4 Phases of Life: Which One Are You In?

I was on the empty interstate a few weeks ago and found myself a few car distance lengths behind a slow-moving vehicle. I signaled and got in the right lane to pass. Once there, I noticed a little white car appear beside me from out of nowhere. He slammed on the brakes behind the slow mover and whipped into the passing lane behind me. He sat right on my tail until he could speed back into the right lane. By now… I’m annoyed.

Unfortunately for him, we were upon another slow-moving truck and he was about to repeat the same maneuver. I simply stayed in the passing lane. The driver was under twenty, male and had another teen with him who glared at me as they sped by. The driver was also on the phone so as the second car in front of us approached, his gap to pass me on the right closed. Once again he slammed on his brakes and get behind me. This time longer glares came from his passenger. Finally, they passed me and sped off to the mountains, I’m sure to ski or something extremely important. In Montana this is rude driving and I can’t remember the last time it happened.

It got me thinking.

Pondering the meaning of life, for sure.
Image via Wikipedia

We go through 3 major shifts of thinking in our life before we start a phase called “generation.” Let me explain.

Shift 1

This shift happens anywhere between age 15 and 20 we assume that the everyone cares what we are doing, thinking, or acting like. We don’t care what they think, we are here to show them a new way of doing things.

Shift 2

We hit ages twenty-three to twenty-five and we assume that people are watching us so we need to prove ourselves. This shift in thinking leads us to out-work our seniors and try to impress the thirty-somethings with all our knowledge and understanding.

Shift 3

We hit thirty-something and another shift happens. We realize that…in truth, no one cares what we think, how we act or what we are doing. By this time we’ve worked hard, we’ve sweat blood for our companies, relationships or the path we were on, to no avail. No one even turned a head in our direction. If they did turn their head, it wasn’t for the right reason. We realize our silly assumptions have led us to ignore the people along the way who really did care. We go back to them, our family, and try to resume relationships with them. Then we realize, they’ve changed and they don’t care now because we didn’t for so long and they’ve moved on. Then the fourth shift happens called generation.


You realize you are the one who cares for people. You realize that you don’t want to just get from life, you want to give to life. You generate organizations, meetings, social networks and clubs. As you generate, it gets easier and easier to move through life and succeed. You recognize the other phases of assumptions as people wander into your life. You want to help, and can now because life has taught you not to assume.

I think its possible to shift through the phases faster or possibly skip a few. I was just playing around with the idea the other day and thought I’d share. I am by no means an expert. It has to be possible to shift between them as you grow as well. What do you think?

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