Your Future, Your Childhood, Your Work
Your Life In Stages – Part 2
Booma, let’s pick up with the question I left you with. Can you think of anything you regret you failed to accomplish in the previous decade? I’ll give you an example. One of the activities I regret not having achieved in decade-2 was not taking my high-school typing and keyboarding class. I had no clue how important it would be to type with the appropriate keystrokes in my future. This decision has plagued me for decades. You see, while it’s not impossible to correct, it would have been a whole lot easier to do it when I was in high-school, in class everyday, and accountable for obtaining a passing grade.
It is this thought, of how easy it is to put off something in one decade that you’ll need in another, that helps validate why the decade-calendar is so important. For these next lessons on the decade-calendar, we will call it living one’s life in stages. In other words, how would your life be different if you knew that life could be viewed in stages? Let’s talk about it starting at the learning phase of life.
Stage 1 (Decade 1) – See the Future
Decade 1 (Age 0-9): This is what I call “true childhood” when you have very little control of what happens in your life. In fact, someone else and other outside influences are directing your path. If you’re a person who has influence over someone in this decade make sure you’re giving some thought to what that influence is doing to this soon to be an adult human-being.
As a parent who loves her/his children and wants the best for his/her children, we agonize over the decisions we make for our children. For example, do we have them in the right school? The right environment? The right activities? Should we push them harder? Should we take them out of public school, place in private school, or home school? The list of agonizing questions are endless. We do so to ensure that our children are growing up in the best possible way and with the best advantages.
What I’ve discovered is, in order to feel comfortable in making such early childhood decisions, one would need to see the future. I know what you might be thinking, we can’t see the future, but I say yes you can. Here’s how. Pamela and I live to teach others how to take their life to the next level. We call it having an uncommon lifestyle. In order to see the future, one must turn to their faith. In doing so, we have to think of what that really means. It’s faith. Faith is believing that what a person hopes for will someday be seen with one’s own eyes.  In other words, faith is how we see the future for ourselves. Therefore, in order to see the future we must think about the days ahead so that we can match our steps with where we desire to go or be in the future.
To make the best decisions for our children’s future, we must be able to imagine (hope for) what we’d like their decade-2 to look like. Ask yourself, what kind of decade-2 person do I want my decade-1 child to be? Where do I want my decade-2 child to attend high-school or college, and begin the steps necessary to move your decade-1 child in that direction. What type of person of faith would I like my decade-2 child to be and start introducing this decade-1 child to the ideas and steps it takes to get there in decade-2.
Stage 2 (Decade 2) – Putting Away the Child
Decade 2 (Age 10-19): We will call this “your teenage years”. While most people take very little advantage of this time for planning and setting a life plan, it’s generally wasted on what doesn’t matter most. This decade is the best time to begin figuring out what you’re good at doing. While society wants to make people in this decade children or child-like, God gives you everything you need to be adult-like in this time. You are no longer a decade-1 human-being that needs directing. You now need guidance in making your own decisions which are based upon the foundation laid in decade-1. You have abilities that are at their sharpest and should be taken advantage of. It is the time period where “the child” is being put away and the unique (unlike anyone else) person begins to emerge. 
This entire decade is devoted to putting the child away. The question is, what is the child being replaced with? It’s said that to become an adult one must put away the child one used to be. If one is putting away the child what then is he or she picking up to replace their childhood? This is where as a parent, we must come alongside this decade-2 human being to begin to help her or him think about and (more importantly) prepare for her or his decade-3. Here are a few decisions that are faced in decade-2:
- What plans do I have to further my abilities, skills, talents, and/or gifts?
- What kind of person (twenty-something) would I like to be?
- What type of earning needs do I need to think about before getting to the earning phase of life?
- What type of person would I like to pair myself with?
Thinking of life this way will set you up for a decade-3 that will support the ideas, dreams, and goals that are inherent within a person, but it begins with putting away the child in decade-2.
Stage 3 (Decade 3) – Put the Work In
Decade 3 (Age 20-29): Let’s call this “the time for hard work.” I know most people in their twenties don’t want to think about the hard work that’s in front of them, but they should so they can be better prepared for it. In your twenties, this is when you put in much hard work whether you want to or not. You have very little if anything, from money to friends. It’s the time you start to build all of this: a way to earn a career, a mission, friendships, and other pertinent relationships.
If there is any decade that’s considered the hardest, let’s call it decade-3. In fact, one must get beyond it to make such an assessment. Here’s why, while in decade-3, you’re in the best possible shape, mentally, physically, and spiritually for anything that comes your way. Come your way? I like that phrasing because decade-3 is the decade for one to find his or her own way and that’s why it would be considered the hardest decade. In this decade one can expect the following:
- beginning a career
- solidifying one’s true friends
- selecting a mate
- starting a family
While this list isn’t all encompassing of what a person can expect, this list is pretty intimidating. There’s a lot of major decisions to be made that will shape a person’s future for the remaining decades of one’s life. Therefore, a person would do well to have teachers, advisors, and mentors to help him or her process each decision to be made, keeping in mind where they desire to be in the next decade.
Forethought in any decade is critical to the success of the next. In the learning decades this forethought is centered around, seeing your future, putting away your childhood, and finally putting in the work that will become the cornerstone for the life you’re building.
Question: which decade in the learning stage of life are you most proud of in your own life?
Reference #1: Hebrews 11:1 NIV, Bible.com, accessed February 14, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/111/HEB.11.1.NIV
Reference #2: 1 Corinthians 13:11 NIV, Bible.com, accessed February 14, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/111/1CO.13.11.NIV
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.