It’s good to see a growing awareness about something that’s been previously dismissed or overlooked: the quarter life crisis.
And credit to you for checking up on this because the anxiety that’s associated with it is not undue- the personal and professional choices you make in your twenties will truly affect the rest of your life!
I got it wrong in my twenties. I married the wrong person and pursued the wrong career.
I became an airline captain because I thought it would impress people, but it wasn’t my true self. I married a lovely woman, but she wasn’t best suited to me.
I would spare you the same critical mistakes. And don’t worry, I’m not here to sell you anything. I’m here to give you something, actually, that will carry you forward with absolute clarity.
With a non-conventional method you’re about to see, I’m here to decisively transform that quarter life crisis anxiety, ambivalence, and uncertainty into what should actually be a very exciting time for you.
First, let’s look at the unexpected reasons why the quarter life crisis exists in modern times…
Second, I’m going to show you how depth psychology explains what’s going on here…
Third, I’m going to give you something that will guide you through this personally and professionally, so don’t make any important life decisions until you’ve watched this!
The true reason behind the quarter life crisis
You now stand at one of life’s gateways, and what you need is a coping strategy to pass through it.
Rituals used to serve this purpose in ancient tribes, but obviously rituals don’t exist anymore.
Humans may now exist in modern times, but our genes are far more ancient, and what we experience in the quarter life crisis, just as in the midlife crisis, is our ancient genes stirring…
Humans have existed for around 2.5 million years, so needless to say, our genes come from a lineage that has little to do with modern times.
To put that in perspective, the recent few hundred years of what we might call modern times makes up just 0.012% of our existence!
So, ancient peoples and their beliefs can tell us a lot. Just because we invented things like smartphones, doesn’t make us wiser than them.
In fact, technology has caused us moderns to become detached from our ancient wisdom, hence we have these mental health crises today as we abandoned what I’m about to show you.
And, as you’ll see in a second, modern day depth psychology explains the truth in ancient beliefs and why they exist.
Ancient peoples understood that the human life cycle is, like so many cycles in nature, a quaternity… a cycle of four stages.
Four seasons, four weeks to a month and four quarters in a year, four stages to the lunar cycle and menstrual cycle, and four quadrants in religious symbols like crosses.
The four “seasons” of the human life cycle were considered to be:
0–20 Childhood (Spring),
21–40 Young Adulthood (Summer),
41–60 Maturity (Autumn),
61–80 Seniority (Winter).
Passing from one stage to another in this human life cycle is like a gateway that requires a key to successfully access it….
That key is a change on your part
This is one reason why the snake is a common sacred symbol for ancient peoples: because it continually sheds its skin, it transforms, it is wise.
So, the quarter life crisis is a result of the OVERDUE change required to pass through the gateway from childhood to young adulthood.
By the way, if you’ve watched the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and wondered what it’s about, those four monoliths represent these gateways in a human life, as well as the stages of human consciousness!
The stage of the quarter life crisis is represented by the discovery of the monolith on the moon.
In his famous book Thus Spoke Zarathustra (the very same name as the iconic music in 2001: A Space Odyssey), Nietzsche illustrates these gateways by comparing a child (0-20 years old) to a compliant camel who becomes a lion in adulthood (21-40 years old),
By the way, that lion must later slay a dragon called “Thou Shalt”, but that’s the midlife crisis gateway. Master the quarter life crisis, though, and your midlife crisis won’t be a crisis at all!
So, the quarter life crisis is about the pain associated with passing through this gateway from childhood to adulthood.
It’s about you transforming from a “camel” into a “lion.”
Why do these gateways exist, though?
How depth psychology explains what’s going on here…
The reason these lifetime gateways exist in humans is because we are effectively two people.
This human duality is a well-recognized fact.
Science calls it System 1 and System 2. Spirituality might refer to it as ego and spirit. Storytellers depict it as Jekyll and Hyde or David Banner and The Incredible Hulk.
