Do You Know The Eight Stages of Life of Horatio Hornblower?
The eight life stages might be easier to understand with an example. And I can think of no better example than C. S. Forester's novels about Horatio Hornblower.
In his novels, Forester follows the career of a midshipman in the English Royal Navy during the Napoleonic era. Hornblower's rise through the ranks shows clearly the development stages in action.
If you haven't read the novels ... a quick rental of the Horatio Hornblower movies featuring Ioan Gruffuld will illustrate Horatio's transitions starting with the Life Calling stage when he enters the Navy, having chosen it over following in his father's professional footsteps.
The Duel chronicles his Focusing stage, learning his trade of seamanship and undergoing the critical tasks of learning navigation and leadership of a motley crew pressed into service.
Having found a profession where his potential can be spotted, developed and put to good use in the service of his country as well as his ship ... he starts to earn the respect of those both above and below him in the Working stage. He also faces challenges, which show the development of his character and why he succeeds where other midshipmen have trouble. These challenges come in tests of his courage, judgment, fairness, open mindedness, humor, reliability, principles, and character.
Excelling In His Majesty's Service
With his promotion to Lieutenant and his first command, he moves into the Excelling stage ... and faces a whole new set of critical tasks and challenges. Quick thinking, using his wits to confuse the enemy, and the ability to discern the truth ... are just a few of the gifts and talents that help him excel at his work. His willingness to put the interests of his country above his own ... earns him the enduring respect of his men and a reputation. And working with contrary and uncertain allies tests his resolve to work with the situation at hand and triumph.
Mastery Brings A New Ship
His developing character and natural gifts help him succeed and triumph when others fail .. and earn him his own command with his entry into the Mastering stage. Here, he faces jealousy from the men he is surpassing and career setbacks, and handles both well. Faced with tough situations -- he follows his principles of duty and finds his way through the maze of career missteps and command. It is no small thing to hold the lives of 200 men in your hands, knowing your decisions can endanger lives and one of His Majesty's ships of the line.
Again and again, the key tests of courage in war and the closeness of death -- both important career challenges for warriors following life path 5 -- rise up to lead him astray ... and he faces each one with a clear resolve.