Four stages of life

Four stages of life

Four stages of life

Research during my mentoring diploma gave me a vital framework to help understand life in stages. It is very universal and can be applied to many aspects of life such as career, relationships, business and so much more.

The four stages are:

  1. Experimental

  2. Experience

  3. Leadership

  4. Eldership

1) Experimental

This stage is normally mid-teens (adolescence) to mid-twenties and is categorised mainly by the unknown.

The unknown can fill you with dread, excitement or, more than likely, a mixture of both.

This stage is called experimental because we don’t know what we’re going to do with ourselves, mainly because we don’t really know who we are and what our potential is.

This experimental stage should be filled with accessibility to, shadowing and questioning of elders and leaders.

This is how wisdom can be passed down.

2) experienced

Naturally, following a period of experimentation, there is the revelation of our skills and talents as a natural consequence. If guided, nurtured and cooked with discipline these skills can be converted to success. This stage is characterised by increased effectivity.

As we become more and more competent, we gain such a volume of experience that we experience mastery.

On the flipside, if this is not satisfying something within us, with respect to our purpose, we may get experience but feel empty inside or something missing. If we’re willing to go back to an experimental stage then we can retrain or reassess with fresh eyes. This may well be because our work is not resonating with our character, personality or our identity.

Some people are happy here, have a very fulfilling life and have no need to move on, but for some they can move onto the next stage which is leadership.

3) Leadership

One word for Leader in Sanskrit is Nayan, which is very fitting because it also means eyes. So what does this signify?

It means that Leaders have vision and they have clarity and leading requires perspective. Leadership is characterised by inspiration, activation and movement.

Real Leaders then strategise how to get from the dream to reality, from the here to over there and then the most important aspect: they lead by example… they get off their butts and do summin!

This competes the trinity of leaders that they can visualise, plan and act… all three are needed.

In our mentorship we cover these three aspects as well as the subtlety’s of different leadership styles… the charismatic leader, the leader with integrity, the rogue leader with no rules as the self governing leader.

A lot of people want the veneer that is the title of leader, but as you will find out, leadership characteristics are much deeper than this.

4) eldership

Finally comes the stage of Eldership.

Elders are like mines filled with gems and jewels from a wealth of wisdom that life brings. These gems can be obtained if we just spend some time digging with simple questions.

Ideal Elders are different to Leaders as they’re most important trait is that they are very much detached. Detached from what people think, detached from prestige, honour and position. Their life’s work is done and they can speak freely if allowed to.

Where Leaders are out scheming, strategising and accomplishing, Elders either don’t have the energy or even the desire anymore.

Elders may have either achieved position or they have given up chasing it. They are likely retired after a very successful life or crippled from a very harsh one.

Whatever it is, there will be wisdom. And wisdom is better than gold. Wisdom means you can learn things in a moment that may have taken a lifetime.

Our mentoring approach is holistic with this model in mind and has helped many gain perspective and plan… hope it has helped you!

What regularly comes up is Transitions