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A More Abundant Life; part 5 of 7. Friday May 23, 2014

One of the most obvious signs of life is growth. Living things grow and mature and bear fruit. Today, I'd like to focus on the maturity aspect.

(As a quick reminder the seven signs are: movement, nutrition, reproduction, excretion, growth, respiration, and sensitivity. ALL 7 have to be present and developed for someone to be enjoying a life to the full.)


I've had my fair share of getting to know a few gurus over the years. The closer I got to them, the more unattractive I found them. I believe this is largely because their 'success' had given them a distance from 'real' people in the 'real' world, they had got so used to sycophantic fawning toadies that they began to believe their own PR, and worst of all, they got their own way all the time. In short, they had stopped listening, learning and growing. Many appeared to be emotional toddlers – sulking or showing off when they didn't get their way!

As an antidote I offer Howard Gardner's original model of multiple-intelligence. He changed the way we look at intelligence to say that we should ask, "In what way am I intelligent?" rather than "Am I intelligent?" His seven aspects of intelligence (he's added more now, but I like the elegance of the original) are:

Intrapersonal Intelligence – the ability to 'go inside' and make meanings from your experiences; to know thyself. Maturity manifested by a deep serene inner peace.

Interpersonal Intelligence – also called Social Intelligence – the ability to empathise with others and 'read' them – to inspire and bring out the best in others. Maturity is shown through Servant Leadership behaviour such as engaged listening.

Physical Intelligence – the dexterity to use our musculature to achieve a goal. Maturity is seen in grace and elegant balanced movement with a purpose such as in careers like being a plumber, builder, tailor, surgeon, musician...

Linguistic Intelligence – skill in using language. Maturity is shown not just in using a large vocabulary but also in matching the vocabulary of one's audience.

Mathematical/Logical Intelligence – reasoning and analysis. Philosophy fits in here when we mature to the point that we can use reason to improve our mental state.

Visual/Spatial Intelligence – the power to relate concepts together visually – such as Mind Mapping, Flow-Charting, Design, Blueprinting, Drawing, Painting, Sketching – all with a purpose.

Musical Intelligence – the insight to use music on purpose – to harness the power of music to bring meaning and enrichment.

If we are to keep listening, learning and growing, Howard Gardner's model offers us seven areas in which to set growth goals for maturity. Like the colours of the rainbow, each aspect brings something fresh and different to our enjoyment of a life to the full. Would you care to share your specific goals in any of these areas? I believe a goal shared is a goal 'squared' – its effectiveness multiplied exponentially...

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Fri, May 23rd 2014 @ 8:27am

I had a sneaking idea that 'Intelligence tests ' ( certainly, as they were devised
about 50 years ago ) were a very limited judge of
people's potentials. Thanks Lex for giving hope to us " average " bods...

vanessa Fri, May 23rd 2014 @ 9:38am

Thanks Lex. This maybe comes back to looking at ourselves as holistic individuals rather than one dimensionally? As someone who struggles with low self esteem, this is a helpful model to work on. I'm off to look for the pony now...! Love Vanessa

Anonymous Fri, May 23rd 2014 @ 9:40am

Gets better and better. Thank you.

Elizabeth Fri, May 23rd 2014 @ 9:53am

I have a question (unrelated to todays blog) on those who have experienced bipolar. I had been depressed for the most of last five years or so, but there are occasional hights, so there is possibility of bipolar II, but I have no conscious experience with (hypo)mania.
I'll tell you about my situation now, please don't judge me.

I have a long term relationship, yet earlier this year I got an erotic offer outside it. After a lot of discussions, struggle, anxiety, arousal, enthusiasm, anger and depression, all in one during the past months, I decided to tell my boyfriend to move away from me (for some time at least) and to play around with the other possibility.

This week I feel great for at least a part of every day. There is much energy, I also have a desire for sports like the first time in my life. I have done questionable decisions, to some extend I have cheated, and I don't feel the sadness and guilt expected. Still I cannot really concentrate and work. I don't care if anything goes wrong in my life.

How do I know if my state is "normal", or if this is (hypo)mania?

Mary Fri, May 23rd 2014 @ 10:49am

Hello Elizabeth, I'm not a professional and my advice would always be to seek the advice of a professional (there may be a GP in your practice with mental health experience). In reading your story certainly some alarm bells are ringing for me and your experience is sounding familiar. An inability to concentrate, "questionable" (your word) sexual behaviour and greatly increased energy can all be symptoms of (hypo) mania. However, there are many other possible explanations. You know that (whatever is "normal" for others) this behaviour is atypical for you, so please don't ignore it, but seek professional help. Every good wish to you. No judgment here - just support. Mary

Mary Blackhurst Hill Fri, May 23rd 2014 @ 10:51am

Hi Lex: This post is just so positive and encouraging. Love it!

Lex McKee Fri, May 23rd 2014 @ 1:09pm

My thanks to everyone for the positive comments. I really want to re-assert that my belief is that we Moodscopers usually wrestle with our state-of-mind because we are highly intelligent. We think. We muse. We meditate.

I hope that today we can use that power of multiple intelligence to focus on a bit of health self-appreciation - to find our gift (or our Pony! - Thanks Vanessa!)

Vanessa Fri, May 23rd 2014 @ 2:27pm

Hi Elizabeth, just wanted to say that it sounds like things are feeling confusing and tricky, thats a hard place to be and I feel for you. I agree with Mary, its always best to check out anything that concerns you with a health professional. Look after yourself, my thoughts are with you. Vanessa x

Elizabeth Fri, May 23rd 2014 @ 2:46pm

Thank you. Definitelly tricky.

Anonymous Fri, May 23rd 2014 @ 3:05pm

I dont believe i am highly intelligent. I dont remember things. I dont meditate except on negative issues. I use these negative issues for am excuse to create fantasies in my mind. In these famtasies i have what i wish i was or had. Smart people dont do this.

Lex McKee Fri, May 23rd 2014 @ 4:50pm

Ooo, I'm tempted to challenge that belief, anonymous... but I've just got cross with a service giver in ASDA who said I was wrong in front of other staff. My thought was, "Don't they know the customer is always right?" So I'm going to agree with you - you don't believe you're highly intelligent. That's a belief. And when that belief is ready, it might change... when it's ready.

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