If you’ve ever tried to build a fire by simply lighting logs, it didn’t take you long to realize it just doesn’t work. Aside from throwing gasoline on it, it has to smart small—kindling, twigs, sticks—then build.
It’s easy to get frustrated, especially if the fire is the one thing promising you heat in the near future. We often ignore the process under pressure. We want quick fixes. Instant heat. Roaring flames from nothing.
Once the foundation is built, a raging fire will consume just about anything, even wood that’s wet. It’s a lot easier to maintain than to build, too. We know that’s true in most areas of life.
Inevitably, at some point, whether starting for the first time or starting over for the hundredth time, we are forced back to the essentials, the process—kindling, twigs, sticks.
I can think back to times in my life when I felt I could throw anything into the flame and it would be consumed, serving my purposes of getting that fire hotter and bigger. Nothing could stand in my way.
I’ve also found myself staring at coals, blowing with all the breath in my lungs, hoping and praying for it to reignite, wondering what I did to let it dwindle.
We go through these cycles, finding ourselves in front of what seems to be an inextinguishable bonfire, then just the slightest glow of embers. Whether it’s from discipline fading or the unexpected circumstance raining on you, the process to get back is the same.
In business, in our mental health, in our physical health, in every area of our life, we pay our dues to keep the fire going. Prospecting and great service, healthy habits—we often know what it takes. But sometimes it’s too cold and the fire too low to remember how or to have the motivation.
So if today you find yourself on the dwindling side of the spectrum I’m describing, what’s the one thing, the one bit of kindling, when you stop and honestly look inward, you know you need?
It won’t be immediate, but I don’t doubt you’ll be taking a step back from the satisfying heat quicker than you ever thought possible if you just start small and work the process.