Where are you in the stages of your current development? What is your next version of your infinite “becoming” and transformations? Through the art of transformation, reflect upon yourself in the cycle of growth that applies to whatever you are apart of. Yourself, your group, your business – truly what you are developing to grow. Truly, it could be all of the above and then some. Let’s break it down to digestible portions.
Observing the growth process of butterflies, there are about 4 stages.
- Egg Stage: Thoughts & Ideas
- Larva Stage: Decisions
- Cocoon Stage: Development & Action
- Emergence: Sharing Completed Ideas
Evaluating which stage you and or your group are at, ask questions about the answers you seek. Once the stage has been deciphered, that stage will give you the answers to the next cycle of transformation.
This process alleviates mental processes, providing clarity to your undertaking’s execution and organization, and support you in taking the next actionable step that may quite possibly be different than anything you have ever done before. The next step that can separate you from staying the same – receiving sub-par results or the step that enters unknown territory (at first) and provides infinite abundance.
Let’s break these stages down and digest these a bit further!
Egg Stage: Thoughts & Ideas
Are you at this stage? Ask yourself:
- “Is what I am driven to transform a thought or idea?”
- “Is this concept only in my head and does not have any tangible progress or momentum?”
- “Have I begun but I am now back to the beginning?”
This new stage you are embarking on could be a completely new experience or more likely, beginning again in a new way with an enhanced perspective. There is tremendous power in starting again. It can seem daunting at first – like, “Hey, I’ve already done this. I don’t want to have to do it again, especially if I am so focused on getting to the next step. Or the FINAL step.” Yet, growth is like a dance. Moving forward, backward, and side to side. Starting again is like iterating. You cross off what wasn’t bearing fruit, implement new thoughts on what could work better, and commence with consistent progress! Huzzah!
Another concept to consider is that of the “Hero’s Journey”. This is a storytelling concept that is widely used across film writing/storytelling. The pathway of the story’s protagonist is a circle – with the end and start essentially being the same space. This can be literal or figurative however the main point is that as the hero, you are returning to where you began. You are bringing a new and evolved perspective. What happened before will not happen again in the same way. Potentially also, the intention is to start over so that an unexpected blessing may occur. No doesn’t not mean yes. It can mean, actually, this direction is better for you.
How does one use this information to excel to the next stage?
If you have a bunch of ideas moving around, try to catch these idea clouds and pin them down. A notebook is a great place to start. Maybe even an Airtable base/spreadsheet! Organization is so thrilling. And creating an idea list like this can go on forevvveeeeerrrrrrr. It is an abundant flow that once you start, it rarely turns off as one idea creates the next. You see ideas wherever you go and experience in the world. With all this going for you, bridge over to the next step, Decisions.
Caterpillar Stage: Decisions
To see if this is your current growth stage, ask yourself
- “Do I have ideas that need to be refined in order to be communicated clearly to the world?”
- “Do I have ideas that need action?”
- “Do I have so many ideas that I don’t know where to start?”
Check out these ideas from the previous stage. Decipher which ones are essential. If understanding what is essential requires more understanding, it is highly recommended to listen to the audiobook “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg Mckeown. Not only will this easy to understand information help you in this decision process, it effortlessly translates to all areas of your life. Can’t get enough of that!
Do your best to narrow your idea(s) down to one. Yet don’t go crazy over this. The important factor is to maintain your momentum and consistency. Keeping an object in motion – no matter the force of speed. Heck, having multiple ideas can meld together to become their own thing.
Looking at your main focus, what are the long term goals of this idea? The grand vision? Define that and jot those points down. Again, Airtable could be a great treat for this with all of its features to manageably approach large ideas and their production!
From those long term idea(s), what is the first, second, and third step that is essential to move this forward? Four steps MAXIMUM attached with deadlines aka Goal Dates! These are your current short term goals. Think seriously about what is essential for right now.
Again, the audiobook (or book, but at some point, the preference for audiobooks will be discussed-it comes down to what works best for you), “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown will take you to new heights when making these executive decisions.
To propel yourself from this stage to the next, utilize questions again such as:
- “What needs to be done?”
- “How will it be done?”
- “Who will take responsibility for this work?”
- “What will I do if I come across an unexpected challenge?”
- “Can I move forward knowing it is not important knowing exactly “how” everything will unfold?”
- “Can I give this my best effort and adjust my process as I learn, applying what I’ve learned to future actionable steps?”
- “Am I ready to carry this momentum now and not put it aside and wait for it to happen someday?”
- “Am I making the decision to begin this action now?”
