From birth till death, stages of life promote growth and enlightenment. Understanding a healthy transition is the key to happiness.
While you’re busy living life, have you considered how much it sucks?
I guess not, but let’s be honest, it does kind of suck sometimes with its decision-making, transitions, and complications. Seems like it would be easier if life had a blueprint. Maybe so, and maybe it does. For instance, there are 4 stages of life, this, in itself, could serve as your blueprint. It could, in fact, give you a different perspective on your journey. Maybe, with this bit of understanding, life won’t suck quite so bad.
The Stages of Life, when explored, bring growth and enlightenment
Stage one in l life represents the basics. In this time of life, you learn how to walk, talk and other simple tasks like feeding yourself. Oh baby, this time of your life is simply mimicking what you see others do. All those adults around you, yeah, they are your heroes and teachers, showing you how to function as a human being. As babies, we are helpless, dependent on everyone to do everything for us.
By later childhood, we move on to more difficult tasks, but we still depend on adults to guide us. We observe the rules and the norms that surround us. We want to be accepted by society, and so we obey these rules and me adapt to these norms. Unfortunately, some of the adults are not very good at teaching us, they punish us for learning at times and this molds the way we think.
If we are healthy humans, we remain in stage one from birth until late adolescence or early adulthood. For others, stage one may last much longer. Some people wake up at age 45 and wonder where their life went. In stage one, we are constantly seeking approval in the absence of our own morals or thoughts. We are simply absorbing knowledge from others and copying actions.
As stage one taught us to fit in, so stage two helps us to stand apart. In this time of life, we are ready to discover who we really are. We are also ready to push boundaries that we were previously taught to respect. We are now making our own decisions, and learning what makes us unique to others.
In stage two, you will make many mistakes, learning from trial and error. This is when you will “sow wild oats”, in other words, live in many places, try different substances and experiment with all sorts of activities. You might have numerous relationships with both lovers and friends in this stage, as well.
When I was in stage two of my life, I could stay up all night, party with friends and still manage to get my college homework done. I traveled as well, driving for hundreds of miles on my own. I wanted to discover all that life had to offer and I did find some interesting corners. Some of my friends did the same, while others had their own adventures. Unfortunately, some never made it out alive. That’s one price you could pay during stage two since discoveries are sometimes perilous.
At some point, during this stage, you will see your limitations, and it will anger you. You probably won’t accept these limitations and push to try and achieve them regardless. This is just part of the stubborn attitude of stage twoers. Eventually, you learn that your limitations are real and they are a good thing. They show you what you’re bad at, and after all, you can’t be great at everything. Limitations will help you transition into stage three.
Stage two begins in adolescence or early adulthood and generally ends in the late twenties early thirties. As with stage one, some people stay in stage two longer than they should. They are considered the young at heart. This could be a good or bad thing honestly.
Stages of life represent a journal to psychological maturity
When entering stage three, you have recognized your limitations or noticed diminishing returns on your actions. You then begin to arrange your priorities as you see fit. In stage three, you evaluate what you are good at, and what benefits your life. As for the stragglers from stage two, they have to be cut away. This includes old friends, activities and places that no longer suit you, or drag you down.
After you have cut away the unimportant aspects of the former stage of life, you get serious about the things you kept. For instance, you put emphasis on your job, your family or your strong interests (things you are actually good at). And there’s a huge point to all this too. Stage three is where you build your legacy!
Building your legacy for children or dependents is about leaving something behind when you are gone. At stage three, you begin the groundwork for this legacy, including priorities and responsibilities. Most people in stage three have the desire to leave the world a better place than how they found it.
There are two other reasons why stage three is different from stage four: You feel as if you have accomplished all you can and you are tired and just want to relax for a while and enjoy the scenery. That’s quite alright, considering stage three begins in the 30s and ends around retirement age. Some people, however, remain driven and determined well into their 80s. I guess that can be a good thing too!
Whenever you reach stage four, you have probably spent half a century investing in yourself. Maybe you’ve nailed your dream job, gotten married and had several children during these stages of life. Maybe you have managed to live a rather comfortable life. On the other hand, maybe you experienced a turbulent life, filled with adventure and misfortune. Either way, stage four is the culmination of a life, lived well or not.
At this age, however, your energies can no longer afford discoveries and adventures. It’s even past the time to be creating a legacy. Stage four is more about ensuring the legacy is passed down to your children, and teaching and helping them move through their life stages in a healthy manner.
Stage four is psychological, and it’s about finding meaning in life and death. By this age, you should be at peace, more or less, with the human condition. The end will come, and by stage four, we have accepted this truth.
What’s it all mean then?
So if life sucks and then we die, what’s the point in the whole fiasco? Well, moving through stages in life helps us find fulfillment and accomplishment. We can move past the negative aspects of each stage into the next and experience growth. In fact, stages aren’t unrelated, they just represent a reshuffling of priorities. We can have a certain control over an otherwise uncontrollable fate.
One of the most unfortunate parts of moving from one stage to the other is how it can happen. Sometimes trauma and death are the only ways that we can move past one stage to the other. It’s about development of strength in the face of adversity. On the other hand, these same events can cause us to get stuck in one stage or the other. It depends, a great part, on our mentality and motivation. You can also become stuck in one stage or the other by being afraid of not accomplishing enough in life.
The best way to move through stages of life is to think in a backward fashion. In order to move past stage one, you must learn to make decisions for yourself. To graduate stage two, you must accept your limitations and focus on what matters most. Moving past stage three requires accepting that time and energy are limited, and you may have to pass down your projects to your successors. Moving past stage four, you must understand that change is inevitable.
Just as you live, so you must die. For your descendants, on the other hand, life will go on. Hopefully, your legacy will continue after your stages of life have ended, you have enjoyed the fruits of enlightenment.
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