Editor’s note: This is part 1 of a two-part feature written by Joey Gloor, a trainer who appeared on MTV’s hit show “I Used To Be Fat.” He’s not a dumb meathead. In fact, he’s a teacher and has his Masters in English. He also has #goodguyswag.
We tend to think of butterflies as girly little critters. We usually consider eagles or hawks the alphas of aerial locomotion. But if we look at the life of a butterfly, we realize it has an unrivaled power that transcends mere might. Butterflies are amazing because they hold the power of transformation.
I realize the butterfly is a hard sell when it comes to swagger. I’m certainly not suggesting you X-out your Traditional-American-Eagle-fretted-with-golden-lightning-bolts chest tattoo for a butterfly tat on your lower back. (Seriously, you need to not). However, I do think this humble insect can inspire us all to audaciously pursue change amid despair.
Fresh Start vs. Restart
Regret is real. “No Regrets” (another bad tattoo choice) is a common phrase that’s tossed around almost as much as “Don’t worry, be happy.” Still, mistakes are made and anxiety and sadness afflict us all, at least occasionally. Surviving painful moments does not mean choking down feelings or covering them up with frontages of bliss. And it certainly doesn’t mean perpetually living in regret or dysfunction either. There is a third option, transformation. This means facing your brokenness headstrong, reforming yourself, and moving beyond the mess as a whole new person.
“Fresh starts” is another adage we’ve accepted into our lexicon and our lives. We sleep and we wake, so the fresh start of a new day is intrinsic to our nature. Yet it can be difficult to imagine an all-encompassing restart: Transformation. It is essential to come to terms with transformation, because without it we lack the broad-scope necessary to envision the full depth of our potential.
Ignorance is man’s severest limitation
Ignorance breeds resignation. When dreams die we decide, “We are who we are,” and there’s no path to newness. Effectively, we seal our zeal in convenient pleasures that falsify our happiness rather than pursuing lasting joy as our true selves. Success is not about feigning happiness as you carelessly wander; it’s about finding happiness as you purposefully wonder. Greatness requires more than “positive thinking” but intentional, limitless contemplation (followed by action).
Your ability to accept the limitlessness of your potential will dictate, definitively, the extent of your destiny. All the optimism in the world is useless if you are ignorant of what is possible. For example, a toddler curiously looking at a caterpillar would never imagine that this worm could one day be a butterfly. Such extreme metamorphosis is so abstract and seemingly impossible, that even the unscathed, perfect optimism of a child could not perceive this reality without witnessing it. In ignorance the possibility remains unconsidered. You must consider all possibilities in order to achieve wondrous things! You have to conceptualize limitlessness in order to actualize wondrousness.
As we learn and grow, our imagination and creativity should increase with our knowledge and experience of the wondrous world. Unfortunately, we live often by our failure rather than by the promise of possibility. Christians, like myself, should read the bible and trust we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens” (Phil 4:13). Regardless of your beliefs about God, you cannot deny that life offers you a choice to follow a new path or remain in a rut. No matter where you are- no matter what you’ve done, I assure you: As long as you’re breathing you have a purpose on this earth.
Go to part 2: Do You Need A Brand New Direction?