top of page

The Rubinshteinic Guide to "Growing Up" -- Why It's Good For You -- How To Practically Mature Through Logic

Updated: 7 days ago


An elderly chicken in a business suit.
"A man who never grows up is one who refuses to let go of his ego" -- Dana Avi-Isaac

Abstract


I argue that true maturity is about practicality and effective prioritization. It's an active process of self-discovery that requires us to shed our egos and childish desires.
Clinging to childishness is like refusing to let go of your ego. It manifests as getting fixated on unimportant matters, being overly sensitive to criticism, and letting emotions cloud your judgement. This can hinder your ability to make sound decisions and achieve your goals.
Maturity, on the other hand, is about developing mental toughness and emotional intelligence. It involves learning to manage your emotions effectively, prioritizing tasks based on importance, and focusing on what truly matters in the long run. This allows you to navigate life's challenges with greater resilience and achieve success.


"Shedding" Our Skins -- Not Always Easy, But Necessary


Growing up is a process that can be done manually and independently, and not only as part of socialization. As such, you can work on your self-learning capability to learn effective communication without an external guide. Therefore, the responsibility of maturity is not entirely society's, but yours as well. Stop playing the "blame game". It isn't practical.


Maturity is an active process aimed at practicality. Growing up isn't a passive process like watching your hair grow or observe as you get more muscular. Negative. It's an active, disciplined journey of self-discovery and transformation.



While we do grow up biologically and with time, growing up is also a mental evolution. One where you get to form your identity, adapt, and even risk chance of mental illness and depression in the process! Of course it's no easy thing...


Our bodies may change with time, but mental and moral growth is something happens in the space between our ears. It is a work that we can do with ourselves or with the help of others, in order to become tougher and be able to endure more of life.


Path to Maturity Under Flaw


Today, we might be insulted when someone tells us that we need to grow up. We might regard it as an "attack" on our being, and we might regard that person to be toxic. However, what we need to understand is that sometimes the truth is toxic, and its acceptance requires dedication. Judgment of others may be toxic, specifically because it's true.


It, however, takes maturity to be honest, and it takes maturity to be able to take criticism. Even if that person is indeed toxic, being bitter and whining about it won't help you. Maturity is about practicality. And trying to understand why he says such things, is the practical thing to do.


Because we're flawed by default, and may need to work on ourselves and become better.



The Counter-Productive Mental Journey to Manhood


In masculinity, there's a concept of boys transitioning into "men" through a process of mental development. This journey involves growing more resilient and prioritizing effectively in life. Grown adults, compared to younger people, are often less likely to be sensitive to negative social cues. Much of it has to do with investing in mental fortitude, for the adaptation of new and relevant habits takes time. As such, their minds are stronger and more capable of handling life's challenges.


However, the concept of masculinity can become problematic when men are expected to "grow up" faster than women, per their stricter gender roles. However, that is despite the slower process of the male brain towards full maturity. This pressure often translates into expectations of stoicism, unwavering reason, emotional suppression and the aim for orthodox success. 


This counter-productive methodology for growing up is not healthy. While the intentions are good, the methodology of higher expectations is designed to be exploited by an unhealthy society. And thus, unnecessarily, growth becomes a competitor to one's mental health, largely considered a taboo issue. You may successfully socially-enigneer classrooms to become productive members of society.


But to what extent goes the productivity of a person, man or woman, who don't really want to live? It is quite hard to work like a dedicated salaryman if you feel unheared and low-spirited. And unnecessarily so...


Critique of "Real Manhood"


In reality, a "real man" is simply an adult man. Other "necessities" are delusions. They are merely "necessary" because we choose to perceive them as such.



  • There is no need to have power over others in order to become a "real man" (Drug Lord Fallacy)


Blind obedience to any established notions of masculinity (And femininity) should not be endorsed. Instead, as part of forming our identity, we should question them, forge our own path, while still not abandoning the fact that we have some degree of dependence over others. A balanced approach to life can lead to greater practicality and to the reduction of misery you can't do anything about.


How To Develop a Prioritization Theory


The core of "growing up" is becoming more practical. This refers to our ability to manage our lives and prioritize tasks effectively for better results. After all, philosophy loses its value if it doesn't translate into real-world application. It's been relevant for a reason, and we shouldn't dismiss reason or the importance of expanding our horizons.


