Putting Out Fires

That phrase had a very clear meaning when I worked for the Postal Service on an executive team. Someone was always leaving a meeting to “put out a fire” caused by someone who had mucked up.

Today, I am thinking of a very different kind of “fire” and message. Another way that I could view “putting out a fire” and apply it to my passion for making a difference in the world.

This is something I have been thinking about ever since I heard a speech about fires this past weekend.

Today is the one year anniversary of the day Curtis and I fled our home and our town as the Thomas Fire flames came racing down the mountains toward Ojai.

Last Saturday, we attended a beautiful event held to honor the firefighters who protected Ojai (and the surrounding area) and the amazing love that brought us all together during that time.

If you look at the map, you’ll see Ojai in the “donut hole” that was spared by the fire… thanks to kind winds and the efforts of 4500 firefighters.

At one point during the event on Saturday, a group of firefighters took the stage. They had been center stage for all of us during that awful time. It was through their courage, training and what seemed to me like sheer willpower that the firefighters miraculously saved our town.

That is what the fire chief spoke about. I don’t remember his exact words but he used the word “determination” to describe a quality firefighters share. They just decide they are going to stop the fire in any way they can.

Something superhuman kicks in and they go beyond what seems logically possible to save people, homes and, sometimes, whole towns.

I was struck by his words, his tone and his stance on stage as he described the feeling that overcomes a firefighter. Something else takes over.

Have you ever had that feeling?

I know I have had it in a crisis or an emergency situation. But I also have had that same experience when there is something bigger than myself at stake.

When I care about making something positive happen and I am just determined that it will happen!

I am 100% committed to making it happen for the sake of a higher purpose beyond myself.

I think firefighters are true heroes and I am grateful every day for their service here in Ojai and beyond.

I also believe that each and every one of us is capable of doing great things, going beyond what seems possible, calling forth a determination that defies all odds.

For me, it is my vision of women entrepreneurs shining their lights brightly in the world. I see my Business Academy for women coaches being the safe place they can learn and grow.

To use all I have to offer to be a springboard for their greatness. I know the women I work with will bring amazing positive change to the world. I know they need support to do that.

As the African Proverb says:
If you want to go fast… go alone, if you want to go far… go together

This was another thing that struck me as the fire chief spoke the other evening. He never talked about a single person. He spoke about the teamwork needed to get the job done. I believe that is the only way any of us can bring about the change we want to see in the world. We have to do it together.

I started this message talking about what it takes to put out a fire. I’m ending it describing a different kind of fire… one that actually needs to be started.

This is the kind of fire that you feel in your heart and gut when you think of a dream you have. When you consider stepping up into your own greatness for the sake of something bigger than your fears.

My questions for you today are,

  • What does it take for you to make something good happen using the determination, commitment, courage, and conviction described by the fire chief?
  • What is worth putting your whole heart into… something bigger than yourself… something that brings a positive change to the world?

When you have the answer and are willing to go for it, I promise you, too, will discover that extraordinary experience of something superhuman kicking in to help you create miracles.

I would love to hear about what has you on fire today!

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