How to Ignite Fire in Others

We spent time on the Maine coast in a rustic cabin this summer. Even though it was July, one morning was cool enough to start a fire.

Actually, I attempted to start a fire.

The Boy Scouts taught me how to start a fire with one match, but unpracticed skills grow dull. Maybe I still have the skill but lost patience. In any case, I got on my hands and knees and worked at starting the fire.

It flared up and so did I. But experienced fire starters know baby flames flare out. I blew until I was blue and finally gave up.

In the end, I contented myself with the rustic feel of a smoke filled cabin. It wasn’t that cold anyway.

I headed to the shower – half the man I used to be. Ten minutes later my bride shouted, “Guess what?”

I thought a deer crossed the yard. “We have a fire!”

Dripping water, I peeked around the corner. Sure enough, I am a manly man.

Fire starting principles:

Fire building takes preparation.

Don’t expect people to catch fire the first time you mention your brilliant idea. Surprisingly, some people are skeptical.

You think you’re brilliant. They’re wondering how it will change their lives.

The brilliant ideas you have usually change someone else’s life, not yours.

Ask yourself, “How does my brilliant idea make life better for OTHERS?”

Fire building takes patience.

The people who flame up first, often flare out fast. Early adopters grow bored, complain, and throw water on the fire. The people who love you quickly haven’t known you long enough.

  1. Slow adopters stick. Quick adopters quit.
  2. Give people time to warm to your idea.
  3. Seek input. Discuss pros and cons.
  4. Adapt without loosing the essence.
  5. Try your brilliant idea in small ways.

What does it take to ignite energy in others?