The Seasons of Life

In his book, Today Matters, John Maxwell speaks about the value of recognizing the seasons of our life.  He reminds us that our life has seasons that are representatives of what has come before.  He writes about three seasons:  Learn, Earn, and Return.

When we are young we are in the learning phase, and we get anxious to get going with our life, we get impatient.  Some people like to get started right away in life after they graduate from high school or even before.  Others are content with learning a trade and then moving into the earning phase.  Still, others go to college and add years to their preparation phase before starting to earn a living.  There isn’t a right way to do this; it comes from our family background, parental guidance, success in school, and encouragement from others.  I do know this, the more time we take to learn everything we can for however long this phase is for us, the better the return later in life.

The second phase John speaks about is Earn.  In this phase, we are using our trade, experience, college or whatever we did to prepare and begin to build our careers.  It is during this time that all forces come into play, our integrity, our character, our values, virtues all of them from our childhood and the learning phase are now in full game.  If there is something that comes forth as a flaw in our character, we can likely go back to our learning phase and find that we need to pick up a better concept once again, or that is wasn’t fully developed like it should have been.  Either way, all of this affects our earning power for our thirties, forties, and fifties, as John Maxwell reminds us.

The third phase is the Return.  I have found that by laying a solid foundation while we are in our learning and earning period, we can help others and give back.  Return can be in the form of money, assistance, advice, or coaching.  In doing this, you will find the payback tremendous.  I have made a concerted effort to write, speak, coach, mentor, and work in various social media forums to the benefit of others.  These very blogs are an example of the give back that occurs in our fifties, sixties, seventies, and beyond.

By using this framework with kids, you help them to be patient and to build their skills in each of their seasons of life.  It gives kids and adults a larger framework amidst the crowded clutter of life.  At times we can’t see further than the next hour.  There is an excellent value in pulling out the telescope lens of experience to the 1,000-foot view or even the 5,000-foot view so we can see where we are and what is coming.  Never give up, never, never, and continue to work to improve yourself as you move through the various seasons of life.  I want to thank John Maxwell for this concept that I have written in this blog.

Yours for a Better Life,

Rich