Knowing the Fire is Lit

I remembers sitting in my living room, drink in hand, beautiful wife preparing dinner with my daughter in the next room - I had made it. Years of hard work had paid off. I was doing the work I wanted, making the money I needed, had a great family, great friends, well respected and there wasn't much that I wanted that I couldn't just go and get. This was the life, or so I thought.

I briefly had the thought about what was next, but quieted that "downer" thought down by thinking "now was the time to just take in and celebrate the win". Great advice, but unfortunately, that "time" went from moments, to days, to months. I had stalled in life, and wasn't even aware I had stalled. Anyone looking in at my life would say it was great - family, money, stuff, contribution, respect - I had it all. I was busily working on getting in better shape, which was my standard answer when asked what I was working on - but really, I'd been "working" on that for years.Responsibility

My fire had died out. It wasn't that "suck-hole" of life not working or complaints that usually accompany complacency, but I was stagnant, none the less. The fear stoking my procrastination had simply evolved.

The simple realization, which I had known and than forgotten was that my joy - my fire - came from being in the hunt. We all know the hunt and we all know that experience of truly being alive. Risking big, winning big, focus, drive, determination all bring out that person we know we could be, and who we've always wanted to be always.

There have been different "hunts" in my life, but the experience of each was the same. Each time I'm be on fire while in the hunt, I'd get knocked back a few times, then eventually I'd succeed. I'd feel great about myself for a while, the slowly start to stagnate and the fire would go out. Eventually, I'd get sick of that, then something or someone would kick me back into life, and I would realize there was a next level waiting for me.

  • Hunting for Safety. We all know this one. It is driven by the instinctual need to protect ourselves and our offspring. With the fear of being weak and not surviving in the background, we eventually light the fire to make sure we stay safe. Adequate health, food, shelter, etc. is what is needed to be physically self-sufficient, but it is also what quenches the fire.
  • Hunting for Riches. This drive is also instinctual - the drive to provide for ourselves and our offspring. We fear not being smart or capable enough, which lights the fire to seek rewards. Adequate stuff or money to sustain ourselves and our family is what's needed to be financially and mentally self-sufficient, but it is also what quenches that fire.
  • Hunting for Admiration. This is the last of the primarily instinctual drives - the drive to procreate offspring, for which relating and admiration serves. We fear being a burden on others, which lights the fire of becoming desirable. Once we attain enough success sexually or in relationships, we become emotionally and sexually self-sufficient. As predicted, that fire is then quenched.
  • Hunting for Growth. After we are safe, we recognize that the ultimate security comes from our personal growth. We cycle through attaining various levels of seeing ourselves as wise, with the fire being lit and extinguished for each cycle.
  • Hunting for Contribution. After we've gotten all the stuff we need, the desire to take care of others ramps up. We want to get more so we can give more, or simple find a way to get it for them directly. We cycle through levels of seeing ourselves as generous.
  • Hunting for Connection. When we are no longer seeking the approval or desire of others, the desire to truly connect with others kicks in. Providing love and acceptance becomes as important as getting them. We cycle through various levels of seeing ourselves as loving.

Bottom line is, there is no end to what we could be hunting, so there is always an opportunity to light that fire which we all seek. Quiet the fear, take personal responsibility, then take the actions - the fire will be lit!

Gary Menezes, 2019-07-01 | Posted in General