According to the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung there are four stages of life. He states that these stages have to do with:
- who we are as people, and
- what our motivations are.
These stages have nothing to do with age nor accomplishment. Moreover, as we go throughout our lives, we move back and forth from these four stages.
“Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life. Worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition that our truths and our ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be little at evening and what in the morning was true, at evening will have become a lie.” ~ Carl G. Jung
We go through some fundamental changes as we walk through our life journey. Some use terms such as ‘middle age’ or ‘quarter-life crisis’ to define where we stand at this point of life. I believe that there are no destinations in life. You need to just set up strict goals, and move towards them.
4 Stages of Life
Below is a list of the four phases of life according to Carl Jung:
The Athlete Stage
In this stage, we are at most self-absorbed position in our lives. We are mostly preoccupied with our looks, constantly worrying how our body looks. There are people that have never made it out of the athlete stage, but also, come back to it. Out of all life phases, this one tends to be the least mature. During this stage, we might stay for hours looking and admiring our reflection in the mirror. Moreover, the athlete stage can be critical as well as narcissistic. We could say that teenage are at this stage of life.
The Warrior Stage
This is the stage where we begin to take responsibilities, and have one goal: to conquer the world. Meaning, to conquer our world, to to our best, be the best, and get the very best. In the warrior stage, we think of ways to get more than everybody else. It is a stage of comparison, of defeating, of achieving. Moreover, this stage is associated with the struggles in our life, with the constant battle to achieve something. The warrior stage is the stage that people come back many times during their life. They come back here to ‘re-invent’ themselves.
The Statement Stage
At this stage in life, you focus from personal achievements to accomplishing goals to other people. You simply realize what you have done so far, and now you are looking ways to serve those around you. The statement stage is a stage of giving, and is often correlated to parenting since your focus becomes providing a good life for your children. Besides parenting, some people are more about leaving a legacy in life. Moreover, this phase is a time for reflection on what you have accomplished, and how to move forward.
The Spirit Stage
According to Jung, the fourth and final stage of life is called “the spirit stage”. When a person reaches this stage in life they realize that the previous three stages of life do not define them and that we, as human beings, are more than the money and possessions we have accumulated, or the friends we hung out with, or the milestones we achieved. The revelation that comes as a result of maturity is: “Underneath it all, we are spiritual beings.” In the spiritual stage, we come to understand and accept that we are divine beings, spiritual beings having a human experience and walking through this journey of life. What’s more, we get to understand that life has no real beginning and no end. We often get a sense of “stepping out of our own mind” and “stepping out of our own body”. As a result of this new shift of perspective we can finally focusing on what is waiting beyond our physical beings. We can now observe ourselves from a different perspective.
I totally agree with this division of stages of life. Everyone could find themselves in one of these stages during their lifetime. What do you think? Can you identify in which stage you are now? Feel free to share!