There are issues of life that human beings struggle to come to terms with and that consequently leads to an appreciation of the finiteness of human capacity. From childhood, issues like whether God exists, and if he exists, where he came from are not easy on the human mind. Most parents will attest that children’s inquisitive questions, such as when a child asks where people come from, point to human beings’ innate curiosity to understand the essence of existence. The finiteness of human capacity is evident from the fact that as much as human capacity has broken hitherto unimaginable new grounds, the best of scientists have yet to create a biological being, the closest could being cloning.
It is also clearly evident that, as difficult as it is to come to terms with the finiteness of human capacity, the ability of human beings to learn from, and use, observable patterns of events to predict future events has been a useful tool for planning. The understanding, for example, of the laws of probability has helped the growth of the stock market trading as it helps observe trends over time and use them to predict likely outcomes into the future, the same way adopting the life cycle theory can empower your journey of life, smoothening the valleys and powering you through life’s challenges.
Most writers of the life cycle recognize the phases, or variations, of conception, birth, growth, maturity, mid-life, old age and death. In the case of products and projects, we can identify concept & design, pre-testing, and production. We can also have a variation such as introduction, innovation, early adoption, late adoption, growth, maturity, saturation, and phase-off or obsolescence. It is, whatever the phases a life cycle could consist, a tool that helps in anticipating what to expect on the next phase, of life or product, and, consequently, plan for it.
Yet – as evidenced by the extent of endemic mental health problems, ranging from symptomatic stress and depression to schizophrenia and lunacy – the human inability to deal with existential challenges seems to continue unabated. The limited threshold of the human capacity to deal with mental health problems despite progressive breakthroughs in expressions of human mental capacity, evidenced by the global 2020 suicide rates, point to a problem that leaves no one immune and, therefore, cannot be simply wished away.
The understanding of the life cycle theory could, if put in the context of mental health, help enhance individuals’ threshold of coping with existential challenges competently. Look at it this way: if you are in business long enough you can learn that your business has peak season and low season. During the peak, unlike the low, season the business is booming and everything is smooth. A competent business person will not close his business during the low season because he or she knows that a peak season will, in due course, appear. In the same way, faced with life challenges, individuals with an understanding of the life cycle can evaluate the prevailing circumstances in light of the larger life circumstance.
If you look at suicide, for example, as an indication of the inability to cope with prevailing circumstances, the individual with a proper appreciation of the life cycle would take heart in knowing that eventually, bad times pave way for better times. The same is true for individuals’ at their peak periods having illusions that the good times will last forever, whereas the truth is that those peak periods are inevitably followed by low seasons. The ability to smoothen the peaks and the valleys make for competency in the journey of life. Take heart.