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“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” – Richard Bach

The New Year ushers in new hope, goals, and possibility. Commitments are made to eat better, work out more and grow spiritually all in an effort to become better versions of ourselves.

But the ringing in of this New Year seemed different. Less focused on the possibility and more on all that went wrong in 2016. A brutal political season, mounting challenges globally and the deaths of beloved celebrities: 2016 could not end soon enough for many.

And yet, when we look at history and cycles within nature, we are reminded that adversity frequently pours the foundation for coming success. Perhaps no illustration reveals this truth more beautifully than the caterpillar.

Not long after hatching, the caterpillar must shed its hard outer shell. The very skin that kept it safe must be shed to make room for new growth.

Then, in one of the most stunning transformations, a creepy, crawling, hard-shelled, worm-like bug, latches onto something firm, hangs upside down, shifts into a cocoon-like state as a chrysalis and spends two weeks doing “nothing.”

Within this chrysalis stage, the old self-dies to make space for the completely new way of life. Wings grow. Antennae develop. The entire body radically changes from the inside out. Eventually, it breaks out of the shell, enters back into the light, and takes flight as a new creature: The butterfly.

What is revealed in nature is reflected in our lives.

In my interviews as a podcast host travels as a speaker and visits as a friend, others share with me how they’ve utilized their challenges to pivot into an unexpected possibility.

I am thus reminded that we experience our greatest growth not during the easy times, but rather during the struggle, because of the change and often as a result of a forced metamorphosis.

Change can be painful, unwanted, even scary. But it also permits us to break free from who we were, become someone we may not have even imagined possible and take flight into new life. [Tweet this] | [Share on Facebook]

(I recently spoke with someone who knows more about leading change than most. Tom Ziglar is the leader of Ziglar Inc. and son of the late, great Zig Ziglar. He’s helped 2.5 million people lead better lives. It’s a remarkable podcast episode and I encourage you to listen right now. Check it out here.)

One of my greatest transformations began ten years ago when I broke free from my cocoon, embraced my scars and began sharing my story.

With your help, I have grown from occasionally sharing a newsletter read by my mom, dad and wife to a vibrant community of 200,000+ Living Inspired together daily. Together, my friends, this year we:

  • Launched #1 National bestselling book On Fire. Which sold 70,000+ copies and is being translated into 13 languages.
  • Shared the Live Inspired message at 130+ live events.
  • Launched Live Inspired podcast with amazing guests, 55,000+ downloads and hitting top 20 on iTunes, Business.

My friends, I am grateful to be on this journey with you. Thank you for joining me in the Live Inspired movement. I wish you and yours a happy New Year and remind you that your best days and greatest impact are in front of you.

Remember, the Master has called us to be butterflies.

This is your day. Live Inspired.

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Live Inspired Together is a community of friends changing the world together, starting with their own. In a world that often focuses on negativity, John O’Leary - Live Inspired shares the other side of the story through his member-supported channels (essays, Live Inspired Podcast, video, webcasts, social platforms) to connect our community and share inspiration and actions to live it. Support now.