When was the last time you had the opportunity to be a part of someone’s life and thought he/she was absolutely awesome? Almost as if they have appeared out of no where, suddenly on the scene of life overnight doing big things, presumably doing no wrong? Sometimes it may seem when people or a situation seems unbelievably great we tend to think it has always been that way. An inspiring motivational speaker, a profound author or a prolific leader. Or maybe a caption of something that kept you in awe. Whatever it may be that seems so perfect, fit or right…like it has always been there or like that, is usually an illusion to what really is true more often than not. Most of us won’t argue that hard work is required to obtain anything that is worthy or important to us, whether your career path, achieving a long or short-term goal or maintaining a healthy relationship. So why do so many of us forget this in the very moment we need to use recall of this very fact? By nature when we observe someone moving through life with seemingly ease we deduce that it must be easy for them, like no work was required to accomplish the task. Or better yet we convince ourselves that they’re a part of that gifted class where things just come naturally. They were just born with the right stuff and in the right family. Now of course that group doses exist, but we also know that they make up a small percentage of the world’s population. So it must be the hard work, days and nights of prayer, tears being shed, relentless studying or endless hours of practice that ultimately transcends into some form of greatness. However it is achieved, it doesn’t just happen!
Many forms of nature have a way of illustrating this process perfectly for us. Take the life cycle of a butterfly for instance. A butterfly goes through 4 stages of life to transform into its ultimate purpose.
- The Egg
- The Larva (Caterpillar)
- Pupa (Chrysalis)
- Adult Butterfly
Each stage is a critical part of the complete metamorphosis. The egg, represents a beginning for us, when we are totally vulnerable to anything and everything.
Envision the birthing of your dream.
Where the idea suddenly comes into your soul. There is excitement and anticipation of what it will become. At this stage we must remain cognizant that it’s just the beginning and it is very fragile, not fully developed and more often than not, it should only be shared with very trustworthy people. Many dreams, relationships and goals have died at infancy because it was destroyed by our inability to protect it during this stage. Typically we blame others for this when we should have simply kept our mouth shut and exuded more patience. For some of us (me included) this was the lesson for the that season. Protect your egg, its delicate!
Next is the larva, better known as the caterpillar. Once the egg hatches, a caterpillar emerges. It immediately begins to eat the leaf that it was born on. This stage is critical for the actual development of the butterfly. It is still very fragile, and needs to eat where it is was born because it cannot fly away to another plant or go to far without running the risk of beating eaten by a predator. Bloom where you’re planted or in other words, don’t despise the day of small beginnings. We all have to start somewhere.
Imagine yourself working on your goal, putting in the work.
How much time are you willing to invest in your dream? Have you gone past the idea of it simply feeling good when you think about it? What are you doing to help it manifest in the earth? Are you developing a plan and do you review it often? (Try placing the plan on your mirror so you can see it as often as you see yourself) Are you researching ideas? When we’re serious about accomplishing something we put forth the work. We make the necessary sacrifices. We begin to develop some new productive habits and drop the ones that hinder us, including people if they’re a part of that equation. We press forward and remove the rear-view mirror of our lives. At times we must encourage ourselves. If you haven’t learned how to do this yet, talk with someone who loves you without a shadow of a doubt and ask them to share three great characteristics about you. Write them down and start there.
For me, starting this blog is my caterpillar stage. I’ve always loved to write, but I always became frustrated when I attempted to write my book. (Still in progress) Several years ago the idea to start a blog came to mind, but I wasn’t ready. I told people, and made a minor deal of it, but I was in no way serious about it yet. This time around, when the idea came back to me, I immediately prayed for a title and begin to write down my plan. It literally took me one month to get it going. I spent most of my evenings preparing and researching other blogs. I was willing to make the sacrifices, with my most significant one, being “fully present” when I wrote, so that you as the reader would feel what I felt, identify with my life story, celebrate in triumphs and cry when I experienced pain. It had to be real, therefore required my whole self to exist in each word, at the cost of once I complete a post, I’m exhausted, because I gave all of myself to you. Are you ready to put in that type of work towards your dreams or relationships?
The third stage is the Pupa. This is where the actual transformation to the butterfly occurs. From the outside it may seem as if nothing is materializing, but all the wonderful parts of the butterfly take place during this stage.
Here is where you begin to actually see some of the fruits of your labor.
There is nothing more exciting than seeing something that you have worked hard at begin to take shape. There is still a process unfolding, however exciting it may be. Now is the time to keep pressing and not get distracted with the small successes you have experienced. There is still much work to do. Maybe you finally landed your dream job or experienced a breakthrough in a relationship normally filled with turmoil. See these stages as a beginning, a window to something more promising. It’s imperative that we go through this window, for there is where our ultimate destiny lies.
The final stage is where the pupa becomes an adult butterfly. The forming and changing inside the pupa is now complete. Once the adult butterfly pumps blood into its wings, it will master flying within 3-4 hours and begin to seek a mate to reproduce and start the life cycle all over again.
Now of course the timing of us reaching our goals may take a lifetime, and I understand that I just minimized the actual process most of undergo to reach our ultimate goals or destiny, however if you can take away the principles from this, I believe you can find yourself pressing ahead with purpose, clear focus and momentum to become the best you.
No one may ever see the true dedication we have put forth into a cause, relationship or business. They may only see the results, because what we do to become great happens in our own quiet place, the place where are destiny lives, our prayers thrive and our thoughts about our future take flight, despite any and every circumstance. Obstacles become like the hurdles for a track star. The race is won at practice, not at the meet. I once heard that practice doesn’t make perfect, but practice makes for better practice. Like that egg placed on that plant, although it was an egg, it was indeed equally a butterfly even then, although it had some stages to still undergo. In other words, that dream you have for yourself is as real as that premature butterfly. Will you allow the necessary stages of development to take place or will you destroy it early out of sheer ignorance?
We all know that anything worth obtaining is never easy, but once we get through the process, we become stronger, evolved to someone amazing, someone different, and like the metamorphosis to the adult butterfly, we are ready to spread our wings and fly high!