The 4 Stages of Life According to Mark Manson

Editable vector silhouettes of different stages of a woman's life

If you love personal development, you will enjoy (and be challenged by)┬áMark Manson’s take on the 4 stages of life.

Stage 1: Mimicry.

We learn by watching others, mimicking them. This is how we pick up physical and social skills and adapt to become functioning members of society.

Stage 2: Self-Discovery.

We discover what makes us different. We try out new things and go on adventures. We learn what works and what our limitations are.

Stage 3: Commitment.

We decide to prioritize and focus on what we’re good at and what’s important to us. We want to maximize our potential and leave the world a better place than we found it.

Stage 4: Legacy.

How do we ensure our legacy outlives us? How do we reconcile our growing mortality with our need for significance?


I sat in Stage 1 for 34 years.

Moved out of Stage 2 recently.

Maybe I’m too analytical and cautious, but I believe that we are all in-built if you will, with certain imperfections and flaws of character or personality that are best smoothed out and refined through transition, struggle and hardship. It is through pain that we grow the most (if we allow it). So while I am all for positive thinking and positive doing, I also value – much more than before – commitment, acts of service, humility, small achievements and an acceptance that my tiny ripple may or may not make a difference in the end.

I guess what I’m saying is: I’m in Stage 3, and I’m okay with it.