Life is a journey of exploration and discovery. And I’ve noticed that the advice you tell yourself, the things you learn, and your ability to hear and understand them are often tied to your age. The Greeks believed a person didn’t reach self-awareness until they turned about 50. I have recently been reflecting on the ‘life-stages’ – and others have written books about it. There is a strange connection between what goes on in folks lives at different ages. See if any of these mesh up with my experiences.
-you want to get out of school and home. Still, you’re in that middle ground of still being tied to your parents, and not quite capable to be getting out into the world. This varies greatly by person and situation. But still, you have the stink of still being a kid on you.
-You get out. College was great – freedom for the first time. All kinds of learning experiences as you moved out into the world – getting too drunk, messing up your relationships, etc – but you have seemingly unbounded energy to explore novel new ideas and try new things. But you’re broke too.
-After college – I was out to make my mark. I was going to do it all – with lots of crazy activities: snowboarding, mountainbiking, running, hiking, etc. I worked long hours at work and was very ambitious in my goals. I reached most, if not all, the goals that mattered to me. In fact, most everything you do is about yourself and your doing stuff. I was trading time for experience and achievement. If someone had told me to slow down or take a longer-looking approach – I doubtfully would have listened.
-You slowly no longer need to prove things to yourself. You know your limits better and can tell which things turn out to be meaningful or not much earlier (getting into stupid relationships slows – hopefully). And conversely, you begin to see what things aren’t changing. Which things in your life (personal, physical, emotional, etc) that have not been growing in the ways you want – despite your efforts.
-You stop needing to live for yourself. You feel more fully the pull to do and contribute to things outside yourself. You become increasingly bored and unsatisfied with purely self-serving activities.
Anyone else finding these patterns in their own life?