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Light Your Fire to Make the Leap



Want to make a bet? Most of your days sound something like this:

Wake up.

Go to work.

Have dinner.

Go to sleep.

Yeah, there’s some variety in there. Maybe you sit on your laptop at night googling all of the fun things happening in politics at the moment. Maybe you give your kids a bath at night or watch TV. Truth is, for most people, despite a few missing details, this is life. Day in, day out.

Dreams fade in favor or predictability and busy-ness. 

“No time” becomes a favorite excuse. Colleagues, friends, and family nod in knowing synchronization. They get it. It’s their life too. 

Comfort is, well, comfortable. It’s like the dip on the couch that fits your butt to a glove. You know it, you like it, you created it. 

Still, if “more” is calling your name, it’s not thinking about what you’re going to do that matters it’s the doing.  

This weekend I was at a conference and was inspired by other’s creativity and drive. However, I met a few caught in a rut that feels shockingly familiar. 

They could do more and want to do more, but frankly, they don’t have to do it. Business is ok, there’s money coming in, food on the table, and a roof overhead. They’ll get to it… probably… eventually… as long as it’s not too much work… or too hard… or too risky. And if they don’t, no biggie. 


Hey, if you’re 100% happy with what you’ve got. Why change

If you’re cool with always running on the same wheel, go for it. 

Where you are today is where you want to be tomorrow? Sit tight. 

If that’s not you, and you’re constantly telling yourself you’re waiting until the time is right? Dude. Stop. Your time is now. Light your fire.

The challenge is, no matter how loud your inner voice shouts that you want to do big things, dream bigger and go for it, it’s incredibly scary (and the just the thought alone can be exhausting). If there’s no burning platform, no fire, you’ll stick where you are. That’s human nature. Heck, making any leap is fearsome especially when life is cozy.

If you’re not familiar with it, the burning platform is a change management concept that’s been around for a long time. Imagine that you’re standing on a platform and there’s no threat. You’ll stay where you are. 

Let’s take it a step further. On your platform, you have all the things you know and create a predictable life. Your laptop, your job, your car, your family, friends, business, food, water. You get the picture. It’s all there. 

Why would you move, let alone leap into the great unknown? For some the answer is curiosity, but for most of us, that’s not enough. You’ve got to light your fire. 

Related: Can You Be More Successful by Simply Being Happier?

10 Ways to Light Your Fire  

Go to a conference

Ideas flow at conferences. Sparks fly and fires ignite. The trick is to implement when you are back at home. 

Set a deadline

Instead of saying you’ll “eventually” or “someday” put it on the books. Get out your calendar and pick a date not to start but to finish. (If you’re curious when the start date is, it’s today.)

Be public with your plans

Tell people before you’re ready. Making things public holds you accountable to taking action. Don’t only share what you are doing but also those deadlines that you’ve set for yourself. (see above!)

Invite people to join you

When it’s just you, it’s easy to stop and let yourself off the hook. After all, who else will notice or care? If you’re going on a journey, invite people to join you. Give yourself reasons to not simply walk away but instead make it work. 

Get on a new platform

The social space gives us a playpen to practice stepping onto new platforms, learning, extending ourselves and our reach. If you’re on Facebook and invest all of your time and energy there, step onto Twitter or Insta. (Notice I said step, not dip a toe…) Build a network from scratch and feel the challenge. 

Hire a Coach 

Find someone who will hold you accountable for playing a bigger game. Someone who will play mental ping pong with you and create a space where ideas and commitment to action grow. (PS. Let’s talk)

Cut Yourself Off

If life had a bar, there’d be a bartender who could tell you when you’ve had enough. Be your own bartender. Ban yourself from turning on the TV for a week or give your phone to your spouse at night so you don’t have access until the morning. Pick one thing, take a break and fill your time with something that will move you closer to that dream.


Immersing yourself in new cultures changes the way you see the world. Inspiration comes from the most unlikely places. You’ll feel a renewed energy that can springboard you when you’re back at home. 

Trade Perfect for Good Enough

One of the top things I hear from clients is that they’re not ready for something new or whatever they’re working on isn’t ready for daylight. What I hear is an excuse. Put something out there that’s good enough, get results and iterate. You’ll feel the fire. Once your idea/product/service is live, you can’t hide anymore.

Set an Interim Goal

Most people won’t make the leap across a gap that feels too far all at once. All you can see is the chasm, not the next landing point. If there aren’t flames where you’re standing forcing you to fly, create a new place to leap. A series of interim goals that continue to make you stretch is just the fire you need to keep moving. 

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