The Serenity Model will Increase Your Emotional Maturity

Do you ever read the headlines on the celebrity rags in the grocery store check-out lines? This one is in rehab. This one is getting a divorce (again). This one feels (or at least looks) like a new woman after massive cosmetic surgery.

What would it take to make you happy? The answers that pop into your mind — love, money, peace and quiet — sound good, but then, take another look at the tabloids. These people appear to have it all, but they are obviously miserable.Life is just too short to be miserable.

In recent blogs, we’ve been talking how to change your life and achieve lasting peace by attaining emotional maturity. One of the keys to success here is to understand The Serenity Model.

Let’s refer back to The Hero’s Choice. The main character of the story, Hal, had his world rocked when he was ousted from his own company. This disaster was quickly followed by money worries, tension in his marriage and fractures in his relations with his kids. His friend, Donald, an older man who has been through fires of his own, has taken on the role of tour guide in Hal’s journey toward emotional maturity.  The following is an abridgement from the book:

“It seems to me,” Donald tells Hal, “we live from one of four attitudes or perspectives.  First is survival. From this perspective, life is a battleground. We don’t like the way things are, yet we feel powerless to do anything about it. Our basic stance is reactive and self-protective. We feel like a pawn of events and circumstances, and try to make ourselves feel better by making excuses, blaming others, or escaping into drugs or alcohol or other addictive behaviors. Life is painful.”

Hal nodded. “I’ve been there. In fact, I feel like I’ve been in survival mode since I was fired last month.”

Donald looked at him, nodding. “A crisis does that to us.”

“So, what are the other three perspectives?” asked Hal.

“I call the second one security. This is how most people spend their lives. We’re steady, dependable and basically honorable in our approach to life . . . Living in security is more about avoiding losing than about winning. We carve out a comfort zone to stave off failure, rejection and discomfort. . .”

“So what’s next?” Hal asked.

“The success mode,” replied Donald. “We meet life head-on, conquering challenges and taking advantage of opportunities. We’re proactive and motivated, disciplined and goal-directed. We put out an image of having it all together and being in control. We don’t like showing weakness.  Life is good — but only when we perform well. Many people come to the realization that success doesn’t automatically lead to happiness and fulfillment. In fact, their success begins to feel hollow. There’s success, or achieving a predetermined outcome. And there’s fulfillment, the sense that life is full and meaningful.”

Let’s stop here. I’d like you to take a minute to look inward. Do you have fulfillment in your life? Are you at peace with who and where you are? If you never complete any of the things on your to-do list, never fulfill any of the tangible goals that you’ve set, will you still be at peace?

Perhaps at some point, the celebrity currently smiling out of the cover of TantalizingTabloid Tales was convinced that she would be happy if only she had the perfect body and face. Perhaps she thought she’d be happy if only she got that movie or TV role, or achieved the kind of fame that put her on magazine covers. Now what is she thinking? That she’ll be happy if she wins an Oscar or Emmy? What if she never wins one? What if she does? Will she be happy then?

What about you? Does something external have to happen in order for you to have peace and fulfillment? Let’s let Donald explain further:

“When success doesn’t lead to fulfillment, most people redouble their efforts, believing that accomplishing even more will bring them their elusive prize.  What they don’t realize is that success and fulfillment are not the same thing.  We need to remember that success has to do only with outer, material things, and fulfillment has to do with our inner or spiritual world.  The more important journey isn’t the one out there.  It’s in here,” he said, pointing to his chest.

Hal asked, “How do you achieve serenity?”

“You don’t really achieve it, like reaching a goal.  It’s something we create – and maintain – through our choices.”

Like Donald, and, increasingly, Hal, you will find peace and serenity if you use your Key Moments to make intentional choices to:

  • Practice living from your true or real self
  • Align your life to universal laws or principles
  • Be governed by “want to” or “choose to”
  • Accept others and the realities of life
  • Live real and congruent
  • Be interdependent and care about the welfare of others
  • Honor your trust based beliefs
  • Stay alive in the present
  • Make your choices consciously

Are you ready to Live BIG?  Live a life that feels meaningful, whole and complete by developing emotional maturity and centering your life within The Serenity Model.


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