Most people are unaware that they are conducting their lives more from a child’s frame of reference than in an adult mode. Although men and women mature physically and become more capable in their practical lives, rarely do they achieve emotional maturity. In my view, the primary barriers to maturity are unresolved childhood trauma, the defenses the child forms to ward off emotional pain and existential dread. The latter refers to a core anxiety related to growing up, facing the fact that time is passing, and giving value to life in spite of death’s inevitability.

There are six major aspects of the adult approach to life: