There are three types of rocks in the world.
Scratch that…there are technically only two kinds of rocks in the world. Well, two kinds of naturally occurring rocks.
Igneous and sedimentary rocks are created through natural means - volcanic eruptions, sediment deposits, etc. So what about metamorphic rocks? How do we get those?
Metamorphic rocks are simply igneous or sedimentary rocks that already existed and are changed. Which might help inform us to how change actually works.
Because metamorphic rocks aren’t formed randomly out of nowhere - something very specific happens to take an igneous rock and turn it into a metamorphic one.
An igneous or sedimentary rock will undergo intense heat or pressure and a significant amount of either of those types of stress will actually change the very nature of the rock into something new.
Metamorphic Rocks = The Process
Heat and pressure, consistently over time, brings an evolution of one form of rock to become another.
You put yourself in a position that creates difficulty & discomfort and you endure it until it creates a new normal. If you consistently practice a tiny habit every day, it will bring forth a momentum to where that habit is now engrained as a part of you. If you want to become a certain kind of person, it will happen through intentional actions that create that person.
Or, if you will, consider how you clean up a messy room - for this is how the process works:
- You enter the mess.
- You pick up one thing at a time.
- You adapt to the new state of the room.
This is what military leaders & athletes refer to in the cliche quote:
“Pain is the weakness leaving the body.”
There is a truth here that creating a new normal, becoming a particular kind of person, will be the difficult elimination of certain components alongside of the uncomfortable addition of who you aren’t yet, but long to be. You envision the destination of the rock you desire to be and that creates the lens for your trajectory and then you confront obstacle after obstacle until you look like more like a metamorphic rock than an igneous one.
You bury the seed in order for it to blossom into a beautiful plant.
The practical application could be put this way:
1. Acknowledge your current state - this is where we can get a lesson from the Recovery Movement.
Proclaiming, “My name is ____ and I am an addict” carries with it an honesty and vulnerability that creates a crisis that you now have to make a decision about. "The Process" begins in the opposite direction of what the Black Knight does in “The Monty Python & the Holy Grail.” You have to enter the mess.
2. Intentionally and deliberately follow your plan (pick up one thing at a time).
You have to be intentional because what you are trying to achieve is not your current state of being and, if you aren’t intentional, you will always drift towards the homeostasis normal that you had previously carved out. An igneous rock will not randomly change to a metamorphic one. You must name your obstacles and then act - you must show up and do the work every day until those deliberate actions become a new homeostasis.
3. Continue until the moment that who you are now is unrecognizable from who you were before.
That's how the process works.
You want to change?
It will not be through comfortable, easy processes, but through intentional discomfort. It will cost something. It will be challenging. It will be you moving through an obstacle that shapes you in a way that you will never be the same again.
Remember, suffering is one of the lead producers of changing who you are.
Because that is how transformation always works.
The discomfort creates a crisis - and a crisis reveals how things are and forces you to accept them or to change them.
So what are you going to do to catalyze the discomfort of change?
Whether it is exercise, creating a new routine, eliminating a substance, taking on a healthier habit or healthier character trait - I share this with you simply to create an atmosphere of acknowledgement - it will be uncomfortable.
And when you get caught in the difficulty & discomfort, you may need reminded that this means you are doing the right thing…this is exactly how it is supposed to work - because you are going through The Process.