The first time I came across the word 'life cycle' was in primary school. It was the life cycle of a butterfly - called metamorphosis.
Till date, it is one of the most fascinating topics I have read in Science. It is interesting to learn about at how an egg goes through its journey of life evolution through the stages of larva, pupa and emerges as a beautiful butterfly. And if you have had the opportunity to see these stages of the life cycle in the real-world (I did at a butterfly garden) - you will agree that it is simply marvelous.
As I grow older, I understood a few more aspects about this life cycle.
One, there is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes as part of any life cycle. More than what meets the eye. More than what you will ever know. More than what you can fully understand!
Two, is the emergence of the butterfly the end of the life cycle as we learnt it? So what happens to the butterfly after it emerges from the cocoon? There definitely is more to the life of a butterfly beyond coming out of the cocoon!
In this article - I share my introspection and ideas around life cycle.
Apart from the butterfly, there two other life cycles I remember from school. One was of the frog . The other was of a plant. What I distinctly remember is that both start with the egg / seed which almost always was drawn as a small oval. So to my young and curious mind - it seemed that the starting point of life is similar - be it a butterfly, plant or frog. However, what is also important to recognize is that they all end up of different. So while the start point may appear the same , the end might look very different. This is possibly true for all of us as individuals as we navigate our own journey of life.
If I look at my kids, I observe and identify that very many aspects of their life manifest in cycles. For example - Curiosity and questions. or emotions and expressions. or energy and actions. or interest and disinterest. There is clearly a beginning, a build up towards a high or peak, a gradual descent and then a progressive and natural closure. This pattern repeats itself. Every day! And so every day there is a life cycle - of this , that or the other!
One of the most beautiful emotions one can experience in a lifetime is of love. Love starts sometimes with a bang and sometimes simmers slow and steady, and can then elevate itself to consume you in unimaginable ways. And then, sometimes it can simmer off just as it is supposed to! And this can be love for anything - people, art, dance, books, cooking, travel, politics, finance, power.. It again manifests as a life cycle of its own.
One thing which I am always brimming with is ideas (both in terms of personal and work life) - hence like to call myself an 'ideapreneur' (its a fancy word which always piques interest from others :). I have seen that almost every idea I think about goes through a life cycle of its own. From when it is seeded in my mind, to how I nurture and develop it, to what I do about it in terms of any action by myself or generously share it with someone else who can possibly make better use of it and lastly to how I move on from the idea. Again, a life cycle of its own!
I work in the space of emerging technology and innovation. If I step back and look at both of these, they also have a life cycle of their own. From infancy to maturity - any new technology or innovative solution take their own path. So they will probably go through a journey of being created or discovered, to being nurtured, analyzed, evaluated and understood, to being actively used to solve a problem / address a market need (and sometimes at scale) to becoming obsolete over a period of time. Again, the life cycle is visible!
If I look at nature more holistically - I observe a similar trend of life cycles. Be it night and day. Or seasons. Or tides. Or oceans. Or wind. Or rain. Or shine... Again, they all go through a life cycle of their own.
If I look more holistically - I believe that everything has a life cycle. Beyond butterflies and frogs and plants - thoughts, feelings, dreams, health, wealth, relationships, careers, success, failure, beauty, power, houses, furniture, food, ideas, businesses, technology, products, software, mobile apps, nature, seasons, reasons all have life cycles. Our ability to be aware of the different stages of the cycle, accept the nuances of each stage and appreciate the beauty of this will determine how we navigate our own cycle of life.
Today (2 August 2020) is Friendship day. I believe there is a life cycle to friendships too. Some friendships don't go through the life cycle and get stuck somewhere in between. Some go through the full cycle. And some settle down at the best and most beautiful stage of living like a butterfly forever. If you have any such friendships - cherish them. They tend to be few. They are precious. They are to be treasured!
Wishing you a Happy Friendship Day!
PS: Be sure to call at least 5 of your friends and speak with them today. Who knows what life cycle that conversation will take you through!
Nischala is the Global Marketing Head at Wipro. She is a new age marketer who enjoys work which has a jazz and bass of logic, creativity and making a global impact. She is also an advisor / mentor with several global initiatives involving startups, technology consortia and #WomenAtWork communities. Her expertise is to craft and design high impact marketing strategies for emerging and high growth technology areas like blockchain, AI, next generation solutions. She believes the equation to marketing success is moving the dot from mind-share to market-share to profit-share. Her claim to fame is being among India's 2017 Top 100 Brand & Content Custodians, a TEDx talk, being among Twitterati and featuring in several global "Best in blogging" lists. Nischala holds an MBA from IIM Bangalore. You can follow her on Twitter @nimu9