We have all been through different seasons in life; some more painful than others. There are seasons that we quickly want out of because we are afraid that if we have to endure them any longer, we will somehow break. Then there are those seasons that we want to spend more time in because they are the ones that are easy to coast through. In these seasons, life is just easier to handle. Breathing seems more natural in these times, but each season of life will not only be experienced at some point, they are necessary for each and every one of us.
The different seasons:
1. The searching stage.
This is the stage in life where you are looking for your answers. You feel like nothing is guaranteed and stability is difficult to find. Moments include education, finding a career, starting a family, buying a home and the list goes on and on. It is the stage that we prepare for making life “better”.
2. The focused stage.
This is the stage where some stability has finally been found, but you need to make some progress before you and your family can feel “established”. These are the moments that are filled with promotions. In most of our minds, promotions will some day lead to becoming established.
3. The established stage.
No matter your age, this is the highest sought after stage in life where security is found and where most think stress will somehow stop altogether. Moments include a preconceived “satisfaction” with the world and all will be good at last. In this stage, helping others comes the most natural. At this point you finally feel like you have reached a point of “success” and you now have more time to help others get to where you are.
No matter what stage you are in right now, there is wisdom to be gained from it.
A more detailed look at the seasons of life
Here are 5 things to gain from the searching stage:
1. This time of searching will propel you forward. You are experiencing this to motivate you to move on and achieve more.
2. Decisions matter. Some big choices are made here, so don’t take them lightly. Involve your spouse in them and choose wisely.
3. Enjoy life. Don’t lean in to the temptation of repeated stress and only focusing on building your future. The “now” moments matter. It is easy to focus on the uncertainty that comes with this stage, but don’t do it.
4. Stop looking for perfect, because it usually doesn’t exist at first in your career, but you have to start somewhere. Go after your passions. Know what you ultimately want to do and pick up experience everywhere you go.
5. Not only take the time to discover yourself, but those closest to you and don’t ever forget what things feel like in the beginning. There is a closeness to your spouse and family when there aren’t many real concerns in the world. Grow your relationships at all times, but really focus on them here.
Wandering happens when you don’t have a plan. In the searching stage be mindful to map out the future to arrive in the focused and established stages quickly.
Here are 5 things to gain from the focused stage:
1. This is where you have the opportunity to really develop your craft. You also get the opportunity to be rewarded with promotions in life through hard work in the area of your craft.
2. Routines and disciplines are created in the focused stage. Don’t let your life manage you, but take control of the important things in life and seek out success.
3. You discover your passions and strengths here and in return learn your weaknesses. Find ways to work the things you are good at back into your schedule more often than not.
4. Experimenting, growing and thinking outside of the box are all necessary for this stage. Again, have fun with this.
5. More relationships are created here than in any other stage, so develop lasting ones.
This is my favorite stage. Getting better at what you love is a reward in itself.
Here are 5 things to gain from the established stage:
1. Even though the position of “arriving” doesn’t really exist, people will look up to you for advice at this point. Consider it an honor and freely give it away.
2. Choose to delight in seeing others succeed. The wisdom that you have gained is meant to be shared with others.
3. Don’t become complacent. Even though the temptation is there, you still have more to offer. Continue growing.
4. The decision comes at some point to do something else. With the knowledge you have gained over time it isn’t always a bad idea to do something new, especially if you can increase your impact through it.
5. Look at what you have accomplished. You can not only learn from it, but you can see your own growth along the way from the time that you have invested.
In the established stage, your preconceived idea of satisfaction doesn’t exist when you put hope into things that are temporary. That is just the way that humans are wired. “Enough” will never be obtained unless we find our hope in security.
Giving your knowledge away to others and watching them grow is the biggest benefit from this stage in life. Help others through these stages in life and show them the way.
Whether you are in the searching, focused or established stage in life, remember that seasons of life happen for a reason. Embrace them and grow through them.
What season of life are you in?