top of page

DO YOU LIGHT FIRES OR PUT THEM OUT?




Sorry that I couldn’t get this blog out to you sooner, but I’ve been putting out fires! We’ve all heard it, and if you are like me, you’ve said it countless times. It’s the expression we use to illustrate the hectic demands life throws our way, and what it feels like to handle the responsibilities that come with it.


However, I recently thought about this expression from a completely different perspective. If you receive this newsletter you know that I’m someone who gets fired up when I see something that is “wrong” in the world. People often use the word “empath” to describe these sensitivities, and if you are not familiar with that term, let’s just say that I take things personally. If I see an injustice happening to someone, I feel it as if it’s happening to me personally. I have no idea how I became this person, but I am. Maybe it’s some sort of past life thing. Who knows?


Either way, this “empathetic” part of my being has mostly shown up as a trigger when I see people not being given the chance to realize their potential. For some reason, I take it as a personal injustice when I see anyone not being given the opportunity to fly toward the stars of their choosing. And this is what led me to a life where I’ve tried to help people “boycott what they thought” for the past thirty years.


Throughout that time, I have learned that there are two approaches I can take in trying to get people to expand their perspective and hopefully embrace a bigger version of themselves. The first approach is to try and stomp out the fire that is currently keeping them warm. You accomplish that goal by reminding them that they hate their job, aren’t really satisfied with their relationship or that they are not living out their childhood dreams. This approach can be useful, and I’d be lying if I told you that I hadn’t employed this tactic to inspire change in others.


However, as my roots become more firmly attached to mother earth, and I evolve as a provider of self development, I’ve begun noticing that another approach resonates more deeply within humans. Instead of extinguishing the fire people feel forced to stare at, I’m beginning to learn that it’s better to start a fire they can’t ignore. If I had to guess, I’d say this newfound knowledge came with fatherhood. That, and a newfound ability to wipe a child’s butt on the floor of a public washroom! As my children moved from being swaddled little koala’s into larger feral wildcat’s, I was bombarded multiple times a day with the task of having to discipline. No, cake is not an appropriate substitute for cereal! Why are you chasing your sister with a toaster? How did you swallow that battery? Let’s just say it didn’t take long until I realized I was going to lose this war if I didn’t take another approach.


Instead of putting out every fire they started, I began inviting them to fires they might like better. Yes honey cake would be fun to eat before school, but what types of nutrients does your body need to be fast at recess? I realize your sister can be frustrating, but is there an alternative to solving your problems that doesn't involve electrical appliances? Of all the things your belly enjoys, would you say lithium is at the top of the list? Trying this approach helped me quickly realize that people move faster toward what they want, compared to the speed they run away from the things they don’t. And let’s be clear, building a fire takes more work than putting one out, but as you know the greater the effort, the greater the reward.


Over the years, I have tried as much as possible to bring this approach to the content I offer the world. For example, instead of telling an organization what they are doing wrong, I have aimed to steer their attention toward a vision they have not yet seen. Or in my relationship, instead of making a list of gripes and complaints, I try my best to engage my partner in a conversation of what could be. This is how organizations, personal relationships and people grow. We move toward the flames that reach out and touch our sole. By embracing what feels right, we let go of that which no longer serves us.


What does this mean for you? When you think about the ways in which you try to positively impact the lives of others, are you someone who lights fires or puts them out? Neither choice is necessarily bad, and both approaches will have their own impact. However, I’ve learned one approach is often better than the other. Imagine if we were to begin lighting more fires? Before we know it, the whole world will be able to see!


Much love,


Stuart


 

THE HUMAN CONNECTION GROUP’S QUESTION OF THE WEEK


Pick someone, share this question and create a connection!


" Has there ever been a time in your life when you took a new path because of a fire someone lit within you? What path did you take and how did it turn out? "

 


Connect with Stuart on Instagram and LinkedIn





343 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page