Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Rethinking the Three Stage Life

From authour Chip Conley: Wisdom @ Work - The Making of a Modern Elder

The age-old, three-stage life cycle—education, work, retirement (raw, cooked, burned)—is deeply ingrained in our institutions and psyches. Changing it won’t happen overnight, especially when “employers can smell 50,” as actor Steve Martin exclaimed in the film Bowfinger. Being too young to retire but too old to find a job is a modern problem that’s ripe for disruption.
As Laura Carstensen suggests, “The young study, the middle-aged work, the old rest or volunteer. We’re supposed to do things one at a time and in order.

There is very little overlap between life stages and, as a result, not only do members of different generations have limited interactions with one another, which fosters misunderstanding and unease, but it’s hard for anyone—of any age—to find a holistic balance between family, work, community and educational opportunities.” It’s time to retire the three-stage life since life stages are just a social construction that today fosters ageism, the squandering of wisdom, and a diminished sense of meaning and fulfillment in the latter half of life.

Fortunately, there is another way that isn’t such a linear conveyor belt to a cliff.

There is a more fluid, multistage life—with transitions and breaks in between: less of a lifelong “raw, cooked, burned” and more of a concentrated series of cycles.

These multistage lives are more of a smorgasbord and less of a progression of appetizer, entrée, dessert, but as such, it requires building new habits to accommodate the many more transitions you will likely experience.

It is a radically different way of thinking of the trajectory of one’s life. At its best, it offers us an opportunity to explore who we are and arrive at a way of living that is nearer to our personal values with the knowledge that we will constantly evolve who we are and what we know to adapt our skills to our changing interests and the changing marketplace.

A last I can explain what I am thinking about for Rebootology!

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