The Life Stages in "A Lifetime of Personal Power"
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I’m Dr Janin, and I’m the author of the book “A Lifetime of Personal Power – Challenges and Opportunities at Every Age”.
I am so pleased that the book is going to come out in a second edition. It will have a brand new cover. I don’t know yet what it is going to look like, but I’ll be so mighty pleased to see it revamped.
This book has come about of coaching conversations. A while ago one of my friends read it, and he summed up afterwards, saying to me, “Janin, I think this book covers the best kept secret in life.”
So I look at him with big eyes and he says, “But, yes, think about it. Most of us, and especially parents who had to bring up children, we know a little bit about the different seven year phases. We know about the child from 0 to 7; from the child 7 to 14; then the difficult years defining your identity until 21, but at 21 – supposedly we are a finished product. As if development stops there.”
So now I knew what he wanted to say and, of course, I said to him, “No, no, no, it doesn’t stop.” This is the message of this book. This is the science of the seven year cycles in life that lies behind our growth in life and our potential to empower ourselves.
I must be very honest. When I ordered this first edition of the book, I looked at these many boxes and I thought, “Yo, what have you done, Janin? How are you going to sell all these books now?”
So I went a bit on my soap box and I did some talks, and I could see that the book began to sell itself because of the positive feedback of people. So, there is something powerful in it. And I am, of course, very happy that I have been able to convey that.
And what I have done for the purpose of the talks – and I would like to share that with you here – I made a kind of roster of the seven year phases.
And each of these seven year phases – they have a different quality to them. And it is to be able to unleash that kind of quality that will bring you the next level of additional inner power in your life.
When I hand out these kind of charts in a talk, I can see people are always very eager to fill in where they belong and where their friends, their family, their colleagues belong, because they’re quite curious what is now typical for the state of emotions of people of that particular age. And it is very important to actually discover this.
And so I take them through the 21 to 28 years – I call that age group The Adventurers. There our opportunities come from having our adventures in life and we learn as much, if not more, from our failures than from our successes. And the lack of opportunity will be if this phase of life is spent in boredom.
Next phase: the seven years between 28 and 35, I call The Managers. Opportunity lies in something completely different. It’s a stage in life where we have to set ourselves firm goals, both in career and in life, and stand up for them and work hard for them. It’s a managerial stage. A lot needs to be built in life.
The next stage – as the wheel of life turns – we try out something, we consolidate something,and then we stand back and we assess and we evaluate what has actually come out of this. How does it make me feel? In the stage of The Cocooners, the 35 till the 42, that’s what we do. We review.
After the reviewing phase comes a renewal phase. The 42 to 49 year olds – I call them Innovators. This is the stage where we have to liberate the new you out of the struggle with midlife. And that comes by making changes as much in our beliefs as in to our habits, our patterns. Many people actually do make changes in their careers as well.
Next stage – a very strong time – the 49 till the 56 – that’s leadership years. We may have been leaders in projects before, but now we become ready – that’s actually our opportunity – to become leaders who lead by serving others. Not dictating, but helping out with what others need.
Well, if we’re lucky, we just get older and the next stage, leading on to 63, I call us The Mountaineers because at that stage we have climbed so many years in our lives it is as if we stand at the top of a mountain. At the top of a mountain you have a 36 view.You can see wide around the panorama of lifeand our opportunities – in that age category – and this continues beyond 63 in our older age – is to fly. To scan the horizons, to have as much reconnaissance and understanding of what is going on in the turmoil of the world as we can, and to make that information available for the younger generations.
So, it is not because we get older that the story is over. But, of course, the empowerment of the different stages doesn’t happen on automatic pilot. We have to activate ourselves in a transition to every new phase – the opportunities – by meeting the challenges.
I have added in the second edition the seven times tables of life. It was not included in the first edition. I hadn’t invented it yet. And I actually also applied it to myself because it is no good asking people to do something that you haven’t tried on yourself. You must experience it. And, it’s actually very interesting.
I hope you will also take the opportunity for your own journey and that you will enjoy it.