I have always been fascinated by fire, it scares me a little and yet its beautiful flames draw me in. It seems so surreal that it can cause so much damage. When the experts walk through the destruction, they want to find the point of origin. The location where the fire ignited brings understanding about how it started and what caused it. The information gained helps to give everyone awareness about the details. In nature, fires are a natural tool brought to bring things to order. In cities, fires are typically found to be set intentionally or by negligence. I often feel anger or despair when hearing of these kinds of fires.
So, what happens when we have a fire in our schedule? Those items/tasks/events that cause our whole day to go up in smoke. We had a day of appointments and yet here we are in a traffic accident, or we got that call to run to the ER, or our best friend calls and drops some earth-shattering news, everything on our list is ash. This is a blip on the screen of life, if it is 1 day, 1 week or frankly 1 month. But what happens when the exceptions become the normal routine? When is our schedule is no longer driven by intention but by the interruptions? How do we flip our schedule from a victim of circumstance to intentional decisions acted upon by reflection of our passions, purpose and calling?
I often reflect on past failures to analyze my part in it. What was out of my control and what did I create with my own hands? And if I created the mess, was it my ego, my lack of knowledge or my natural personality that caused the carnage. As I walk the charcoal ash of my failure and search for the point of origin when I see I am the source, what then?
Awareness is a great beginning! We don’t know, what we don’t know. When we walk through life blissfully ignorant of our responsibilities to these fires, we lose the power to create an environment that sprays repellent on our schedule.
If I am in my kitchen and a grease fire instantly erupts, do I reach for my iPhone and call 9-1-1, do I reach for the extinguisher, grab a lid and put it over the pot? Well, I am sure we wouldn’t start a zoom mastermind to bring all the owners of the house together to discuss best practices. Nor would we put a survey monkey together asking all the
attendees of last week’s open house party what they would do. You would respond, in what you felt was most appropriate. After the fire is out, you can then decide if you made the right decision. So, for the next fire, you could make the same or better decision.
Now, what if you had a grease fire, every night for 1 month straight? What do you believe would be the next right step? Is there a system, a tool or a person that should be fighting our fire for us? Should we even be in the kitchen cooking with grease at this point? How can we do our part to prevent fires?
There are plenty of things we do not control. But we do control our response. So, are we responding appropriately and are we calling in the experts when it goes beyond our knowledge or skill set? Are we letting our ego convince us that we are the best resource for the task? Ouch, that burns!
Did you used to volunteer at the local fire station and set up bingo, so now after 30 days of kitchen fires, you are still the best person to be cooking? The answer to this situation is comically obvious and yet we are the one standing in our own way. Are we focusing on what we do best or are we focusing on doing it all, so that the blame of the fire is yours alone to extinguish? What is driving this?
Having awareness will help you locate your point of origin. What knowledge will you now gain? Let’s
do our part to avoid damaging fires.