Wonder how much you could learn from the life cycle of the beautiful butterfly? So much we can learn from nature’s model which would make us better live our lives just like we had always wanted it. Transformation is defined as a thorough or dramatic change in form of appearance or character, usually for the better. Transformation has many shapes and faces, but what comes instantly to mind when we want to describe transformation is “butterfly transformation”. In this article I would use the butterfly transformation to explain the human mental transformation. The butterfly transformation is in five (5) stages, so also the human mental transformation.
1. Resting Stage
The Egg This is the most omitted stage of butterfly transformation. Eggs are laid on the leaves and are very tiny, hard to find. This is the beginning. At this stage you might feel almost invisible, like nobody can see your skill or experience your influence. You might even have no influence at all. Whether you’re new on a team, shifting your career path, in transition from job to business, there is always this stage when you feel like you aren’t enough or don’t know enough. You have potential inside of you to be somebody one day, but you haven’t arrived yet. There’s a process that needs to happen first. This stage is known as “resting” stage. In human transformation this might be a time when you consolidate your thoughts about future move, while still staying in your existing situation. For example, you might define what type of business you want to run, what type of job you want to apply for, what school you want to sign up for, etc. I like to call this stage a “dream” stage. This is when you dream about what you can potentially become or do in the future. Things around you keep moving without you taking any specific action. You are where you are, you keep doing what you’ve been doing, but deep inside of you there’s still a dream for something bigger to come. You don’t know yet what it’s going to be or how it’s going to look like, but the dreaming is slowly starting.
2. Growth Stage
The Larva (Caterpillar) This is pretty exciting stage where things start moving. All the caterpillars do is eat. Once they start eating, they start growing and expanding. This is the “growth” stage. While in the previous stage you defined what you want to do or who you want to be, in this stage you start gathering the information about what it will take, how to make it happen, what to do and what to avoid. You might even discuss your idea with others around you or talk to a mentor in similar line, to help you identify your next steps. If you are a person of action, you might even get your feet wet and start sharing your dream, your vision and what’s coming up with others around you. Here you test some things as you go along to see what will work the best. You’re starting to make your mark on the world. One more thought on this stage; the caterpillar starts its life by eating up a leaf they were hanging on to during the first stage. It’s extremely important that you close your past if you want to move on to the next stage. You must be willing to close what was and to step into what’s new.
3. Transformation Stage
The Chrysalis (Cocoon) This is the “transformation” stage of the butterfly. From the outside it looks like a caterpillar is resting, but inside big things are happening – remarkable transformation called metamorphosis is going on as caterpillar is changing its shape and form. Here’s how to get the most out of this stage. Create a safe space around you. Surround yourself with the environment supporting your growth. From friends, through mentors, clients, this all will support the transformation process. Your main goal at this stage is to protect yourself from negative influences and keep you focused on the process of transformation. This is the stage where you most likely become inpatient with the process and so many things begin to run at you. You are no longer in the egg stage. You feel like you know enough, but you’re not yet ready to spread your wings and fly. This stage is usually rough and uncomfortable. Others don’t like it, you might even face opposition. You know that you’re becoming someone; you know you’re step away from next level and you want to be there yesterday, but somehow you are not there yet. Here’s what I have for you… WAIT! Your time is yet to come. Trust the process. Hang on there. Your time will come, you don’t need to rush it. Allow the full transformation to happen. “He, it is Who made the sun a shining brightness and the moon a light, and ordained for it phases that you might know…” Surat Yunus, 10:5. Life is in stages, definitely one stage will have to pass before another sets in.
4. Leap Stage
Learning To Fly It takes effort to come out of the chrysalis and you have to do it on your own. Nobody else can do it for you. When your time comes, be ready to take action, make that step and get out there. You are the only one who can make it happen. As soon as butterfly has rested after coming out of the chrysalis, it will pump blood into the wings to get them working and flapping, then they get to fly. Within 3-4 hours butterfly will master flying. It might not take you 3-4 hours, it might take you 3-4 days, weeks, even months, depending on the size of transformation. But your focus at this stage is to “figure it out”. Master the flying, keep on trying, and persevere. Get all the facts and information from previous stages and use them to get going.
5. Productivity Stage
The Butterfly This is the stage when butterflies are constantly on the look out to reproduce. In terms of transformation, we’re talking about you starting to live beyond yourself. Suddenly you start looking at how you can help others, exactly what Zig Ziglar summarized so well in this quote…“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” You’re at the peak of your transformation, at the stage where your goal is to be yourself, gather all you’ve learned, discovered and experienced and use it to help others. On the authority of Abu Hurairah the Prophet said”… Whosoever alleviates [the lot of] a needy person, Allah will alleviate [his lot] in this world and the next. Whosoever shields a Muslim, Allah will shield him in this world and the next…”. Here’s something you need to understand about life - At any given time your Productivity Stage can turn into Resting Stage and the process can begin again. You are NOT a butterfly and the chances are that there will be another transformation, another level in front of you. Don’t ever stop growing! Lest we forget, at every stage we are, we need to be prayerful; because it is only through the will of Allah (SWT) we can pass life tests.
May Almighty Allah continue to guide us right. Ameen.
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