According to Richard Barrett, we go through seven stages of psychological development in our lives. In stage four, “individuating,” we let go of the conditioning we have received from our parents and our culture(s). This means we can start to truly become who we are. Our motivations are freedom and autonomy. We seek complete independence.
In stage five, “self-actualizing,” we become who we truly are by expressing our gifts and talents. Our motivations are now meaning and purpose, and we value authenticity and integrity.
When we go through these stages differs for every person; it is dependent on many factors, including culture, education, social class, etc.
As I read about this, I am curious to explore, and find more meaning in my life. Lately, I have been thinking much more about purpose and what it means to me. After doing much research, I realize that the concept of “purpose” is very different from person to person, but there is a common thread.