At 1am, I walked on fire.
I’ve done a lot of personal growth work. I started reading self-help books at age 12, was a peer counselor at age 16, and have spent enough money on coaching in my life to buy a small house in northern California. I’m really, really into this stuff.
So the idea of coming to a seminar with 6000 people was a little… Let’s just say that I was convinced that it would be all the same basic stuff I’ve seen and heard before. Epic fail at adopting Beginner’s Mind. Anyways, I was wrong.
Tony is a total machine — the man can go 12 hours without peeing or taking even a sip of water. That alone is miraculous to see. But beyond that, there was one big lesson that he really drove home — a lesson that prepared us for a 1am fire walk: the importance of state.
This blurry image is a picture of a row of burning coals, registering at a temperature of around 2200˚. For some context, if you’ve ever burned yourself on your oven, the temperature was likely around 450˚. Yeah. You could seriously mess yourself up by walking on fire.
Here’s a picture of me and Sarah, PSYCHED on the other side of the fire. We did it! No burns; no pain.
So how did we prepare?
Yes, we had a strategy — we needed to know how to do this to be effective. But before that, we needed to be in the right state.
In other words, if I had walked onto that fire timidly, full of certainty I’d burn my feet off, slumped over, overwhelmed with nervous energy and fantasies of tripping into the fire… no matter how much I knew what strategies to employ (look up, not down; walk at a normal, direct pace), I would fail. I needed to be in the right physical, mental and emotional state.
Think of something that you want to create. What is it? Think of it now…
To create what you want, what state do you need to be in?
PHYSICAL: What change can you make to your body right now to be in the right physical state for creating what you want? For example, if you’re wanting to empty your inbox, will you be more effective while slumped on the couch or standing up at a counter with good posture? Our physical state sends cues to our brains, letting our mind know how sharp to be. Consider this.
MENTAL: What do you need to focus on right now to be in the right mental state for creating what you want? If you’re wanting to sit down and write a blog post, what will it be more helpful: obsessing over getting your grammar perfect, or focusing on the result you’re determined to give your readers? What we focus on is a choice, and what we focus on magnifies.
EMOTIONAL: How can you flip the switch on your emotional state right now to be in the right emotional state for creating what you want? For example, when having a sales conversation with a prospective client, will it be more empowering for you to be spiraling into worry, certain that they’re not going to hire you, or… excited to be with them, sure that if you bring your full presence, you’ll both discover whether this is a right fit? At a certain point, spiraling into despair is absolutely a choice.
While you get yourself into the state to create, imagine yourself on the other side, having achieved what you set out to accomplish.
Won’t it be worth it to take that first step into the fire?