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  • Founding Fire Part Two: Patience

    In my previous blog, I shared some memories of my learning lessons from my father’s fire-starting skills. Those first fires of the cold season were magical for me, in both how the fire began, and how strong the fire can become. Patience always helps build a fire. There was always the initial bustle to bring in the logs that had been drying. They were heavy as I carried them inside the house, sometimes dropping a branch or two. Those logs were all full of messy pine needles and leaves and dirt from our back yard. There was often a trail of that stuff coming in the house as we stacked the big logs.


    I recall that the fire starting process was always the hardest part. Whether out loud, or in our own heads we would ask many questions: Was the wood dry enough? Was there enough air? How many matches did we need? Does smoke mean there really is a fire in there, or is it going out? When there was none of that special kindling I mentioned in my last post, my father had to be more creative to light those big logs stacked in a tight triangle. Sometimes he would “cheat” with a rolled up newspaper page or two, and sometimes he used some smaller dried twigs, or leaves, or branches to create the fire. Either way, it still took time to get all the pieces in just the right location to spark that small flame that grew into a fire.


    Patience is important in building a fire, and in building a successful life. What was once a healthy fire can become smothered if too much is fed to it. Many life choices falter when a person takes on too much, or has their attention drawn towards too many options. In other cases, fires don’t grow because the wood isn’t dry enough, producing only smoke. I’ve found that giving your self an adequate amount of time is very important in business and in our personal lives. I can think of several goals I’ve had in my life that I didn’t achieve because I didn’t plan enough or didn’t wait long enough so that the idea would “catch” and grow with time. Have you made any decisions in your life that were too hasty, or not properly planned? If you rush things, the core purpose or driving energy can be lost. Consider today what you need to be patient about, and what you might be missing if you don’t let your internal flame of inspiration catch just right.