The big step being, begin action on the short term goal(s) you have defined. This expansive stage can be overwhelming with so many options and things to do. Take one step, do your best with imperfect action and acknowledge that what you take from this step will make you better at the next step and every other step that comes along the cycle of transformational growth.
Cocoon Stage: Development & Action
Is this your growth stage? To find out, ask yourself:
- “Am I doing something to make my idea a reality?”
- “Is there tangible action behind the decisions for my ideas?”
- “Do I have a decision on my selected idea that is ready for tangible action?!”
Looking at your short term goals, start working on them in a way that aligns with your goal dates. Know when to take a break versus burning out. Find ways to create reward systems for yourself.
Utilizing project management tools, such as Airtable, will guide you from the Egg stage all the way to the Emergence stage, ready to start the cycle again. Observing and logging your progress in this way can help determine if you are achieving positive results. Or results at all.
Understanding the difference between progress and motion is important. Not all activities are creating the accomplishment of your ideas. One way that people get sidetracked from creating real growth is by counting shopping as a profound leap of progress. It can be part of the equation but do not confuse this as a short term goal if it doesn’t directly align with or support the big leaps that need to be made. Simply be honest with yourself about if your actions are addressing what is essential to your goals.
It can help exponentially if your purpose for your endeavors is to serve a higher meaning such as the benefit of others. As well, your ability to collaborate with groups and listen to other people’s points of view will project your progress further.
How do you propel to the next stage of growth?
Have the desire to do something and do it.
There are no short cuts but definitely many ways to get things done. Trust in yourself, your team(if any), and bonus for you, if you have a higher power that you trust is working alongside you. Find ways to ground and place focus on your thoughts and action to slow to a pace that assures completion.
This can be difficult for many, yet give it a go, become one with the process of getting things done and achieving the short term goals. Evolving with the growth that happens during production and action. Truly having fun with it and even documenting via photos or journals or once again utilizing Airtable. It’s nice to look back on the journey or even have the data if you desire to recreate the process.
Another thing that can be challenging, yet give it a go, let go of the final outcome. Completely release it while keeping the joyful feeling and desired characteristics of this final outcome in your heart. Allow that the action you put into your short term goals, that work towards the big picture long term goals, are going to achieve your big visions. By letting go of the outcome to be a particular way, it literally creates space for opportunities and achievements you did not expect when originally conceiving your ideas.
Emergence Stage: Sharing Completed Ideas
Are you at this stage? This is often a stage that people desire to be at. It is definitely a wonderful stage to be at, but while it may be the end, it is also the beginning.
Let’s see if you are here:
- Is my idea complete with nothing else to add or remove at this time?
- What does done mean to me?
- Am I at a pause point with the project where it is ready to share for testing and reviews? Before we take these notes and start this cycle again?
- Have I built up interest without sharing the idea with my close loved ones, friends, and following? Yet now, it has all the components to share it not prematurely?
Many things to consider and again, a great place to practice being your own mentor and trusting your decision making. Listen to yourself, the project, nature, whatever communicates to you that this growth stage is ready to share itself with the world.
There are warnings of announcing too prematurely. Like a garden, our ideas need to be given the time and attention to develop at their own rate, in their own season, so that their glory can be shared by all. Fully developed ideas shine in the light.
So now that you have nurtured your ideas into fully formed versions, use your gifts to encourage others to learn and grow. Feel good about the things you have accomplished on this cycle. Especially the unexpected accomplishments. Maybe those accomplishments are more meta than tangible results. Sing your joys of accomplishment and shout them with pride. Share these findings with others, they need your encouragement just like you do.
While feeling this pride and enjoying the fun of sharing your work, remember to recognize those who have helped you along the way.
What needs to be done to propel to the next stage?!
- Are you ready to keep this ball rolling?
- Have you gathered information about how you would like to evolve this idea again through this cycle?
- Do you have other ideas from the Egg Stage you would like to work on next?
- Do you have questions you seek answers?!
- Let’s go!
Whenever you are at any crossroads and determining what step to take next, review these stages and think to yourself, “Does this fit me? How does it feel if I was to execute this stage?” No answer can hurt you, it really is about some stage that will promote your well being better than others at a particular time and place. Not only that, but you can also be involved in these growth stages in multiple areas of your life – with yourself, a project, or in a group such as your team at work.
Something that can be favorable to keep in mind and help prevent tunnel vision on certain quests is to review occasionally if your project still serves your goals. Is it bearing fruit, or is it worth it to keep working on it trusting the fruit is coming?
Trust yourself to gage which stage you’re at and give yourself the grace to make a change later on. With sincere gratitude, you will be finding abundance and growth ALL around you! You’ve got this honeybee!