Generativity vs Stagnation--Erikson's psychosocial stages of life
Erikson’s 8 psychosocial stages 1.trust vs mistrust - birth till I ½ yrs baby through walking 2.autonomy vs shame and doubt - 1-3 yrs toddler, toilettraining, I can do 3.Initiative vs guilt-3-6 yrs pre-school , nursery school 4.industry vs inferiority-school age-5-12 yrs 5.identity vs role confusion-adolescence=9-18 yrs frompuberty and teens 6.intimacy vs isolation-young adult, courting and parenthood(18-40yrs) 7.generativity vs stagnation- adulthood (30-65) 8. Integrity vs despair- mature age -50 yrs + Erikson also noted these characteristics were a continuum,with the goal being toward the positiveend or first description, and most successful, happy people closer to thatend. The negative end was seen as a lack of maturing to the next level or as being stuck at one developmental stage that did not allow further progression toward maturity. I’ve been re-reading Erik Erikson’s 8 psychosocial stages with interest in how paddiction occurs within the existence of a marriage. The seventh stage he lists is described as generativity vs stagnation. Stagnation is an extension of intimacy which turns inward inthe form of self-interest and self-absorption. It’s the disposition that represents feelings of self-indulgence,selfishness, greed, lack of interest in young people and future generations,and the wider world.This is the negative side of this stage.
The positive is generativity, which means to give time and interest in the people who will populate the future, your children, other children, your grandchildren, continuing generations. It can also mean living a life of service to others, or in the creation of something of value to generations to come. It is the opposite of living for yourself, pursuing only selfish interests and greed. In a motivational setting the game of writing your ownobituary or the obituary game is suggested in order to help people find direction and discipline in their lives. At TTF, this has been discussed in the past, as and the poem written is called The Dash.
The Obituary Game (motivational tool) obituaries (personal goals, visualising personal aims andpotential, identifying personal potential, life values, purpose and meaning) A simple exercise to lift people out ofhabitual thought patterns, and to encourage deep evaluation of personal aims,values, purpose and meaning. For groups of any size. Encourage post-activity feedback, review, sharing and discussion(or not), as appropriate, depending group/teams size, facilitators and time available. Encourage and enable follow-up actions as appropriate, dependent also on the situation and people's needs. The activity is based simply on posing the question(s) to team members:"Imagine you are dead - you've lived a long and happy life -what would your obituary say?"Alternatively/additionally ask the question:"How will you want people - your family and other good folk particularly - to remember you when you've gone?" Modern day-to-day life and work for many people becomes a chaotic fog, in which personal destiny is commonly left in the hands of employers and other external factors. It is all too easy to forget that we are only on this earth once. We do not have our time again. So it is worth thinking about making the most of ourselves and what we can do, while we havethe chance. Focusing on how we would want to be remembered (who and what we want to be, and what difference we have made) helps develop a fundamental aim or idea from which people can then 'workback' and begin to think about how they will get there and what needs to change in order for them to do so. Follow-up exercises can therefore focus on 'in-filling' the changes and decisions steps necessary to achieve one's ultimate personal aims. Most things are possible if we know where we want to be and then plan and do the things necessary to get there. See the various quotes posters related to life purpose and values, which can be used in support of this activity, for example: "He who dies with the most toys is nonethelessdead" (Anon), anon "The great use of life is to spend it for somethingthat will outlast it." (William James, 1842-1910, US psychologist andphilosopher)
Last edited by Disillusioned; 03-15-2012 at 10:21 PM.