Life Stage Progression Assessment


This assessment will help you consider where you are today in your progression through the life stages. What stages have you passed through and which do you face next? Remember that the ages shown for each stage on only rough estimates. Individuals may pass through the stages several years earlier or later than the estimates shown

In the matrix below, each row represents a typical stage of life. Each column represents the key issues that typically have to be resolved in each stage. As you read down each column, make your best judgement as to whether you are more or less "done" with that particular issue or whether you do you still need to work on it. Make your best current judgment, even if it's not a perfect fit with the issue definition.

For each box in the matrix, indicate your choice by clicking one of the images. Clicking the left button will generate a stormy seas icon, , indicating you still have work to do on that issue, and clicking the right button will generate a smooth sailing icon, , indicating that you have pretty much resolved that issue. If you have simply not reached a stage, leave that box blank.

If you did not print out the definitions and find yourself tempted to go back to the previous page, don't do it! You will lose the work you have done on this exercise. Rather, consult the definitions in a popup window.

Life Stage Progression Assessment

Key Issues


Goal Focus



Autonomy / Tentative Choices (18 - 26)
Autonomy vs. Dependence,

Tentative vs. Lasting Choices
Developing sense of personhood as separate from parents and childhood peer groups

Defining self as an individual and establishing an initial life style

Testing out new relationships (e.g., love interests, peer groups, and friends)

Realigning focus from family of origin to new peers and groups






Young Adult Transition (27-31)

Turmoil vs. Certainty,
Settling Down vs. Keeping Things Open

Questioning sense of self and who/what we want to become

Re-assessing initial life style and making more permanent choices/ commitments

Sorting out and deciding which relationships will become more permanent

Re-thinking and evaluating commitments and connections






Making Commitments (32-40)

Master vs. Apprentice,

Permanent vs. Tentative Choices

Firming up/establishing a more permanent sense of self and who/what we want to become

Deciding a life direction and defining/aggressively pursuing a dream of what we want to accomplish in life

Making more permanent commitments to love relationships, friends, and peers

Establishing more permanent connections and community ties/ responsibilities






Mid-Life Transition (40-48)

Resolving Key Polarities

Immortality vs. Mortality,
Constructive vs. Destructive,
Nurturing vs. Aggressive

Re-examining realities of projected ego and image vs. true self and struggling to define/accept true self

Questioning the dream whether or not it was achieved and developing a more mature sense of what is really important

Recognizing/ acknowledging one's own negative and positive impact on relationships and correcting course for deeper, more authentic connections

Disengaging from group and cultural pressures/norms to re-evaluate and restructure priorities






Leaving a Legacy (49-65)

Contribution vs. Personal Benefit, Other vs. Self-Centered,
Social vs. Independent Accomplishments

Letting go of earlier inaccurate ego images and accepting oneself as a worthwhile being with weaknesses as well as strengths

Making the best of the time one has left to help others and leave a positive legacy

Settling into more realistic and rewarding relationships based on recognizing/ forgiving each other's imperfections as human and helping each other grow

Re-engagement on a deeper, more objective, less driven and more productive, level with family, friends, and society






Spiritual Denouement (66 and beyond)

Hope vs. Despair,
Survival of Spirit vs. Mortality,
Surrender vs. Control

Accepting self as dependent on a wisdom greater than one's own, recognizing that wisdom as benevolent, and submitting one's self and life to that wisdom's will

Tying things up and completing the development of the person/spiritual being we want to become

Accepting others and recognizing/ respecting humankind's diversity as part of a greater wisdom's plan

Recognizing that life is only part of a larger, more enduring spiritual community and helping others understand that








Capture this moment in time and print this page for your records. Look at what you've done. What does this tell you? What impact might it have on the life values you've ranked as most important to you right now? How might your priorities be changing if you are currently in transition between stages?


The next self assessment will help you consider what values you might want to focus on longer term as you complete these life stages.

Continue to Longer Term Values Introduction


Career Test for the Soul  •  •  based on Your Soul at Work
Copyright 2002, Nicholas Weiler