Come on light my fire! And keep it burning!
How to light the fire inside of you? And how to keep it burning?
Days are dawned cold and gray this recent winter. Maybe, if you look outside your window you might ask: Where is the sun (if you live in Germany)? Whether you experience this kind of winter or not, it becomes more important how to light the fire inside of you and keep you motivated throughout 2019.
I don’t know but recently the fire has awakened inside of me. I started to use my time more effectively for the things that I love doing. So, how can you light your fire inside of you? And how can you keep it burning?
1. Physical activity
If you want to start the fire inside of you, there is no denying that physical activity can have many positive effects on you. It can be in form of some lighter activity like walking or trekking or more heavy activity like weight-lifting and running. But the more intense the activity, the more concentration and dedication it will require on your body and your mind.
Physical training has started not only the transformation of my body but also of my mind. Because you don’t grow only in muscle size but also you change your lifestyle. This lifestyle requires you to change most of the things that you have done before. It means for me to wake up every second day at 7:00 am to work out for 90 minutes before going to work. It means drinking enough water and cooking satisfying meals in the morning and evening e.g. eggs, pancakes, and salads. It teaches you to give essential time for recovery. I give myself 48 hours of recovery before the next strength-building exercise. It teaches you persistence. Moreover, your physical body today is not a reflection of your goals, not your desires but your standards: The identity that you desire for yourself. If you are an athlete, you will do whatever is necessary to maintain your identity. But you don’t have to change your identity, instead, you should try to extend it.
2. Mental State
Why do many people don’t achieve the desired outcomes for themselves? Because they are kept by emotional states that prevent them from taking the right actions. They are influenced by self-doubt, fear, and negativity. If you want to achieve your dream results you need to raise your standards and get into the right mental state. Like Tony Robbins, the famous motivation speaker, said: “Your past does not equal your future” (Tony Robbins). Therefore, overcome your fears and self-doubts and start doing what you love.
Once you set the standard for yourself (you don’t have any excuses for your behavior), you can achieve a higher mental state by feeling aligned with the situation that you are in right now. You need to be grateful for every opportunity that you have. You need to feel in general happy noticing your strengths and weaknesses. You can even achieve a positive mental state by using power poses. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy argues in her famous TED talk that by “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, you can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success.
3. Inspiration and Vision
“If you want a special life, you have to do special things” (Gary Vaynerchuk)
To light your fire, you need to get some sparks. Those inspirational sparks can come from different personalities that you admire. It can be in form of friends, family, or known personalities. By speak, reading, and listening to them, you can seek for inspiration. Once you find your inspiration, you are able to develop your own vision. Don’t chase things that just cover your insecurities but instead try to really change the world for the better. Be bold and creative and always challenge yourself. Envision yourself in 5–10 years and write down your desired outcomes. It is important to write those things down so that you don’t lose track of it. Steve Jobs said in his famous commencement speech how to focus on the important things in life and make important decisions:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important” (Steve Jobs).
“You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action” (Tony Robbins).
After you set the vision for yourself, you need to keep track of your progress and set smaller miles stones to keep you motivated. Please always remember where you came from. It helps you to see the changes. But knowing is not enough when you do not take the right actions. Once you set yourself in the right mindset, you can build upon your daily habits and actions. Those actions are compounded. That means that you earn interest and reinvest all your energy again and again. For Albert Einstein defined compound interest as “the eighth wonder of the world” (Albert Einstein). With this ability, you can master many skills. Therefore your time is so valuable for acquiring the desired skills.
You probably heard it a thousand time or even more, but time is your most valuable asset. In an interview with Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, one of the most prolific investors, shares his view on time: “It’s (time) the only thing you can’t buy. I mean, I can buy anything I want, basically, but I can’t buy time” (Warren Buffett). He shows his nearly blank calendar, emphasizing that you should not crowd yourself too much with any activities but rather focus on the important ones and leave time to read and think for yourself. If you want to develop really deep-thoughts, you have to give yourself a lot of time. And keep time for friends and family because “the quality of your life is the quality of your relationships” (Tony Robbins).
Anyone will go through a breakup, illness, or a big loss. Anyone will have doubts. Anyone might feel unnecessary at the job. In those moments you have to be resilient and patient. Always remember “[…] no matter what happens, the sun will rise in the morning” (Barack Obama). Sometimes you will have to be stoic that means you will have to endure pain without showing too much of your emotions. But often people focus on the things that they cannot control instead of focusing on things that are actually under their control. Don’t focus on the obstacles but rather focus on the opportunities because like the Roman philosopher Seneca said: “There are more things, Lucilius, that frighten us than injure us, and we suffer more in imagination than in reality“(Seneca).
So, how can you light your fire inside of you? And how can you keep it burning?
- Be physical active
- Get into a positive mindset
- Seek for inspiration and create your own vision
- Act consistently
- Use your time wisely
- Be resilient
Rather “be ashes than dust”
Last but not least, Jack London, one of the first world-known authors, wrote that “the function of man (women obviously included) is to live, not to exist”. He lived an intense life because “why live an ordinary life when you can live an extraordinary one?” (Tony Robbins).
“I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time”
Fill your heart with joy, fill your lungs with fresh air, awake your taste buds and start moving. No matter where and what time. Focus on your own mission.
Whatever lightens the fire in you, start doing it more.
“Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well” (Jack London).