In his book “The Human Odyssey: Navigating the Twelve Stages of Life, author Thomas Armstrong identifies 12 different stages of life. The word associated with each stage identifies the predominant quality within each stage.
Infancy (Ages 0-3): Vitality
Early Childhood (Ages 3-6): Playfulness
Middle Childhood (Ages 6-8): Imagination
Late Childhood (Ages 9-11): Ingenuity
Adolescence (Ages 12-20): Passion
Early Adulthood (Ages 20-35): Enterprise
Midlife (Ages 35-50): Contemplation
Mature Adulthood (Ages 50-80): Benevolence
Late Adulthood (Age 80+): Wisdom
Death & Dying: Life
Depending on what your age is when you read this article, you will connect with it differently.
One of the most valuable tasks a person can undertake is to closely examine one’s life by asking deep questions about their personal story. This is extremely revealing in terms of the themes that play out, recurring patterns, problems of conditioning, habits, and other personally relevant ideas that we would otherwise ignore or pass by.
Each stage of life brings with it challenges and opportunities for growth. Each of us has a unique life story and we will look at our life story from different angles.
Take the time to reflect on some elements that could be part of a person’s life:
- My parents
- My caregivers
- My early childhood
- My education
- My health
- My friendships
- My sense of belonging
- Self-defeating experiences
- Situations of extreme uncertainty and how I have dealt with/deal with them
- Situations of fear and how I have dealt with/deal with them
- Situations where I have been unsupported and how I have dealt with/deal with them
- Situations where I have experienced rejection and how I have dealt with/deal with them
- Situations of failure and how I have dealt with/deal with them
- How I have dealt with/deal with weakness within myself?
- How I deal with naysayers stand to question my choices?
- How I have overcome/transcended struggles in my life to regain some sense of stability?
- How do I deal with internal resistance to change?
- How do I deal with inner conflict?
- How I choose/have chosen to stay afloat in the midst of all my challenges?
- How I choose/have chosen to leverage faith in the face of fear?
What has been listed above are aspects of life that each of us experience in some form or the other. For some of us, some aspects are more dominant than others.
By taking the time to process our life story we are able to get in touch with how we relate and engage with our own life.