Erik Erikson was a developmental psychologist. His birthday was June 14, 1902.
To commemorate it, we are having a tournament!
One of Erikson's chief contributions to the field is describing stages of psychosocial development. He described eight stages of psychosocial development a human confronts from infancy to adulthood. Each of these stages is centered around a crisis. For infants, for instance, the crisis is "trust vs. mistrust". Can an infant learn to trust the world, or will they instead learn that the world is unsafe, unnurturing, and unpredictable, and learn to mistrust it?
The 8 crises are:
Trust vs. Mistrust
Autonomy vs. Shame
Initiative vs. Guilt
Industry vs. Inferiority
Identity vs. Role Confusion
Intimacy vs Isolation
Generativity vs. Stagnation
Ego Integrity vs Despair
Which way these crises resolve is variable and depends on the individual and the situation. Sometimes trust wins out; sometimes mistrust.
But let's ask the important questions...
Then, we will know what is the ultimate existential outcome for the human psyche.
Here it is.
The ultimate existential crisis.
If you truly want to be a fully realized super human you have to resolve this final psychosocial conflict.
Your INITIATIVE can take you pretty far, but it means nothing if you mean nothing.
Your IDENTITY can give you a role, but that's only a role to fail at if you can't get things done.
The harder you work, the more you realize that IDENTITY is just a convenience. The world is maleable. You are maleable. With enough INITIATIVE you can transend your puny IDENTITY.
But the more you know yourself, you realize that the universe is a bottomless well that sucks up INITIATIVE, and unless you prioritize things that are important to your IDENTITY, you will painfully discover the limits to INITIATIVE. By that point, you'll have nothing left.
There is only one way to live your best life, and there is only one psychosocial aspect that will win this battle.
The power to choose is yours.
You are the one to decide.