When I was much younger, I belonged to a fraternal organization much like the Boy Scouts, which taught wilderness survival skills. One of the basic skills they taught was how to build a fire. Fires are very useful not only for cooking and warmth, but also for psychological comfort – especially when you’re out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nothing but darkness.
There are three essential elements needed in order to create fire from a bunch of sticks: Heat – either from friction, a spark or a smaller flame, like a match. Fuel – the wood or other combustible material. Air – supplied by blowing or fanning to make the heat hotter and help spread the fire.
All three elements are essential. Take away just one and you have no fire.
Accomplishing a goal or realizing a dream is much like building a fire. There are three essential elements needed in order to create reality from a bunch of dreams or goals. All three are essential. Take away even one, and you have no true realization or accomplishment. They are:
Passion, a plan and pursuit.
Passion is the “heat”. It’s that spark or small flame that gets things started. Passion is also what sustains you when things get tough. It’s the love of what you’re doing or working towards. It’s the vision and motivation that continually draws you forward. Take away passion and there’s no spark to get things off the ground or you quickly lose the fervor to sustain you on the uphill climbs.
The plan is the fuel for your goals or dreams. Even if you have lots of sticks for your fire, they have to be assembled in such a way that allows the spark to “catch” and begin the process of combustion. You simply can’t stick a match under a log and expect it to begin to burn – the log is too big. You have to start with much smaller pieces of wood or straw called tinder. Once that begins to burn, you can begin to add increasingly larger pieces slowly until you have a nice warm fire.
Much in the same way, your plan has to include smaller steps or short-term goals which, when accomplished, allow the spark of your passion to catch and begin the process of realization of dreams and goals. Trying to take too large a step initially is like holding a match under a log – it’s not going catch before the match goes out.
The pursuit is the air that helps the flame of your passion burn hotter allowing you to add increasingly larger pieces of fuel (larger dreams or goals) to your “fire”. Just as you must fan the flames of your small fire to make it grow, so also you must take the necessary steps consistently and purposefully in order to achieve your dream or goal. You’ve got to “work” your plan.
Take away air and your fire quickly “smothers” leaving you with just a pile of sticks. Take away the pursuit, and all you’re left with is a pile of unfulfilled dreams.
That’s basic fire building. One more advanced step in the process is using a catalyst to help the fire catch and spread more quickly. Compounds like gasoline, pure oxygen or phosphorus are such catalysts. Can you have a fire without using them? Sure, but it’s sure lots easier to start one with them.
A personal or business coach can be the catalyst that allows you to achieve your goals and dreams much more quickly and easily than you could without them. A coach takes the spark of your passion and through powerful questions and requests, accountability systems and ongoing support helps your dreams “catch” more easily, and “burn” more fervently.
So what’s your “burning desire”? Do you have the passion? Have you made a plan? Are you pursuing your goal or dream purposefully? You must have all three in order to see your dream or goal “catch” and be able bask in the warmth of your accomplishment.