbeing. I hope to document my findings so that they are lucid enough for you, the reader, to provide feedback (i.e. suggestions, questions, comments, additional ideas, criticism, etc.).

I plan to define maturity traits (characteristics) and apply them to a maturity spectrum ranging from values of “low” maturity traits to values of “high” maturity traits. This undertaking is largely inspired by numerous up-and-coming Mindfulness initiatives such as Wisdom 2.0 and the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, (SIYLI). As a result, this new Maturity Model can be used as a platform by people who are devoted to a path free from suffering – i.e. working towards a state of Moksa (liberation). In the Emotional Intelligence arena, we could use this model as a personal gauge to monitor our own progress and perhaps as a professional gauge to determine our career growth.

Sneak Peak:
So what does this look like? Here is an example:

The act of “taking things personally”, such as being offended if one of your peers is promoted before you. The Maturity trait is: Takes things personally. In a maturity spectrum for this trait the endpoint values are:
• Low Maturity – takes everything personally (much suffering)
• High Maturity – takes nothing personally recognizing the fact that someone being promoted ahead of oneself has nothing to do with oneself (see The Four Agreements by Ruiz).

“Taking things personally is a blocker to growth and development on all levels.”

emotional intelligence maturity model

Taking things personally is a blocker to growth and development on all levels. If one does not take things personally, the unnecessary defense mechanisms (walls) come down… possibilities are endless. One can take comments/suggestions/questions/criticism as all gifts for self-improvement (instead of attacks). If one takes things personally, animosity, alienation, resentment, etc. festers leading to stress, unhappiness, depression, anger, etc.

Next up: applying a maturity spectrum to other traits such as:
• Taking responsibility
• Feeling of empowerment
• Being honest
• Ability to collaborate and share information/knowledge/wisdom
• Treating everyone as a customer (family and self is customer #1)
• Motivated by (sources of motivation)
• Being mindful
• Being empathetic

About the author

mark l chaves

Independent Consultant, Writer, & Photographer

Mark became a consultant, writer, and photographer after working in the software industry for 20 years in Fortune 500 companies. He recently transitioned from his roles as a Wellness Consultant and…  Read full bio