How to Thrive During the Four Seasons of Life

How to Thrive During the Four Seasons of Life

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Have you ever heard an older person be referred to as “no spring chicken”?

This common term is used to describe someone who is typically past young adulthood, but may still be trying to look and act younger than his age.

While this isn’t typically meant as a compliment, it acknowledges the seasons of life that we all experience and the actions and mindsets that are associated with each.

In this article, we will talk about the different seasons of life and the necessary transition of your mindset and actions between each season.

The Four Seasons

When you think about the environment, you can notice a complex cycling of its features through stages and transitions. Nothing stays the same for long–rather, seasons come and go naturally with the predictable transformations that our world endures. Even in the short-term, when you have that unexpected cold day in July, you know things will return to their typical state.

This mirrors the human transitions through the four seasons of life, which are each associated with specific psychological and physical states of being. As we transition from one season to the next, our circumstances, needs, mindsets, and actions have to evolve–just like the transitions that occur in the environment. Accepting and evolving alongside these cycles of life allows us to glide through our time on earth effortlessly, knowing that our circumstances are always temporary.

This mindset allows us to make the best possible use of what we have, rather than resisting these natural transitions, which can lead to psychological struggle and a weakening of happiness and fulfillment in life. 

Each season of life teaches us lessons about ourselves, other people, and life in general. They help us transform psychologically, physically and socially. They strengthen our souls and resilience and enliven our spirits in the face of adversity.

We celebrate when we succeed and we complain when we fail, but eventually, we start to really consider who we are, what we want out of life, and how we want to move forward from each moment onwards. The seasons of life shape our character and lay the framework for the life we have ahead of us. Mostly, they help us evolve as humans.

Let’s go ahead and start at the beginning: Spring.

Season One: Spring

From birth to your mid-twenties, you’re in the spring of your life, where you’re being nourished by education and formative experiences. This is the season of learning and growing–a time to focus on yourself and discover who you are as a person and what you may want out of life. This is an acceptable time to be selfish and make mistakes so you can learn from them and move on.

During the spring season, we start to consider who we are, where we came from, what we want, and how we want to move forward. This season starts to shape our character and lay the groundwork for the life we are going to experience. Spring marks the beginning of our evolving lives.

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One of the actions that you can take to get the most out of the spring season of your life is to take care of your body.

The curiosity and carelessness that come along with spring won’t last forever. At some point, your thoughts will begin to transition and your decisions and actions will push you into the next season of your life. This transition happens naturally as a result of your values and beliefs cultivating in your mind. The transition may have its ups and downs, however, this is temporary, and it will pass.

Here are some actions you can take to get the most out of the spring season of your life:

Season Two: Summer

Summer is a time in your life for rewards, celebration, and purpose. This is when you’re becoming a professional in your career, getting married and starting a family, and setting and achieving goals and objectives while enjoying your life to the fullest. In the summer, go hard. Produce, create, and innovate. This is the season to create your legacy. Who are you going to be? Who are you serving? What will you leave behind?

During the summer season, you will find yourself:

  • Networking and meeting new people
  • Traveling
  • Leisure: Doing the activities you want to do
  • Taking risks
  • Being proactive
  • Getting outside of your comfort zone
  • Thinking creatively and with optimism

During the second season of your life, you may feel:

  • Excited
  • Passionate
  • Courageous
  • Confident

However, some feel distracted by these emotions and therefore become fatigued and spend an insufficient amount of time working toward achieving their goals and objectives. However, there are some factors that help people transition through the summer season of life.

Here are some actions you can take to get the most out of the summer season of your life:

  • Engage in proper planning and preparation for the future
  • Make sure that you’re making well thought-out decisions–this isn’t the time to be as impulsive as you may have been during the spring
  • Do a sufficient amount of self-reflection–this will help you correct your path if there are any potential missteps that you’ve started to take
  • Take advantage of the right opportunities–to grow your career, experience new things, meet new people, and seize the day

Season Three: Fall

Autumn is a season for survival and handling problems and dealing with past mistakes. It sums up the past times in your life where you failed to sustain the required momentum to achieve your goals. Because of this, things didn’t go as planned, you felt like you lost control of your circumstances, and you limited yourself with your sense of self-doubt.

