How to Build Fire and Ignite Your Life


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How to Build Fire and Ignite Your Life

Imagine yourself trying to build a barbeque for a summer outing with a group of friends or some family members.

You light a match, and easy as 1 2 3, a tongue of flame emerges from the tip of the matchstick as you strike it against the side of its box.

The next step—which is making the coal catch fire–is not as easy. A single matchstick won’t do it. You will need reinforcements: a coil of paper for bigger, longer-lasting flame; gas over the coal to sustain the burn; more air to speed up the blaze.

This act of building a fire can be likened to our spirit.

Lighting a match is like motivating ourselves to do something. Motivation is a sudden jolt, a one-time dose, a quick spark. Have you ever been to a youth camp? A seminar? A retreat? A team-building session? You may find yourself on a high right after the activities, going, “Oh, yeah, that’s the coolest thing I’ve ever heard, can’t wait try out such awesome stuff!”, and then after a week or two completely forgetting about it. “Huh, what? Oh, yeah, that.”

Making the coal catch fire is like empowering ourselves to make a much-needed change. Empowerment is a more gradual, complex process that requires a click from the inside, a deep-seated decision, and some major willpower. Take that youth camp, seminar, retreat or team-building experience as an example. The high energy will fizzle out in no time if steps aren’t made to reinforce it. We should take action and make changes in ourselves or we will always be going “Yeah, I know, but I can’t do anything about it.”

Sure you can!

Okay, let’s think of a more specific scenario for this. Say you’re feeling low. Dejected. Lower than scum. Your confidence has plummeted to near zero. You feel like you’re good for nothing, and it’s starting to show in your ways and in your work. There’s an array of possible reasons why you feel this way. It could be bullying at school, frequent scolding at home, reprimand of superiors at work, hostility of colleagues, or even unrequited love.

Reprieve may come in the form of a heart-to-heart talk with a friend, a good movie, a stimulating story, an energizing summer camp, or a learning-filled seminar. There will be a flicker of inspiration somewhere inside you, that’s for certain. Something that tells you to stop feeling so negative about yourself. And for a while it works. For a while you’re motivated to change the way you’re thinking and acting. But unless you decide that the change will be ONCE AND FOR ALL as well as FOR GOOD, then the flicker will go POOF!

Since we are on the subject of fire, why don’t we take that acronym to better help us with the concept of empowerment?

  • F – fight.

    Fight your fears. Fight the negativity. One tool that can help you with this is using Positive Self-Incantations. These are basically statements about yourself that are stated in the positive. Examples are: I am strong. I am smart. I can do this. I am good enough. Repeat these until you truly believe them. Repeat these until you see how true they are.
    While you’re busy affirming yourself with your incantations, remember to keep its opposite away. Let go of negative thoughts, including people, and experiences that stop you from achieving your full potential. Focus on the positive. As Oprah Winfrey said: Surround yourself with people who lift you up instead of pull you down.

  • I – improve.

    Feeling inadequate? Then learn more. Be more. Improve yourself. Focus on what you want to achieve and not on what other people think—unless they mean to help you. Bear in mind this quote from Frank Sinatra: The best revenge is massive success. So whatever or whoever is bringing you down right now, show them what you’re made of when you make it big in the future.
    But also remember that no one is perfect. Look into yourself and appreciate your good qualities. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself. You deserve some credit. Life is hard, and we’re all trying our best to make our way into this world.

  • R- responsibility.

    Take charge. You are the master of your own life, so can choose which way to go. If you’ve been wanting to do something for a while, take it from the uber popular Nike slogan: Just do it. No more excuses. If you make mistakes, own up to them and then rise again. Think that failure is just life giving you points for feedback. Change it up then give it another go.
    This might actually be the trickiest part. This is equivalent to the coal finally catching fire, because this is the factor that turns the switch on inside you: when you finally acknowledge that it’s all up to you. Ultimately, it’s your choice whether you move forward or stay where you are.

  • E – energy.

    Albert Einstein, brilliant physicist (but apparently oblivious of the need for a hair comb), is rumoured to have said that “everything is energy.” Proof of the original source has yet to be found, but whether he said this or not, it still rings true. Give positive energy and it will come back to you. Let’s simplify it a bit by using this one thing you can throw that you’d be glad to bounce back right at you: a smile. Automatic day-brightener, right? So go on and throw more good things! A kind word, a compliment, a greeting, a hug, a little spring in your step.

If you’re down, (let’s face it, some days are really just like that), gather your energy and attack it with as much enthusiasm as you could muster. Be your own cheerleader! If your confidence is at an all-time low, say, you’re not 100% sure about what you’re doing, then take an NLP tip: fake it ‘til you make it. Just as your thoughts affect your actions, it also goes the other way. Your body can also influence your mind. So change your physiology, change your state. Again, let’s keep it simple. Let’s say you’re in the middle of a lecture and you’re feeling sleepy. Oftentimes all you have to do is to sit up straight and feign alertness, and eventually you become more alert. But if you give in and slouch, then your body processes slow down and you’ll surely doze off.

You could also relate this to the blue pill and the red pill. Try envisioning yourself being offered two different pills: the first one is red and the other one is blue. The blue pill would assure you of your stay in your comfort zone where there’s stagnancy and minimal to no changes in the current situation you’re in. The promise of the red pill, on the other hand, is to provide you some incredible breakthroughs in your life. But of course, that would require a lot of changes, more risks, and greater courage. Moreover, it would ask for you to learn how to fight, to continuously improve on yourself, to take responsibility, and of course, to use energy wisely. Inevitably, you have this immense need to include FIRE in your life to experience breakthrough.

So the next time you encounter difficulties, are confronted with challenges, or faced with goals, think of fire.

Will your drive fizzle out quickly, or will it blaze brightly?

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