I will refer to it as the conscious mind and subconscious mind.
Let me explain…
When you were born, you only had a subconscious mind.
This is your nature, your genes, your true self.
But, as you grew older, your conscious mind grew out of that subconscious mind, like a plant growing from the soil. And it was formed by the world around you.
This is your nurture, your culture, what we might call your false self.
Also known as ego.
This nature-nurture conflict is both the blessing and curse of humanity.
Consciousness, the ability to recognize our thoughts and actions, is the gift that sets human animals above other animals.
But it comes at a price, the price you’re paying right now as these two voices argue within you.
That’s right, they don’t play well together, and this is the source of all anxiety.
So, you have two competing voices inside you:
Subconscious (pre birth) and conscious ego (post birth).
And the subconscious voice is effectively trying to pull you back to the source, the womb in a sense, the bliss of childhood where there are no decisions to be made, no duality… in what is basically “paradise.”
(For another 2001: A Space Odyssey reference at this life stage, see how the shuttle blissfully enters the mother ship, and how another shuttle gets swallowed up by a gaping, mechanical “womb” on the moon.)
The conscious ego voice wants to defiantly move away from Paradise. It wants its independence, for all of the pain it might cause.
And, just as our mythology depicts, this fall from Paradise, from Eden, involves a sense of guilt or shame.
If you carefully search your feelings associated with this quarter life crisis, could it boil down to a sense of shame…?
Interesting, isn’t it?
At this stage in life, you are caught in the crossfire between these two guys: subconscious and conscious ego.
And, because of your younger age and still relatively new ego, the subconscious kind of has the upper hand, and it’s pulling you back to the Paradise of childhood, where you can runaway from all these decisions, trade-offs, and duality.
In short, passing through this quarter life gateway is about growing up, and taking your place in the “tribe.”
Back in the day, if you were a male (females just had their first period), you’d have been ripped from your mother’s arms at puberty (although she was secretly in on the act) by masked warriors and taken down a sacred cave to have your foreskin sliced off with a flint knife before the shaman gave you a suitable place in the tribe.
Don’t worry, I’ll be much gentler with you, but the end result will be the same…
I’m now going to give you something that will guide you through this personally and professionally.
Life is a journey down a corridor of dilemmas, always a door to choose. Should I marry this person or not? Should I take that job or not? Should I move home?
We choose a door, and then a whole new corridor of dilemmas opens up as we continue this journey, an endless web of binary choices and outcomes.
Without having the right life map, our decision making is haphazard, wrong, or simply nonexistent. What skews our judgment in that corridor are the voices of our past: parents, teachers, society, all the people who’ve scratched away at our true self.
But the voice most worth listening to is the one that resonates with your nature, your true self.
This true self, your genetic, pre-birth version of you, is now quietly waiting in the background because your still developing ego, rightly so, is still forming and fighting for its independence, and making a lot of noise.
But your true self still holds the answers to all the questions you are asking yourself.
Your true self tells you your true purpose in life and the career path you should now be taking.
Looking at the true self of others tells you who your life partner should be.
And your true self and the true self of others are laid in out in clear personality profile form in the gift I’d like to now send you for free: my award-winning and bestselling book, The You Code.
It also covers everything you’ll need in life, including financial and health matters.
What I’d give to have this book when I was in my twenties!
Ancients believed each of us have an “iningukua” within us, a kind of guardian angel, a separate self. Hindus called it Atman, the god within.
Emperor Marcus Aurelius referred to it as “The deity within thee.”
Medieval knights referred to it as The Holy Grail; a quest for the divine within us.
Nietzsche referred to it as “an unknown sage, a mighty commander within.”
I will simply refer to it as your True Self. And it’s waiting to be reunited with you, face to face, in The You Code, as a torch to light your way through this gateway, transforming you from “camel” to “lion.”
May this be your guardian angel in the exciting years ahead of you!