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  • Writer's pictureMichael McEntee

The Four Stages of Adult Development

This excerpt is taken from Wayne Dyer’s ‘Manifest Your Destiny.’ In this book, he explains his interpretation of what he calls ‘The Four Stages of Adult Development.’ As we currently live in self-isolating times (by ourselves or with immediate others), hopefully it will strike a cord and equally resonate with you - perhaps around how you interact with those people you are currently self-isolating with.

The Athlete: this is the time when we measure our worth and our happiness by our physical appearance and abilities. The stage of the athlete is the time within our adult development when we are almost completely identified with our performance, attractiveness and achievements. Many people outgrow the stage of the athlete and make other considerations more significant. Some of us, depending on our personal circumstances, move in and out of this stage. A few stay in the athlete stage for their entire lives. As a result if your daily activities revolve around a predetermined standard of performance and appearance, you are in the stage of the athlete.

The Warrior: this is the time when your ego dominates your lives and you feel compelled to conquer the world to demonstrate your superiority. Your ego being defined as the idea that we have of ourselves as important and separate from everyone else - the ego represents our exclusive identification with our physical selves in our material world. The warrior is intensely concerned with the future and who might be in his way or interfere with his status. He is motivated by slogans such as - “If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?”; “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”; “Life is a struggle”; “If I don’t get mine, someone else will.” In the warrior stage, status and position in life are obsessions. The ego is the director of one’s life. This is the time when we are attempting to do what warriors do: conquer and claim the spoils of our battles for ourselves. You can move in and out of the warrior stage during the course of your life.

The Statesperson: here we have tamed our ego and shifted our awareness. In this stage we want to know what is important to the other person. We have begun to know that our primary purpose is to give rather than to get. The statesperson is still an achiever, however, the inner drive is to serve. Authentic freedom cannot be experienced until one learns to tame the ego and move out of self- absorption. The statesperson stage of adulthood is about service and gratitude for all that shows up in your life in this phase of your life cycle.

The Spirit: the spirit stage of life is characterised by an awareness that this place called earth is not your home.You know that you are neither of the previous three stages, but that you are an infinite, limitless, immortal, universal and eternal energy temporarily residing in a particular body. You know that nothing dies, that everything is an energy that is constantly changing. A bit like “As being in this world, but not of this world.” This is representative of your spirit.... your soul... your energy force. This contradicts the rationale of the left brain... the ego, where everything is measurable, inconsistent and finite. Ironically, gaining the awareness that you have a higher self that is universal and eternal will lead you to gaining access to that world more freely and to participating in the act of manifesting your heart’s desires and realise your truest potential.

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