Linear life is dead.
If the lives of our ancestors were envisioned as a stable, continuous line, as a series of carefully calibrated progressions - from childhood to young adulthood to old age; from parental home to marriage to children leaving the nest; from a first job to a higher-level job to retirement - our own lives are more aptly described as discontinuous lines, oscillations or tangles!
Non-linear life" means "more transitions".
Instead of going through a series of predetermined stages of life interrupted by periodic crises at 0 birthdays, we now live our lives as complex whirlwinds of upswings, celebrations, setbacks, downswings, sudden braking, renewals, ...
On the one hand, the reasons that lead to these disruptions are multiplying: from the voluntary (creation of a company, moving, ...) to the involuntary (redundancy, inheritance, ...); from the personal (new job, divorce, ...) to the collective (technological leap, natural disaster, ...). On the other hand, their pace is accelerating: a study by Bruce Feiler has shown that on average, a person is subjected to a disruptive event every 12 to 18 months during his or her adult life!
The "tremors of life
Many of these disruptors cause only minor upheavals in our lives and we generally manage to get through them without difficulty: we adjust, we adapt, we recalibrate and we move on. But from time to time, an event -or a concomitant of two, three or four of these disruptors- takes on such a magnitude that disorientation and destabilization totally overtake us. Like earthquakes, these life tremors can cause very significant damage, and their aftershocks can be felt for many years. According to Feiler, we go through an average of 3 to 5 such transitions in our adult lives and their respective duration is on average 5 years!
When life transitions multiply and the pace at which they occur accelerates, thinking that the solution is to try to avoid them is as naive as it is vain. If we can't avoid the disruptors that cause them, we can change the way we deal with these upheavals and develop our ability to move positively through these transitions.
Want to see more clearly and be better equipped to face the inevitable life transitions?
Join us in mid-March 2023 for a 3-day workshop on the subject.