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Almost all of our behavior is a playing out of our learned habits. Even that tiny bit of rational based thinking is itself a habit. It’s from those rational moments of self awareness that we do have that we can find ways to improve our habits and raise us to greater maturity. Thus, when you encounter any situation stop and think for a moment, “what would be a way to cope with this problem more permanently”. This moment of thought will maximize your happiness in the long run relative to that problem by forming a new habit for coping with that type of problem. When you choose to behave at any given moment at your highest maturity level you will soon be habitually living at that higher level and the higher levels ultimately give more pleasure and less pain.

This weeks posts explored five basic levels of maturity, Child, Adolescent, Adult, Mature and Sage. Anyone can cultivate the habits which will function on any of the maturity levels but in general the mature levels will give more long term satisfactions and the childish ones more instant gratifications. Everything needed to grow from childhood to sagehood is available to everyone of normal intelligence and experience but it requires some self observation and a long term orientation to decision making.

One should ask of their innermost directing-self, “Direct me along the proper paths — the paths that will lead me to my heaven”. By heaven I mean the state which will give you and the people you love, the most vigor, (life-force, abundance) as measured from some point in the distant future. Many people find that they get the most self control by directing their attention to helping others correct a problem which they themselves are having. It is similar to the known experience of teachers that the best way to learn a subject is to teach it. That is true only in the abstract understanding of a subject and to do something well requires practicing it oneself. Practice the way you play, play the way you work, work the way you lead and lead the way that others can follow.

Pause occasionally and consider — What is a better way to do this?