T For Transformation
T For Transformation
As a public speaker, I am often asked to introduce myself or say something about myself. I have to admit this is one task I find very daunting. Isn't it enough to just know that my name is Liz H. Wachuka? Anyway, there are times when I get away with just saying my name but others, I have no choice but to add those fancy titles they give us.
So whenever I am asked to introduce myself, I always say four things: I am an published author, an ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor, a Transformational Speaker and a Youth Mentor. Most people have not problem accepting the other three titles, but the Transformational Speaker often raises a couple of eyebrows. A Transformational Speaker is a speaker whose agenda is to provide his or her audience with tools and techniques that help them to change in form, nature or appearance.
Why did I decide to become a transformational speaker instead of a motivational speaker? Because motivation by itself is temporary. Something else needs to happen for motivation to yield lasting results.
What happens when you motivate a fool? You get a motivated fool.
What happens when you motivate a thief? You get a motivated thief.
What happens when you motivate a drunkard? You get a motivated drunkard.
What happens when you motivate a visionless housewife? You get a motivated but still visionless housewife.
The one thing most people don’t realize is that motivation is just a short term solution to long term situations. It is true that motivation can yield you greater productivity (towards whatever your goals are), but only for a limited space and time. But to truly realize a permanent shift in how you act, think, do, and desire, you must be transformed.
That is why today my word for the day is Transformation. T for Transformation.
According to my usual online dictionary, transformation has many meanings but the one I want to dwell on today says, “a marked change in form, nature, or appearance”. These words are actually captured in the definiton of transformation speaker I shared above. In other words, when something or someone transforms, the evidence is visual meaning you can actually see it.
This not being a science blog, I just want to talk about personal transformation.
What is personal transformation?
I'll keep the definition very simple: It's the task of changing who you are and becoming the person you want to be. E.g. from being an obese glutton to becoming a lean, healthy, nutrition savvy person. The process of changing from an obese 102Kg person to a lean 70Kgs person, that is what is known as personal transformation.
For personal transformation to happen there are some few things you must know:
- You need Mental preparation – transformation is not an easy process. It needs resilience, determination, discipline, dedication, focus, sacrifice, mental strength, tenacity and a strong resolve not to give up along the way.
- You must know where you are and where you want to go. You must know who you are now and the person you want to be by a within a specific timeline. For instance, if you want to transform your body from being obese to healthy, then you must know all the factors involved to achieve your goal. E.g. current weight versus your ideal weight; reasons for being overweight – is it because of unmonitored eating habits? What exercises will you engage in? Who will be your coach? What diet will you use? In short, this is where you do a proper plan of how to achieve your transformation.
- It happens in the mind first, then it is realized in the physical. You must see the possibilities first. You need to have a possibility mindset. If for instance you are a drunkard or drug addict who is so tired of the addiction and wants out, but you can’t visualize yourself sober and clean, you will never be able to beat your addiction. Your mind needs to be transformed first for any other area of your life to be transformed. You need to have an "I can and I will" mindset.
- The transformation journey is personal and individual. It’s like having a haircut; you can’t send someone with your head to the barber’s. You have to be physically present if you want a haircut. Similarly, transformation requires that you personally show up daily.
- The journey is strenuous and tedious. There are times you will feel like giving up but you can’t because if you do, you won’t be able to achieve what you need to achieve. Transformation has no shortcut.
A perfect example of the danger of taking shortcuts while undergoing transformation is the story of the struggling butterfly I've shared here below.
Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.
The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.
One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.
The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.
At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!
The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!
As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.
But neither happened!
The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
It never was able to fly…
As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.
What can we learn from this story?
The process of transformation is not easy. There is struggling and hard work involved but this struggling and hard work is necessary in order to build the needed “wings” to handle the person you become after transformation.
- Lastly, Transformation induces motivation. When you start seeing the results of your transformation, you become excited and inspired to do even more.
How do you activate the process of personal transformation?
- Feed your mind with healthy “mental food”. Read books, watch clips, listen to podcasts and attend workshops that equip you with the tools necessary to address your area of struggle.
- Appreciate every milestone. You need to keep a gratitude log for every milestone you hit along your transformation journey.
- Fall down 7 times get up 12. What this simply means is that when you fall along the way like you will, don’t give up and decide to stop the transformation process. Keep at it until you get out of your cocoon like a butterfly. No matter how tough the circumstances are, you have been equipped to handle them if you don't give up.
- Monitor your progress and ask for feedback. These are two very important items never to miss in your transformation journey. Unless you monitor how far you have gone, you will never be able to know when you hit your target.
- Don’t forget why you started this journey. You need to keep things in perspective so as to ensure you don’t quit along the way. That is why planning your transformation and sticking to that plan is very necessary.
I started by asking four questions and I’ll end by asking the same four questions, but this time round instead of motivate I’ll use both motivate and transform.
What happens when you transform a fool? You get a motivated sage.
What happens when you transform a thief? You get a motivated law abiding citizen.
What happens when you transform a drunkard? You get a motivated teetotaler.
What happens when you transform a visionless housewife? You get a highly motivated sharp sighted housewife who becomes a trend-setter to her family and others around her.
Remember like I said, motivation and transformation go hand in hand. Unless you are transformed, then motivating you to remain the same is bad for business. It is my hope that you will choose to be transformed starting from this minute going forward.
To listen to the episode on T for Transformation click here.
Be ignited. Be inspired. Be influenced. Be transformed to become the best version of yourself you can ever be.