Home Reflections Life, Milestones and the 7 year cycle concept

Life, Milestones and the 7 year cycle concept

by Vidya Sury May 16, 2017 14 comments
Milestones We Face in this Wonderful Journey through Life

I was listening to a song titled “Place in this world”(Michael W Smith) and that got me thinking. I mean, I’ve been listening to this song for decades now and it is somehow on my anytime playlist. I like the artist’s raspy voice. I don’t mind admitting that I sometimes make my own lyrics for a song I enjoy. And so it is with this one.

The song, like every song, always starts a thought process. This one makes me feel that our existence is a lifelong experience in finding ourselves and our place in this world . . . the triumphs and hardships. . . each one marking a milestone in our lives.

Have you heard of the 7-year cycle? I’m a firm believer in this.

It is the notion that cells in our body are completely renewed within a seven-year period.

Also, that we change in personalities through the years in this general order:

0 – 7

7 – 14

14 – 21

… and so on.

It is a continual cycle of new development where we learn but also grow old and wise through our experiences.

Let’s explore this concept and see how it reveals some of the transitions we face in life, helping us find ourselves—and our place in life at various stages.

The Early Years (0 – 28)

These early years are formidable ones because we’re naturally impressionable.

We’ve set out on an adventure called Life.

From birth to our early teens, most of us enjoy being coddled by our parents. We begin our time at school, learning new things, and about the world around us. It’s that time we make best friends and begin to form our self-identities. Then puberty strikes and now we’re interested in relationships.

Before long we’re in the rebellious stage of those late teens and early 20’s. Some, like me, enter the workforce, while others go off to college. Others want out—a way to get away from their parents.

This is also a time when some commit to long-term relationships, which triggers that feeling of wanting to settle down. I did that when I was 24. I worked with a moving company to relocate from my apartments and home across vast distances, to find internships to get my foot in the door, and later, joined communities to make real-life friends, and even considered the big leap of having children. However, I did wait, while most of my classmates went ahead and started families. Oh, parenting!

The Middle Years (28 – 56)

By our middle years, we’re on that fast track toward:

  • A stable career
  • A long-term relationship
  • A realization we’re getting older

And of course we remain impressionable because we wish to climb the corporate ladder—or start a business. This is the best time to listen to the advice of successful leaders since, at this stage, money and resources are usually available.

While some may have jumped in early with relationships, the middle years may be where most are in one. This is also the stage when people settle into their careers, consider a house, and having children. Now you’re the parent—juggling spending time with the children, while trying to achieve that work/life balance.

At this point, one might assume that most people have reached a point in their lives where they’d like to think they’re at peace.

But in reality, that’s not always so. Many face the monster called mid-life crisis. The essential dread that we’re getting older and have so much to accomplish or reflect on what little we may have done creeps in. What if we focused on self love? We find balance—an ability to be grateful for what/who we have, a calming of the mind, and a new thirst for what life offers.

The Late Years (56 – 84)

We now usher in the late years.

The difference in mind, body, and soul are substantial since one has gone through multiple cycles. We are not that young kid anymore. We’re “winding down”. We’ve found ourselves..

During these times, we experience heavy realizations: we say good-bye to many loved ones. The passing of  parents and friends. Life somehow hardens us a little, yet it doesn’t make it easier to bear. It’s important to grieve during these times, but also celebrate life, and relive the joy of this cherished journey with these wonderful people.

I’d say that it’s not all doom and gloom, though. Happiness comes in the form of:

  • Seeing our child(ren) grow into adulthood
  • The success of hard work via retirement
  • Enjoying experiences that we had to put on hold due to a lack of time and resources

There is so much to reflect upon. So many moments that will bring joy and many more to be had. You’re free from the daily grind. Your opportunities are now boundless.

Now tell me:

What do you think of the 7-year cycle? Does it make sense? Have you noticed a change throughout the years in your life? Please do share in the comments!


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Sreesha May 17, 2017 at 8:33 am

I’ve heard of the seven year cycle, but didn’t know it caused an entire shift in our personalities. It’s probably true I suppose, but our thoughts are also shaped by who our peer group is, and who we are closest to. It’s a combination of both these factors probably.
There’s a post idea in my head since the past few days – not fully formed, all hazy – about some changes that happen in our lives during the middle years that you’ve mentioned. It’s funny how we observe time rolling by sometimes like it’s all happening to someone else, isn’t it?
Sreesha recently posted…The Haunting of the Opium Den

Vidya Sury May 17, 2017 at 12:59 pm

I do that often, Sreesha, especially these days. Much of what happened in earlier years seem like a different life and I feel kind of like a different person, looking in from the outside. Yep. Like it were all happening to someone else. I want to read your post.
Vidya Sury recently posted…What Really Matters #GratitudeCircle

Vasantha Vivek May 17, 2017 at 12:32 pm

I agree with you about 7years cycle. I have personally noticed this in my life. Enjoyed reading your post.
Vasantha Vivek recently posted…This MOM’s Life – Mother’s Day Special Post

Wendy of The Rock May 18, 2017 at 3:46 am

Isn’t it the moral version of the seven-year itch?
I find being in the final category a bit weird. I never planned to get this old so quickly.

