“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
In order to realize any real, substantive change in our lives, 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.
[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. In amphibians it’s the changing of a tadpole into a frog.]
The key idea is that you don’t have to be in an embryonic stage — or even a caterpillar or frog — to realize this. It’s your HABITS (of thought and action) that constitute and direct your metamorphosis!
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 while back, 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.)
Kris to me: “Happy to have you post it, happy to help and share any part of the story with anyone and anytime.”
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.
He was lying on the floor of a jail cell — theft charges — with no family or friends to bail him out. So 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. He’d bounced in and out of jail and hit rock bottom, but 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 habit.
Years later he underwent a second transformation, using habit. 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. It was in the midst of the “great recession” and he had financial, business and personal pressures hanging over him.
Intuitively, though, Kris knew better. Those challenges weren’t going to disappear by themselves or anytime soon. If he went out for a run or not, his challenges were still going to be there, waiting for him. But incredibly, he began to notice a change. His challenges seemed a little smaller and weaker as he became stronger.
Kris grew into the habit of challenging himself each and every day simply to become a little bit better.
Finding Equilibrium Through Habit
The story of Kris holds so many great lessons for us and reminds me that equilibrium (balance), courtesy of habit, by definition is the equal offset of pressure.
I’m certain that by constantly challenging himself to become better, stronger, faster and more fit, Kris offset the enormous outside pressures and ultimately found his equilibrium— a sense of balance and peace of mind.