. . Once there was a couple with serious problems in their marriage. They asked the advice of a counselor in a last attempt to resolve their conflict. After some sessions, the counselor confronted the couple with the bottleneck; a difference in emotional age between the two. It appeared that one had the emotional age of 18 whereas the other’s emotional development got stuck in early childhood. The couple was married for quite some years, had become parents and their children were soon to leave home . . .
Life is (not) a moving staircase where you move gradually from one level to another without noticing it. Sometimes it looks like that, but in order to manage change we need to be aware that the different levels are not accessed without taking a step that brings you to the next level as in a game, where each level has its own difficulties and challenges.
Everyone can recognize the fact that a person’s life traverses several stages - infancy to the old age, writes Christopher Alexander in his twenty-sixth pattern (A pattern language) called “life cycles. ” Each stage is a discrete reality - according to Alexander – with its own special compensations and difficulties. He quotes Erik Erikson, a Danish psychologist who has categorized these (eight) stages in the life of a human being:
According to Erikson, each stage has a development task and a person should resolve this task before he can move forward to a next phase. As mentioned by Alexander - these stages are discrete realities. We need to make sure that we are aware when we finish one stage and when we enter a next stage. Each stage has its own difficulties and compensations. If we do not manage to overcome the difficulties of one stage, will will not be able to manage the challenges of the next stage.
To be Continued.
© 2006 Hans Bool
Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management tools. Have a look at some of our free management tools