Habit + Pressure = Metamorphosis


“The person who now stands before the court is no longer the person who has committed these crimes. For that reason, this court will not hold you accountable.”

By: Martin Grunburg

Last week we covered the idea that in order to realize any real, substantive change, the path often requires two essential forces: Pressure and Habit (hopefully new, positive habits).

Then, there is the crucible, or “Crucible Factor.” (Have at it, someone! There’s a book here!)

The crucible represents an event or a moment in time we pass through to help catalyze a substantive change — to make it complete.

The definition of CRUCIBLE is particularly interesting as it relates to metamorphosis:

“A situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new.”

Now, ask yourself, “What are those different elements?”

Next, let’s consider the definition of metamorphosis.

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[Also called transformation. A change in the form and often habits of an animal during normal development after the embryonic stage. Metamorphosis includes, in insects, the transformation of a maggot into an adult fly and a caterpillar into a butterfly and, in amphibians, the changing of a tadpole into a frog.]

The key idea (of course) is that you don’t have to be in the embryonic stage or even a caterpillar or frog to realize that it’s your HABITS (of thought and action) that constitute and direct your metamorphosis!

That’s powerful!

There is no need to sit and wait for change to impose itself on you. Rather, YOU CAN DIRECT THE CHANGE— via your habits.

Here’s where it gets fun!

A few days after last week’s blog, a Facebook friend wrote an inspiring post; though I’d never met him in person, I contacted him to learn more about his personal metamorphosis.

With his permission, here is his post. (As you read, notice the elements that are responsible for the change — his metamorphosis.)

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Kris to me: “Happy to have you post it, happy to help and share any part of the story with anyone and anytime.”

When we spoke, I learned that Kris had two significant transformations in his life, and both were catalyzed by powerful crucible-type moments!

The quote at the very top of this post, from a judge, was one of them.

While lying on the floor of a jail cell — theft charges — with no family or friends to bail him out, a 20-something Kris confessed a desperate and final prayer. “God, please let my grandfather live long enough to see me make something positive of my life.”

Later, a thoughtful judge essentially pardoned young Kris, who’d bounced in and out of jail and hit rock bottom, but then found a way to get clean and sober.

His early transformation (from jail cell to free man) required significant shifts in his thought and behavior habits. Fast-forward to 2009 and his second transformation: Under enormous pressures, Kris took hold of the one thing he could control, his habits (thought and action). He intentionally crafted habits to align with his goals and ambitions of a future, ideal self.

Kris committed to an Ironman triathlon at a time when it seemed to make zero sense — in the midst of the “great recession” with all sorts of financial, business and personal pressures hanging over his head.

Intuitively, though, Kris knew better. Those challenges weren’t going to disappear by themselves or anytime soon. Whether he went out for a two- or three-hour training run or bike ride, his challenges were still going to be there, waiting for him. But incredibly, he began to notice that his challenges seemed a little smaller and weaker as he became stronger, more fit, and clear-headed after each training session.

Today, Kris says he’s in the habit of challenging himself each and every day simply to become a little bit better.

The story of Kris holds so many great lessons for us and reminds me, once again, that equilibrium (balance) by definition is the equal offset of pressures.

I’m certain that by Kris constantly challenging himself to become better, stronger, faster and more fit, he offset the enormous outside pressures and ultimately found his equilibrium— a sense of balance and peace of mind.


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