Here's an example: Imagine driving to work and seeing a dead rabbit on the side of the road. A grown person would likely acknowledge the sadness of the situation but continue driving. This is because they understand their priorities and recognize the limitations of the situation. They can't bring the rabbit back to life, but they can focus on their responsibilities, like doing their job. They won't let themselves be consumed by the sight to the point they'll compromise their work. Don't they have a rent to pay, a family to feed?


Manage your emotions in a way that allows you to function effectively. We should focus on what we is prone to our actions. To quote Epictetus:

Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.
Work, therefore to be able to say to every harsh appearance, “You are but an appearance, and not absolutely the thing you appear to be.” And then examine it by those rules which you have, and first, and chiefly, by this: whether it concerns the things which are in our own control, or those which are not; and, if it concerns anything not in our control, be prepared to say that it is nothing to you.

The grown up person represses their emotions, or even disattach from them, when these emotions are in their way for practicality. It does not mean that they should bury them and pretend they do not exist. I mean that we should be able to not be tempted by urges, put them in the back of our minds, and reject them when they are in our way to practicality.


People who haven't developed mental maturity often fixate on unimportant matters. They might waste time and energy on things that hold little practical value. You may claim philosophy's like that, but philosophy governs both business and the state.


Case Example: A Sudden Walrus


In Israel, 2023, a walrus was spotted in our country's beaches. Since it's very uncommon, the walrus became an attraction, and people gathered simply to record her. She was even mentioned in the news and in radio stations and what not.



And all I could think is how minor it all is. Minor, but highlighted in value by legitimized escapism. Minor because I have better things to attend to, than to be amazed by walruses, and escape from my life's work. Even if I wanted to, I would not waste my time to meet this "celebrity" in person. Desire is to be criticized like it deserves in the name of study. You cannot grow if you refuse to study.


That is why you may find mentally-grown people, such as professionals, and even philosophers, to be arrogant: Their priorities are more practical. Of course your boss is emotionally distant from you --- they have a business to effectively run! It's not that they necessarily think you're beneath them. It's just that they have other businesses to attend to. "Businesses" that are worthier of their time than walrus sightseeing. Things like work, like studies, and so on.


Sink into feeling insulted if you'd like. Taking insult by criticism isn't practical.


Living In a World Where Not All Desires Are Met


People may be unavailable to you because you are not the center on the universe, obviously. The childish give importance unwisely and with poor proportions (overestimating and underestimating). They would "make a mountain out of a mouse" from things such as an ice cream's flavor that they did not want (even if it is tasty regardless).


They would be upset if the car they bought was not the exact shade of color they wanted ("Cool Grey" and not "Cadet Grey"). Finally, they will be frustrated if they would order a cup of coffee, and the name signed on it isn't exactly accurate.


But a mature person would look at the bigger picture. What if the cafe is too loud, so the barista failed hearing you? What if your name has several spelling variations? (M. Saini). Stop being a thief of your own joy, and move on.


Conclusions: Growth As a Universal Experience


The logical conclusion to this article is that you should grow up in order to survive more effectively. Since survival is a basic necessity, then the effective methods which enable it, are effective as well.


Furtheremore, personal growth and being strong enough to be vulnerable through honesty, can also help you face -- and avoid -- adversity. After all, it takes courage to be vulnerable, especially if you want to be loved. After all, vulnerability can lead not only to true love, but also to trust.


Thus, as written, one must look at the bigger picture, incorporating different values and methods in ways that would only contribute to their growth -- and by extension -- the growth of those dear to them.


Facing challenges and adversity is a key part of developing emotional intelligence and resilience. It's something we all experience on our life journey. While negativity can be hurtful, we can learn from it and grow stronger. You know, refuse to sink to the quicksand of negativity bias. See were you did wrong, and rectify your mistakes.



Mental toughness isn't about gender, and not even about age or authority. Even prime ministers could use from a little growing up. It's about learning to navigate life's ups and downs with a swordsman's grace. And that includes acknowledging our wants and needs while being able to prioritize effectively.


Being a woman is no excuse to remain fragile, when fragility stands in your way for a greater success in life through unnecessary discomfort and vulnerability. "Manning up" is nothing more than a synonym to "grow up" for men, and without greater clarity it becomes circular. It's a sexist mistake to think that women can't be more stoic and more practical, because of a demographic-specific synonym. Everyone can and should increase their chance of survival through study.

147 views0 comments

Comments


Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

image.jpg
bottom of page