Ultimate Us

25 November 2006

1

Ultimate Us
Introduction
“It is the mature person that, through their choices, will change the world around them. It is the immature person that, through their choices, will change themselves to fit into the world around them.” - Warren Christie, 2004 If someone was to write a book about your life, what would they say? Would it be a best seller that would tell a story of courage, beauty and an exceptional person that changed the world? Or would it be a five-page instruction manual on “How to be normal”? There is this belief in our world that only a few people are able, through fluke, genetics or some external situation, to become exceptional individuals. The fact is that we all have the ability to excel – we all have the necessary basic tools to shape the world around us in a profound way. This is the fifth and final article on relationships. Today we will discover how relationships can be used to teach us how to become great in our own right. Today we learn how to become the ultimate us: Maturity is the ability to make choices based on strength and balance. The result of maturity is a profound and healthy change in the world around us.

value system in order to achieve the things in life we are passionate about. It all depends on the type of thinking tools we develop during our teenage years. In all of the articles so far I wrote about, and applied two thinking tools that are based on the following ideas: There is right and there is wrong - “right” is that which helps me achieve greatness, “wrong” is that which inhibits my greatness (The Power of Truth). Everything that supports me towards achieving greatness has value (Paul's Principle). I developed these thinking tools between the ages of 16 and 19 when I challenged my high school on some rules that I felt inhibited my development as a musician. It was a bitter fight that brought about the realisation that I am more than the world's expectation. I am stronger than my fears.

Challenge it
Immaturity is to make choices based on fear and need. All people are immature to a degree. We all struggle with some fear, or an unfulfilled need and it impacts on our relationships. The irony of becoming mature is that it requires a last act of immaturity – namely to change ourselves. In order to change the world around us, we first need to change the world within us. The difference lies in the motivating force that requires us to change. As immature beings we change ourselves to fit into the world. We change our clothes, our hair and sometimes even our values in order to neatly fit into what “the world” is expecting from us. As such we fail to seek and grow our passion in life, and as such we live unfulfilled lives. All in the name of normalcy. These changes are motivated by fear and need. Changing our inner world in order to become mature is different. We challenge our fears and our unfulfilled needs by seeking the truth and value in what we are experiencing. By doing this we become aware of our strengths and weaknesses, we become aware of our thinking tools (or lack thereof). This change is motivated by strength and balance.

Monkey do
Immaturity is only an unhealthy thing if it remains unchallenged. We often talk about immaturity as if it is a bad thing; but much like conflict (which in fact is almost always the result of immaturity) it is an important factor in our development as people. We are made to be immature before we can mature. We develop our value system before the age of 10. This is the system that clarifies the difference between “good” and “bad”. After the age of 10 our physiology changes (our brains actually physically adapts) and we develop the ability to make value judgments. This is normally the time when we feel that everybody is looking at us and we start testing the validity of our pre-teen value system. As we learn that the world is a chaotic place we show one of two responses at around the age of 23 (for girls it is closer to 21): we either retreat into our old value system with a couple of minor changes (and a lot of guilt for not being able to stick to it) or we dynamically reinvent our
© 2005 Gericke Potgieter

Someone is there
Challenging our immaturity, although it requires some introspection, asks of us to involve people. The human mind is a wonderful thing – we are wrongly taught that we have a mind of our own when in fact our mind is constantly shaped by our experiences (identity), our society (values) and our mentors (trust). As such my mind is the combination of the relationships I have.

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Ultimate Us

25 November 2006

2

As a child my values were determined by my parents and to a greater degree by my brothers and sisters (tyranny of the masses, what can I say?). I learnt what is good and bad by observing and emulating what people around me said and did. Children are particularly perceptive of the discrepancies between what is said and what is actually done. We most often end up doing what is done, and rarely what has been said. There comes a time when we need to change the dynamics we have with our parents. In order to properly develop into mature and strong people, we become independent. This doesn't mean we love our parents any less, just differently. It means that the structure of the relationship we have with them is now different. For those of you who are parents this is the much dreaded “letting go” phase. Few parents however realise that it now becomes the time of “letting grow”. Instead of giving children rules and food, we now slowly but surely supplant the rules with guidance and food with thinking tools. If we don't do this our children will stay as weak and dependent as babies. We then act selfishly because of our need to keep our children “attached” to us. As adults we go into a variety of relationships that reflect our approach to life. If we choose to maintain our old value systems and be “normal” our friends and lovers will mostly support that approach (it makes them feel safe after all). If we choose to dynamically challenge our immaturity in order to grow into exceptional individuals our friends and lovers will once again reflect this choice. We are created to live as people and not as a person amongst many persons. In the end relationships are the means through which we create value in order to live our lives. The question is, what kind of life do you want to live?

world around you – your friends will become stronger, your relationships purer and you will live a life worth living.

Conclusion
Try this exercise: 1. Search your desk, drawers and computer for that list of people you created in the first exercise. If it is missing, draw up a new one (you might want to check the previous articles) 2. Now answer this question in one sentence: If you had all the time and money, what is the one thing would you do? 3. If you do this, will it change the world around you? If not, think again and be willing to think big and different 4. Will this change a) bring about maturity (strength and balance) or will it b) perpetuate immaturity (fear and need)? If it is b) then think again and this time believe that you have nothing to fear and everything you need 5. Keep on going until you have identified your passion in life (you'll find that all you had to do is to remember it) 6. Create a list of people you already have relationships with (expect this list to be at least 100 names strong) – you now have two lists of names 7. With both lists of people, for each person ask yourself “how can I build a relationship with this person that will allow me to live my passion?” 8. By using all of the articles go out and build those relationships – it is the only way your world will change! This brings the series on relationships to a close. I hope that it will bring joy to your life. If you have any experiences to share, or questions to ask, you my contact me via email at gericke@gryphontech.co.za or you may visit my web site at http://www.gryphontech.co.za.

Choose
By now you might have some insight about your situation – you may be one of many that chose to ignore their passion and stick to what is safe. You may be one of many that now realise that you've spent a large part of your life living up to expectations instead of living a life of impact. I want to urge you to choose differently. Yes, it will require you to change, yes it is always a tough life that requires courage. But your book will tell a story! You will live a life worth writing about, even better, you will live a life worth reading about. Once you have made this choice you will see how your decision to become an exceptional person will change the
© 2005 Gericke Potgieter

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http://www.gryphontech.co.za