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Set Yourself on Fire

Set Yourself on Fire

Set yourself on fire to achieve real success in life

    Have you heard of a guy called Fred Shero?

    No?  Until recently, me neither. I’m not a big sports fan and Fred was a hugely successful Canadian NHL player and coach with a string of many hundreds of wins and numerous awards and accolades to his name. Pretty good going, but it’s not his sports record that I admire.

    What I love Fred for is something that he once said:

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    “Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first set yourself on fire.”

    Reading that sent lightning bolts through my spine, as there have been many times in my life when I’ve been sitting back, subconsciously waiting for the world to bring me the success I thought I wanted. To be completely honest with you, even now I sometimes find myself expecting someone else to ‘set fire’ to me, waiting for spontaneous combustion rather setting myself on fire and finding my own success.

    I have to catch myself when I slip into that way of thinking before it sets in, because Fred’s absolutely right.

    People all too often wait for success to happen to them. “If only it would fall into place…”, “Surely someone will discover who I am and what I can do soon…” or “Just a little while longer and it’ll all come good…” are examples of the things we say while we’re waiting for success to come along.

    Of course, the big thing I’ve come to learn is that it doesn’t work that way. Finding success – real success – isn’t a passive thing. It’s not something that happens to you like watching a movie or getting your hair cut. Finding success is something that happens in you.

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    Here are 4 things for you to think about:

    1. What does success look like to you?

    What comprises success? How much of it is material? How much of it is emotional? How much of it is spiritual? Get specific about what success does and doesn’t mean to you.

    2. Imagine yourself towards the end of your life

    Picture yourself towards the end of your life as happy and content as you can be. What is it about that future you that tells you as clear as day that they’re happy and content? Picture yourself walking up to them and asking them what it is that allowed them to reach that point. What single piece of advice can they give you?

    3. How focused are you on working on your success?

    What are you willing to do to get the kind of success you want?  What are you waiting for the world to deliver to you so that you can have that success?

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    4. Are you driving your success?

    How would it be if you were driving that success rather than waiting for it?  What changes do you notice in how you do things and how you feel about things?

    I’m not suggesting for one minute that you can’t ask others, the world, the universe or whatever higher power you happen to believe in for help.  I’m not even suggesting that you become wholly focused on working towards your success. That’s missing the point.

    The point is that we humans tend to be focused on working towards happiness and success and assume that until it comes along we have to spend time being unhappy, suffering or struggling.

    You don’t have to struggle…

    The truth is that things happen much easier and more readily if we don’t struggle, suffer or assume unhappiness – the assumption that you need to struggle or fight for your success is a false one. Real success comes much easier and becomes more consistent when you operate straight from that place of success instead of assuming it’s out there in the world somewhere.

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    Go after what’s important to you and get going on all those shiny things you’d love to have, do and be in life, but recognise how much more pleasureable it’s going to be when you’re feeling happy and successful rather than unhappy and unsuccessful.

    Fred got it right. Don’t wait for spontaneous combustion or for someone to set light to you. Dive into your own happiness and success, engage with those things and operate from a place where they’re real and present.

    Don’t wait, set yourself on fire.

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    Steve Errey

    Steve is a confidence coach who helps leaders build confidence.

    New Years Resolutions Don’t Work – Here’s Why How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence 7 Ways to Stop Being Treated Like a Doormat I Like You a Lot How To Muster Your Confidence And Tell Someone You Like Them Stuck in Rewind. 7 Beliefs That Will Help When You Get Stuck

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2019

    10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

    10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

    Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

    In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

    These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

    1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

    Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

    But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

    Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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    2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

    You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

    The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

    3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

    If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

    Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

    If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

    4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

    Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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    To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

    In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

    5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

    We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

    If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

    Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

    “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

    6. Give for the Joy of Giving

    When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

    One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

    So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

    7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

    Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

    Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

    8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

    When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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    So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

    9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

    Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

    It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

    It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

    10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

    There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

    But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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    Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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    Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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