Parul May 17, 2017 at 8:54 pm

I love this concept. As I read your post and started thinking, it exactly fits the bill for most humans. Sometimes, I think I wish I had thought about all this when I was in the first stage 🙂
Great post Vidya! Made me reflect on my life.
Parul recently posted…Radhanagar Beach – a slice of heaven

Darla M Sands May 17, 2017 at 9:44 pm

Great post. Very thoughtful. And, oh, my gosh. My partner has said more than once that I must have been replaced by an alien. I went through a yuppie period that accompanied talk radio when we were first together. Then I switched to alternative music and went through a Goth phase, buying the entire catalog of Marilyn Manson music and countless wacky collectables. We still enjoy the music but I gained weight to the point I didn’t feel comfortable trying to pull off that look. So instead I dyed my hair multiple colors (red/gold/black and even green streaks for a time). Then everyone and their grandmother started doing it. ~grin~ Now I’ve got an asymmetrical haircut in a nice, natural auburn.

Soumya May 18, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Damn, I’m middle aged alright. I wish I was those early years like you.

This is an interesting concept. I had never heard of it before. Maybe I should wait for a couple of years when I turn 32 and then think about turning a new leaf 😀

Modern Gypsy May 18, 2017 at 7:40 pm

Makes a lot of sense. I’m not sure if I’ve noticed a 7-year cycle, I’ll have to reflect on that one. But I do know I’ve been through a number of cycles, many of which have broken me down and built me up. All of which have helped me learn and grow and come more and more into my own. I’ve been lucky to have some 3:00 am friends, some wise teachers, and the desire to constantly emerge stronger. That’s what this journey is about after all, isn’t it? 🙂
Modern Gypsy recently posted…#KashmirDiaries: Doodhpathri – Where water turns into milk

Galen Pearl May 18, 2017 at 9:41 pm

I realized years ago that my life moved in very distinct four year cycles. This went on for some years before I recognized it, but once I did, I saw that it continued still for many years. As the end of each cycle approached, I could feel myself beginning to disengage and prepare for the next one. The transitions were not always smooth. Some were traumatic. In recent years, the cycles seem to have settled down into more subtle and gentle shifts. I’ve always been curious about how this four year cycle started, but it has been a very clear rhythm in my life.

Apart from that, in the more general way, my life has certainly followed the bigger life cycles that you describe. Now in my senior years, my life is quieter and more reflective. I can watch my children and grandchildren moving through their own life cycles.

Aditi Kaushiva May 20, 2017 at 9:26 pm

Never really thought about this but as I read your post and reflected on my life it made so much sense. Lovely post, Vidya!
Aditi Kaushiva recently posted…Rome Diaries: Falling in Love

Menaka Bharathi May 22, 2017 at 5:19 pm

My father has always spoken to me about this 7 years of life..Totally agree with your points..It actually made me reflect again
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J.H. Moncrieff May 23, 2017 at 1:29 pm

I’ve never thought much about my life in terms of seven-year cycles, but I do know I am usually more at peace and accepting than I used to be. However, I seem to be doomed to always wish I’d accomplished more and had more time.

Birgit May 23, 2017 at 6:46 pm

I believe in this and can relate to stuff we collect also. When we are kids, we don’t much care about stuff unless we can play with it. Some kids destroy their stuff while others cherish it. When we are in our 20’s and onward, we collect stuff, from knock knacks to cars and homes. Afterwards, we plateau and soon, we start getting rid of stuff. There are exceptions to the rule but it seems to work this way. I also believe people do get worries when they hit a certain age milestone whether it be 30,40, or 50 and feel like their life is passing by. When we are in our 50’s women deal with menopause which sucks to put it basically but I think men go through something as well and some get it so severe that they become very depressed…I have seen it. I wish more would cherish each day especially when I see the news today about the bombing at the Manchester concert. We have to enjoy the simple pleasures and they are special to me.

soumya May 27, 2017 at 6:09 pm

What a presentation !!!!…simply superb one.


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