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  • Foto del escritorJuanpablo Barrantes

The art of living a life of Joy

What are you doing here? What is the purpose of your life? Look around, breathe deeply. Since just this moment in your life, where and how do you see yourself in fifteen years? I challenge you to stretch yourself, to get to understand this concept: life, or rather, the life cycle of a person can be spread into a maximum of six to seven stages of fifteen years. It could be said that, about every fifteen years, important changes take place in a person's life. These are buckets of time where relevant events tend to occur, leaving something similar to a before and an after. The first half of your life. If you are reading this, probably in the first stage (first fifteen years) you attended your basic education, going from childhood to adolescence. Between the end of this stage and the beginning of the second stage (up to 30 years) you went from adolescence to adulthood, you finished your studies and joined the labor force either as an employee (most likely) or as an entrepreneur. Between the end of the second stage and the course of the half of your existence (third stage, 45 years) you are supposed to define the course of your life. This may include: you are now consolidated in your current job role or business, you find your "half orange" and form a family. If we make a graph of a life curve, it is in this third stage where you are at the peak of it in terms of your physical health and also at professional level, although not necessarily in the mental and spiritual levels. Hence, this is a wonderful fact, as long as you focus on learning, understanding your inner-self and everything around you, so you can continue growing mentally and spiritually through those 30 to 45 or even up to 60 years you have left. The following 3 - or luckily - 4 stages (after 45 until your death), depend largely on how and where you lived the first half of your life. And if we reflect right at this point, we should ask ourselves: in what way and under what habits am I living this first half of my existence, in such a way that allows me to fully live the second half of my time in this world? Many people live their lives as if they were eternal, thinking their current conditions will be the same in the long term. There is a saying that prays: "you are what you eat and you attract what you think", if you do not take care of your eating habits, this will have a negative effect on your health over the long term. During the first half of your life, you may live with the consequences of a heavy diet, however it is very likely that if you do not restate your course on time, this will end up by having health issues during the second half. This means, you are reducing the chances of having a good quality of life, while you can even shorten certain stages of your life. The same happens with your thoughts, if you do not take care of what you think, or even more if you do not even make a genuine effort to think, you will end up leading a life without meaning, without any purpose. If you do not have goals in your life, if you lack on a purpose by which you move to, you will most likely end up in those last two or three last stages of your life emotionally and materially drained. The second half of your life In life, what you sow is what you harvest. The second half of your life is for harvesting. What a misfortune it is to spend the last years of your life in suffering and with limitations! How would I particularly expect to live the rest of my days? Just a few months from celebrating my 45th Birthday... - from 45 to 60 (the fourth stage): Here I wish to find balance. I believe life has certainly given me up to this day a lot of lessons which make myself fall into reason on the fact that in the end, I must strive in not making the same mistakes twice. As I learn from my mistakes I grow, and to the extent that I grow, life itself gives me the balance I certainly need. At the end of this stage, many of us are finishing up our work cycle as employees. Up to this point, it is key to include in our life’s plan, what will we do next? Debrief a personal life’s project and the resources you will need at this point, since you will need to define them and manage them with enough time anticipation. - from 60 to 75 (the fifth stage): Here I wish to find stability. Stability to continue reading and writing a lot, teaching others about life, personal growth and inner leadership. This might be my personal project to find stability at this stage ... to travel, to fully enjoy - in a timely manner! - from family and friends ... and more stability. - from 75 onwards! (the sixth and ... seventh stage?): I wish here to find joy. Emotional joy, spiritual joy. Too much joy, because there is a stigma or misbelief that in our society old age people is synonymous of illness, or being a hindrance, or just a burden for the family. When it should be the opposite: health (you must take care of it before!), Independence (you must prepare for it before!) , and enjoyment (effect of the two previous). Our journey through life should be like a great work of art, each one of us is the artist who gradually defines and develops it, until it is successfully completed. The greatness of this work of art - which is your life - is confirmed at the end in the footprint that you leave in others. In the end, fullness is reached in each stage of life, when we manage to close the gaps between what we are now and what we finally want to achieve. By: Juan Pablo Barrantes

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