My biggest lesson in maturity has been in relation to emotions. In a nutshell it is:
Maturity is not letting your emotions get the best of you.
A mature person can rise above whatever negative feelings they may be experiencing, take a deep breath, and choose the best course of action based on reason, based on intellect, but never based on emotion. To “act like an adult” is to do exactly the opposite of what children do: throw temper tantrums. Maturity is being in control of oneself.
Maturity is also delaying immediate gratification for long-term values.
The mature person is determined to achieve what is best for their development and growth. They have a goal, a vision, of who they want to become, and realize that their behavior in the present either brings them closer to that goal or takes them steps backwards. A mature person shows respect to others, in spite of disagreements and differences in opinions. A mature person takes time to make the right decision, and they don’t jump to conclusions.
Stick with a job until it is finished. Bear an injustice without having to get even. Carry money without spending it. Excel at your job without being supervised. Say sorry if you were wrong.
Maturity is not instinctive, it’s learned. It’s not determined by age, either. And it takes a lot of challenging experiences to get there. Anyone can be mature when things are smooth sailing. It’s when the waters get rocky that our maturity is tested. It’s in those moments we see who we really are deep down inside. And if you don’t like what you see, you’ve got work to do. But I truly believe that if maturity is something you want to achieve, you will.