“You’re so mature for your age!” What is maturity?

July 21, 2009          Comments (3)


The other day after I got off the phone with a friend/adviser who told me how mature I am for my age I started to think about what he really meant. He’s been telling me this since I first met him my junior year of college when my then business (Ultimate Discount Card) was starting to take off.

He always used to say, “Dude, you have to relax a little. You’re very mature for your age. You’re going to be a rock star. Relax.”

He wasn’t the first person to tell me that I needed to relax. He also wasn’t the first person to tell me how mature I was/am for my age.

People have been telling me how mature I am since I was a little kid. I’m sure you got the same thing.

Let’s explore what that even means and why someone would say that.

Well, there are several different types of maturity (emotional, intellectual, physical) and what I think most people are referring to is ones emotional maturity.

You know: You’re ability to deal with the bad and the good, your perspective on life, knowing what’s really important (the standard will this matter in 5 years from now is always a recommended question to ask yourself although I think that’s a little hokey) and what’s really not, knowing when to be serious and when it’s okay to let loose, how you deal with rejection, etc.

Certainly, it would be a little condescending to tell a grown man how mature he is. You’re only going to tell someone younger than you or a peer how mature they are.

Do you find yourself telling younger siblings, friends, advise seekers how mature they are for their age?

To me it seems as though telling someone how mature they are is your approval of the way they think. You feel that because of the way they think – they’ll be just fine. After all, you turned out just fine, right?

You also might recognize yourself in that person. Similar thought processes with similar perspectives and conclusions. It takes one to know one.

For example, every person who has told me how ‘mature’ I am at some point in my life seemed to have their life together.

This happened a lot especially when I was a little boy growing up with divorced parents. In elementary school, I was the only kid in my grade with divorced parents. (Sadly, as I grew up it seemed as though having divorced parents wasn’t so uncommon.)

Growing up with divorced parents (since I was 4 years old) forced me to deal with a lot of things most kids didn’t have to deal with. But I am exactly who I am today because of everything that has happened in my life for the good, the bad and the ugly and I am very grateful for that.

However, one can only wonder does shit have to happen to you to gain emotional intelligence? To appreciate good does one have to endure bad? To know what’s really important doesn’t one have to know what’s not in the grand scheme of life?

To be able to effectively deal with reality doesn’t one have to be forced to deal with the cards they were dealt and make the best of it?

What about those that weren’t forced to deal with unpleasant situations? You can’t hold that against them, of course. Unless, they are a poodle. But are they at a disadvantage to face the real world where there reality isn’t always made as perfectly as their bed was?

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The art of the fake retirement

July 7, 2009          Comments (0)


How many times can someone say they are going to retire?

Retirement in the sports and entertainment industries has become somewhat of a joke.

Jay-Z convinced us that the Black Album was going to be his last album. He’s released 3 albums since his supposed retirement.

Brett Favre announced his retirement from the Green Bay Packers. He has since gone onto play with the New York Jets and after announcing his retirement yet again – is supposedly under contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

Michael Jordan announced his retirement to pursue baseball and came back to win three NBA championships in a row. And then retired again, only to come back and play for the Washington Wizards.

The examples are endless. And the demand you can create if you’re an artist or sports figure is incredible. Especially, if people believe you.

Everyone wanted to see Mike Tyson’s last fight. Or Michael Jackson’s last tour. His planned European tour quickly sold out all 50 dates.

The more demand you can create, the more money you can command. Everyone wants to see your last hoorah!

And that’s why artists have an advantage over athletes when they ‘retire’ and announce one last tour, concert or CD as opposed to one last season.

But money talks for some people! And enough of it will ignite a comeback!

Or, too little of it will force a retirement.

Who can forget Latrell Sprewell’s public outrage. He said, “I have a family to feed” after the Minnesota Timberwolves offered him a 3-year, $21 million contract extension, which was substantially less than what his then-current contract paid him.

He felt that if he held out he’d get what he wanted. Sprewell’s agent, Bob Gist, said his client would rather retire than play for the NBA minimum salary, telling Sports Illustrated, “Latrell doesn’t need the money that badly. To go from being offered $7 million to taking $1 million would be a slap in the face.”

In February of 2008, Sprewell’s home was up for foreclosure and he was forced to sell his yacht.

I don’t blame him. He has a family to feed!

Ultimately, I think suggesting your retirement whether you’re a boxer or a singer or a basketball player is the fastest way to create demand for your services.

But who can trust when someone ‘retires’ these days? And how many times are we going to fall for it as consumers?

We all want that encore!

But sadly, the only time we can be certain we’re not going to get it is when the artist passes away.

If in fact, they really did…

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