However, it’s also a time to reap the benefits of your hard work and set yourself up to finish strong with whatever you’ve started in life. This is the time for you to be a mentor for those who are in earlier seasons and teach people from your mistakes and your successes. Autumn is a time to be open to inevitable changes in your family, health, life, and society.

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Autumn is the time to be open to unavoidable changes in your family, well-being, life, and society.

While you started to put other people’s needs first in the summer as you grew your family, this becomes an even more important and primary factor in the fall. You’re still caring for your children, setting them up for success and guiding them as they’re emerging into adulthood–but you also may be caring for aging parents and other sick family members.

During the fall, you may find yourself:

  • Developing new mindsets
  • Thinking strategically
  • Acting on past dreams (such as travelling)
  • Developing new habits
  • Enjoying your relationships

People also experience the following emotions during this time:

  • Love
  • Gratitude
  • Trust
  • Appreciation
  • Contentment
  • Pride
  • Satisfaction

During the fall of your life, you will likely engage in some reflection to help you determine what you want to achieve in the coming years. You’ll have the self-confidence that you need to live in your own skin and not worry about what other people think. This is a time to care for the people you love–including yourself because you will have developed a great sense of self-love.

Here are some actions you can take to get the most out of the fall season of your life:

  • Stop trying to impress other people. Focus on your family and the things that you want
  • Engage in self-care
  • Listen to the changing needs of your body
  • Invest in friendships–these connections will help you get through this season of change alongside others who are doing the same

Season Four: Winter

When life turns to winter, it makes us remember–and long for–the past. We leave friends as we seek refuge with family and other caretakers. The cold, bleak harshness of this season tests the stamina of all of us in every way. It teaches you your strength while begging you to slow down.

Winter is a season of rest. It is a time to think of all the hard work you accomplished throughout your life. This is often a challenging season, as people struggle to understand why life has slowed down so much.

There are a few things that are important to keep in mind during this season:

  • Be mindful: Try to remove your natural judgments from situations, and simply experience them for whatever they are. Don't think of things as being good or bad. They just are. Once you remove your negative assessment of value from any moment, you start to experience life more fully.
  • Trust yourself: You're stronger than you think. Remind yourself of the parts of your journey that have pushed you to overcome difficulties in the past.
  • Remember that tough moments don’t define you: You are more than your circumstances. Remember to seek out positive support systems, keep your friends in your life, and take good care of yourself.

Here are some actions you can take to get the most out of the winter season of your life:

  • Lean into it: If your days are shorter, why not allow yourself the opportunity to get more sleep?  If you’re inside, start reading that stack of books you’ve had sitting in your house your entire life. What is best for you will look different for everyone. But it’s worth asking ourselves how we want to spend this time, and intentionally setting out to do it.
  • Create or nurture the things that will outlast your lifetime. Create positive changes that will help others.
  • Reflect. Allow yourself to feel satisfied with your life. Acknowledge the wisdom you’ve obtained.

Final Thoughts on Thriving During the Seasons of Life

The seasons of life are about the transitions we go through and how they impact our mindset and actions. The amount of time it takes to move through each season is a reflection of your state-of-mind. Furthermore, the seasons are about the process of transition from one set of circumstances to the next— allowing for opportunities for us to learn, evolve, and eventually reap the rewards of a well-lived life.

Ultimately, life is about transformation. Every experience — despite its magnitude — helps us grow on many levels, which helps to pave the way for richer experiences that will challenge us to overcome the obstacles that life inevitably sends our way.

Connie Stemmle is a professional editor, freelance writer and ghostwriter. She holds a BS in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. When she is not writing, Connie is either spending time with her 4-year-old daughter, running, or making efforts in her community to promote social justice.

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How to Thrive During the Four Seasons of Life