The Cycle of Life

Category: Blog Comments: 12 comments

cycle

I once heard about a survey carried out in a nursing home. The senior citizens, many of whom were close to death were asked if they had any regrets and the results revealed that most of them were unanimous in their regrets, some of which are presented below: 

  1. They regretted not taking enough risks
  2. They regretted not spending time with family.

That was all. Nobody remembered who got married or who had children first, who built the first house or had a fleet of ships and cars. At that age, all of that had no meaning. It was all about having fulfilled purpose and relationships. This has inspired me to some thought of recent, after which I found out that I am at a tensionable position. I am fighting between being satisfied with what I have and have achieved, and the desire to do better without losing touch of my relationships.

Now, this in itself is a challenge for me. If I stay content and too complacent, it would yield suboptimal results because I’ll be drifting and would not be getting close to my true potential. But if I push too hard, I may never enjoy what I have and I may burn myself out. So it would seem that the optimal solution lies somewhere in the middle between the extremes.

Steve Pavlina agrees in his article ‘The Cycle of Life’ and I have shared excerpts below:

“On the one hand, you have complacency. Think of this in positive terms as enjoying what you have and being at peace with your current situation. And on the other hand, we have ambition and effort, the desire to keep moving and to improve yourself.

The perceived conflict comes about as a choice between here and there. Stay put or move on. Which is better? Is a perpetual balance between these two extremes the right answer? Like 50% complacency and 50% ambition?

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Let’s try a perspective shift … one that eliminates the problem entirely.

This problem arises from the assumption of a static view of life — that every moment is the same as every other, that if being ambitious is the right choice now, it will still be the right choice tomorrow.

In life there’s no status quo. Think about the momentum of different areas of your life right now. What’s expanding? What’s contracting? Instead of thinking of complacency vs. ambition as some percentage mixture in the present, think of long-term cycles of expansion vs. contraction. Cycles of ebb and flow are a natural part of life.

Notice what type of cycle you’re in right now. If you’re in an expansion cycle, then push your ambition as far as it will take you, and forget about complacency. If you’re in a contraction cycle, then take a break from ambition and spend time on your inward development.

One of my favorite treatments of this subject can be found in the Bible in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

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To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

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Life is constantly cycling through expansion and contraction phases.

Sometimes we’re able to go out and do no wrong. Other times we run home licking our wounds. By recognizing what kind of cycle you’re in, you can flow with it instead of fighting it. In a contraction phase, this means spending a lot of time thinking and journaling, reading, working on personal development to build your skills, going to school, spending lots of time with family. In an expansion phase, it means taking on some ambitious projects and stretching yourself, joining new clubs, meeting new people, taking on new responsibilities, enjoying new experiences.

Sometimes these cycles last for years. So just as a stock investor needs to know when to buy and sell, you must listen to the signals from your own life (both internal and external) to learn when it’s time to expand or contract. Every day is different. Sometimes buying/expansion is right, and other times selling/contraction is right. You don’t balance the two. You cycle between them.

What happens in your life when your decisions are out of phase with your current cycle? What happens to a stock investor whose decisions are out of phase with the market?

Problems also occur when we get stuck in one phase for too long. A prolonged contraction phase can lead to depression (both in the stock market and in your personal life). A prolonged expansion phase can build stress and anxiety. Life requires cycles of exertion and rest — that’s what makes us stronger”.

I think understanding the aforementioned prompts us to check and be sure what season we are in and what our lives are calling for. Should I be contracting or expanding? Is this the time to reinvent myself in private or express myself in public? What is your life calling for right now?

Have a blessed week ahead.

@eloxie

12 comments to The Cycle of Life

  • Charles Williams  says:

    Such an insightful read about seasons of our life…
    I pray for wisdom and discipline to read the season and make those efforts needed per time.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Amen!!! thanks for reading dear Charles. God bless you.

  • enajyte  says:

    How do you know what season of your life you’re in? How do you know the right move to make? My answer would be ask the One who has the plan of you. Who knows better than you ever can.

    I’m learning everyday that as we grow, the things that used to matter, matter less. Priorities change. (Man know thyself).

    Personally I find that restlessness, an inexplicable nag in my mind signals change. It could mean I need to contract or expand but definitely I have to do something.

    Thanks for sharing Eloxie. A blessing as always.

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Glad that you know yourself. That is so important. It is also important to read the signals and then ask God what is up next.
      Priorities definitely change with seasons and life and it is up to us to identify what the Holy Spirit would have us do in reaction to the change.
      God bless you dear, may you continually hear the voice of God in your ear saying, ‘this is the way, walk in it’.

  • Lizzieebunoluwa  says:

    Yes. Seconded.
    Truly an Insightful& Thoughtprovoking read.
    ……its a no brainer that the knowledge of Seasons affects the choices of the farmer (the sowing, the method of cultivation, the seed being sown, the quality or damage control measures:
    irrigation,mulching,fertilization etc) to ensure(or not) viable crop produce in the end. How much more our lives? A comprehensive knowledge of the times in this cycle will determine the quality of life we lead and the fruits we bring forth.

    May our understanding be flooded with light on the “how” in the “when”.
    Thank you Eloho!

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      God bless you Lizzie, what more is there to say to your concise comment? And to this ‘May our understanding be flooded with light on the “how” in the “when”’, i say a resounding AMEN. Thanks dear.

  • 1 + The One  says:

    May the Holy Spirit help us to redeem the time.. And prioritise correctly.. Thanks for sharing xx

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Amen!!! That is so apt, after recongnising the season, we need God’s help to enable us redeem the time and prioritize correctly. Thank you for reading. God bless you!

  • Isaacola AA  says:

    So true. Circles of life indeed

  • naijawife  says:

    So funny that i was just quoting the verse about their being an appointed season to be born and to die today. I want to live out my appointed time running towards Christ, not living in fear & living life abundantly!

  • Dede  says:

    Waoahhh!!!this message speaks directly to me in a way I cannot even explain. I have been have this nagging feeling within me on how to be balanced, how to spend my time and whatnot, however after reading this, it was as if a light just shone within me and the nagging feeling has been cleared..thanks so much for ministering to me..may God continually use u..well done dearie :)

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Amen! I’m so excited it spoke to you D. Thanks for stopping by. I feel so blessed to know that you now have clarity by reason of this post. I really bless God for that and trust that your peace will remain. Don’t be a stranger, see you around here soon. God bless you.

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