“I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . .” – Psalm 139:14
In my practice as an executive coach it is not at all unusual for people who are somewhere in mid-life, and more times than not quite successful, to come to me floundering with their life and career, questioning if they are living the wrong life. I’ve never found it to be an easy issue to coach people through, although I do understand their plight, having been there myself. But an article I read not long ago from the magazine Psychology Today shed some light on the subject. It suggested telling someone floundering in mid-life to “try to remember what you were all about when you were 10.”
Why 10? According to the article, titled “The Rule of Age 10”, there is extensive research supporting that around age 10 is when “the lights come on full beam, revealing the road ahead.” “Age 10,” it goes on to say, “is a developmental sweet spot. You’re old enough to know what lights you up, yet not so old that adults have extinguished that fire by dumping more practical and realistic options on it.” My own interpretation is that at age 10 we have developed a more mature right brain without losing that “inner child” curiosity and creativity, but at a higher level. Yet it is before parents, teachers, and society in general begin steering us toward filling our left brains with all the logical and practical knowledge deemed necessary to function in the real world, which tends to erode that childlike state of receptive curiosity.
During my own season of “mid-life floundering”, the coach I had retained to help me was extraordinarily insightful, long before publication of “The Rule of Age 10” article. But she understood the principles behind it, launching me on a journey to recover that sense of curiosity and creativity that had been dampened so long ago by the expectations of logic and practicality. It’s a long and endless journey, but one that has restored my sense of joy and meaning, and a re-discovery of that sweet spot that a 10-year-old experiences.
What I now know for sure is “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” And so are you, words that are not wishful thinking, but fact. For, each of us is created in the image of the Creator, and one can’t be more wonderfully made than that. So, if you’re in that place of searching for your sweet spot – and everyone has one – you might “try to remember what you were all about when you were 10.” You’ll be glad you did.