Often, I get lost in thought and need to be pulled out to rejoin the present moment. Recently, I had a pretty clear thought that when I came back to it, larger still seemed coherent. This I thought I’d share with you today. Our lives are split into three categories based on how we interact with the world. The three categories are Learner, Participant, and Observer, in that order.

The first category is the Learner. The Learner is from when you are born at 0 to 25, when the brain officially stops developing. Everything is new, and you are like a sponge soaking in all the information, experiences, perceptions, etc. You are discovering what and who you are and molding yourself into who you think you want to be.

The second category is the Participant. The Participant is from when you are 25 to 65, the general retirement age. You’ve been through many life experiences at this point. You have not necessarily seen it all, but you have seen how many scenarios play out and can use your knowledge, experiences, and perceptions to help guide you.

The third category is the Observer. The Observer is from when you at 65 and on for the rest of your life. You’ve been through most if not all, life experiences. You have seen it all. You are ready to step back and let the younger generations take their stab at saving the world. You can use your knowledge, experiences, and perceptions to help you know how you feel about certain things.

It’s not lost on me that someone has likely already originated this idea. Does my thought have any significance? Not really, besides the fact that it could help you understand how you are currently interacting with the world around you. It can provide comfort to know that perhaps you still have much to learn and that it’s okay if you don’t have all the answers. No one does, but we learn, which can help us make future decisions. The best way to grow is to learn and evolve.