Maturity – An Essential Character Trait To Succeed

Dr. Stephen Covey describes maturity is the balance between courage and consideration in his famous book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. With strong courage and consideration you get Win/Win situation.

Win/Win is a mutual agreement with respect, recognition and appreciation. Win/Lose or Lose/Win is a competition. Whether you win or lose, it lacks the satisfaction that comes only from mutual understanding. Lose/Lose is a hurting battle for both parties, typically carried on by anger and hatred.


When I saw his diagram, I thought it explained many things.

The diagram has 2 axes – one is consideration and the other is courage. Why, they can be described as feminine/masculine or East/West. Feminine energy is compassionate. Eastern culture is based on relationship, caring the others. The energy goes toward outside. Masculine energy is strength. Western culture is based on the individuals, seeking and protecting its right. The focus is inward.


As a Japanese living in Canada, I have been experiencing the differences between Eastern and Western standards. They both have strength and weakness.

Eastern culture emphasizes the importance of harmony. You have good understanding of the influences and sequences between parts so that work very well in a team with great organization skills. However, you tend to lack the courage to outstand from others, which discourages the potential to develop your unique quality.

Western people see itself separate from others. You are not afraid of speaking up and expressing your opinion. But lacking the vision of whole, your self awareness tends to be self centered. Self centered individuals compete rather than work together.


East and West have been meeting more frequently and deeply in today’s global world. A Japanese who has quite average organization skills in his country is considered a well organized person in Canada. An ordinary Canadian who describes her opinion with ordinary attitude in her country looks so independent and courageous in Japan. You may discover your strength when you set yourself in a different environment. And what you don’t have may be something you can learn from others.


Even though you don’t have any Japanese or Canadian around, you can still learn from others. Your family, friends and coworkers should have different personalities from yours. A salesclerk or someone you met on a bus may show you different attitude from yours. When you see someone more courageous than you, you remember to be more courageous. When you see someone more considerable and kind than you, remember to have more consideration for others.

Maturity is the balance of courage and consideration, masculine and feminine. As you develop both elements strong in balance, Win/Win happens. We can be ourselves and they can be themselves in harmony.