Life Transformation – from Caterpillar to Butterfly

butterfly or caterpillar

Butterfly or caterpillar, which would you rather be? Are you wondering why I would even ask that question? Well, let’s think about the differences between the two for a minute.

A caterpillar crawls from leaf to leaf, eating, sleeping, and crawling. He does the same thing, day in and day out, not realizing that anything else is possible. A butterfly, on the other hand, goes where it wants to go, and drinks nectar from the choicest flowers. Some butterflies travel thousands of miles to spend the winter in a warm, sunny climate.

Clearly, the life transformation between the two is extraordinary. What is even more extraordinary is the fact that the butterfly was once an ordinary caterpillar.

Programmed by instinct

The caterpillar has no idea that, hidden in his genetic structure is the potential to become a beautiful butterfly. After all, he was born a caterpillar and that’s all he has ever known. Even if a butterfly lands right next to him on a leaf, the caterpillar simply cannot grasp the difference. It’s outside of his frame of reference.

When instinct finally moves him to build a cocoon around himself and begin a life transformation that will completely change his life, he still doesn’t know what is going on. That is because everything he does is according to instinct. He does what he is programmed to do.  Unlike you and me, the caterpillar does not have a choice.

In the absence of instinct

In our case, instinct is not usually enough to bring about a complete life transformation. Fortunately we have something more than instinct. Unlike that caterpillar, we have freedom of choice. We also have the ability to comprehend that more is possible. Even if we have never lived the life we truly desire, we still recognize that such a life is possible.

Somewhere inside of us, we are all convinced that a life of true fulfillment and satisfaction is our birthright. So, for us, the question is not so much, “is it possible,” but rather, “how is it possible?” How do we go about transforming our current existence into the life of our dreams?

Never mind the odds, they’re irrelevant

If everybody around us was living a happy and satisfying life, it would seem like a much more realistic goal. But that’s not the case, is it? In fact, most people’s lives more closely resemble that of the caterpillar, rather than the butterfly. And just like a caterpillar, they don’t really comprehend that a total life transformation is possible because it is outside their frame of reference.

Don’t let the lack of obvious examples lead you to believe that living the life of your dreams is not possible. The choices that other people make have nothing to do with what is possible for you to achieve. If you make different choices, you can achieve different results. So then, odds have absolutely nothing to do with your ability to experience a life transformation. In reality, it all comes down to personal choice. Of course, when we make a choice, we need the knowledge to back it up. I could choose to be a molecular biologist, but my choice would never become a reality if I did not acquire the right knowledge.

What kind of knowledge?

When it comes to making a life transformation, certain uncommon skills are required. So, we usually need to acquire the right kind of knowledge and then apply what we learn to develop these uncommon skills. As you know, I call them advanced life skills.

Most of us have been denied this knowledge, and as a result, most are lacking in these skills. That doesn’t mean that these skills are difficult, it just means that through the normal course of our life we have never had the opportunity to learn them.

What would you do if you were given the opportunity?

The funny thing about opportunity is that it only has value if we take advantage of it. How many missed opportunities can you look back on? I think we’ve all missed our share for one reason or another.

If you were given the opportunity to break through your current obstacles and radically alter the quality of your life, would you take advantage of it? I am convinced that you would because everyone who reads this blog and subscribes to my newsletter is actively seeking ways to improve their lives.

Your choice, caterpillar or butterfly!

It’s my job to provide you with opportunities to gain the knowledge and develop those uncommon life skills for accelerated personal growth. It’s your job to choose what you want to do with those opportunities. At some point we all have to make a choice.

Do you want to go on searching or hoping as life passes you by? Do you want to continue gathering bits and pieces of useful information, and trying to put them all together for yourself? Or, are you finally ready to make a personal breakthrough and create your own life transformation?

Personally, I think you are ready!
What do you think?
The lines are open!

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  1. Robin Easton June 14, 2011 Reply

    Dear Jonathan,

    This post just rocks. I LOVE these lines. They are key to setting ourselves free to fly like the butterfly. — “Don’t let the lack of obvious examples lead you to believe that living the life of your dreams is not possible. The choices that other people make have nothing to do with what is possible for you to achieve.”

    I remember being about 18 years old and my Dad said almost the exact same thing. I NEVER forgot it. He said something to this effect, “Just because someone doesn’t respond with enthusiasm, or interest, etc to your ideas or inspirations, or creative projects, or…simply to YOU, that does NOT mean that you, your idea, your insight, or creative project is not brilliant or good. Sometimes people cannot FEEL or respond to what they have never known or experienced. So always trust your heart, even if ALL around you do not respond at all.”

    At that age, I wasn’t even fully sure what he meant, BUT something inside me KNEW it was important, and I never forgot it. The longer I live, the more I see the truth of it.

    We must trust the inherent or innate genius stored in our cells. Even if can’t always feel it, we must trust that stored in our cells is all that we need to FLY, just as the butterfly flies.

    Beautiful post, very life affirming.
    Thanks Jonathan.

    • Jonathan June 15, 2011 Reply

      Hi Robin, my mom used to say “If all your friends jumped off a cliff would you jump with them?” Sad to say, that’s a good metaphor for how some of them chose to live their lives.

      We must celebrate our individuality, without it life would be so boring. Frankly, it’s impossible to imagine you being anyone else! We should each try to be the best possible version of ourselves. That is the gift we each have to offer.

  2. David Stevens June 14, 2011 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,
    You have covered all the bases here. From the embryo to full Life. Choices & opportunities are marvellous things especially when you know that you have them!
    be good to yourself

    • Jonathan June 15, 2011 Reply

      Hey David, powerful point nestled in there, “especially when you know that you have them!” Not knowing that we have them or not understanding how to use them definitely creates a confining reality.

  3. Scott June 15, 2011 Reply

    I was so glad to see “Never mind the odds, they’re irrelevant.”

    I hear the opposite of that so often from so many people. The fact of the matter is, most great individual and small group achievements were done against the odds. We are at our very best when we’re defying the odds.

    If the odds are anything greater than zero, someone has to be the exception, right? :-)

    • Jonathan June 15, 2011 Reply

      So right Scott, besides, so many times odds are made up of irrelevancies when it comes to individuals. Don’t get me wrong, I am not going to challenge the odds and try to make a soft landing off a ten story building. But when it comes to making things happen, I think the field is wide open.

  4. Lynne June 15, 2011 Reply

    “Sometimes, a little extra effort is precisely what prepares us for the next obstacle to be faced. Anyone who refuses to make that effort, or gets the wrong sort of help, is left unprepared to fight the next battle and never manages to fly off to their destiny.” -The Butterfly Effect

    Great insights btw. :)

    • Jonathan June 15, 2011 Reply

      Hi Lynne, your comment made me think of the way a butterfly must struggle to break out of his cocoon. Then he needs to rest and become aware of his new reality before he can fly. Without the struggle he won’t be strong enough for his initial flight.

  5. marc June 15, 2011 Reply

    Great post again! It is full of advanced life lessons about how we can grow as human beings in a natural way in the similar way as a caterpillar grows to a butterfly. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jonathan June 21, 2011 Reply

      Glad you liked it Marc, thanks for your kind words.

  6. Nancy June 18, 2011 Reply

    Love the way you allow people to think my friend Jonathan,

    A Butterfly for sure for me – for I have lived in this manner for well over 2 years – choosing different cities and moving with only the clothes that I wear and my computer. New people, new town, new adventures – for I chose this for myself and have been in contact with the most fabulous of people!!!

    Yes the choice is ours and transformations do happen with the choices we make!

    In love and light,

    • Jonathan June 21, 2011 Reply

      Hi Nancy, I had no idea you were living a location independent lifestyle. I find this piece of personal insight fascinating!

    • Scott June 21, 2011 Reply

      Once my son graduates from high school, my wife and I are very much considering doing this. I don’t know that we can strip it quite all the way down to clothes and computers, but even just what you can fit in a small U-Haul would be pretty cool.

      How do you deal with furniture and the usual home accessories (dishes, linens, etc.)? Do you rent a furnished place? Rent the furniture? Craigslist/Freecycle/garage sales? I’ve had the thought before that actually re-furnishing your house that way might actually be cheaper than moving all your stuff!

  7. Kristi Hines June 21, 2011 Reply

    Maybe we all have to be caterpillars before we can appreciate the true freedom of being a butterfly. I definitely feel like a caterpillar now, but I am on my way to the cocoon!

    • Jonathan June 21, 2011 Reply

      Hi Kristi, how interesting that you see yourself that way. I see you as a butterfly who has left her cocoon far below as she climes to ever greater heights.

  8. Vivian November 19, 2012 Reply

    This is a great read for me, perfect timing. I am on going to fly like a butterfly. Thank you so much for this beautiful insights.

    • Jonathan April 8, 2014 Reply

      Thanks for joining us Vivian and for your encouraging words!

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