Article 6

Defining and Lighting, Your internal Fire

 

by Talmud Bah Cert Ed FRSA MInstLM MSET MAC

Head of Service Delivery, Smart Choices

 

What lights your fire? And what do we mean by fire:

 

Your inspiration, your passion, your unique motivation…

 

But one persons 'turn on' could be someone else's 'turn off', so let my words be a guide on a journey which is definitely personal…

 

So, what tools do we have/need to find that feeling? We have emotional intelligence.

 

We use our emotional intelligence everyday to instinctively inform our lives and decision making, it tells us what we like, who/what we find attractive, where we feel safe and what inspires us, but what is emotional intelligence?

 

Emotional intelligence

 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, control and evaluate your emotions. 

 

Emotional intelligence: The Four Areas

 

Step one to Perception: 

 

understanding your emotions is to accurately perceive them. This may involve understanding nonverbal signals such as body language and facial expressions.

 

Reasoning:

 

Step two involves the use of emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. Our emotions help us to prioritise what we pay attention and react to; we naturally respond emotionally to things that garner our interest or attention.

 

Understanding:

 

Step three; the emotions that we perceive can carry a wide variety of meanings. If someone is expressing angry or sad emotions, it's down to the observer to interpret the potential cause of their anger and what it might mean.

 

Managing:

 

Step four is having the ability to manage your emotions effectively, which is key to emotional intelligence. Being in a place where you can regulate your emotions, responding appropriately to the emotions of others, are important aspects of emotional management.

 

This is just a breakdown of the innate human capacity we all have and use, to a lesser or greater extent depending on who we are.

 

It’s a bit like being a Jedi without knowing it and Yoda stopping you in the street and saying, " young one…you're a Jedi and you've been using the force the whole time!"

 

Now let's explore some places where you might find your fire or the thing that lights it…

 

You

 

A good place to begin your search is within.

 

What makes you feel good instantly? What puts a smile on your face? What is it that interests you, warms your heart and makes you feel alive? What resonates with you, gets your heart beating and adrenalin pumping? What generates either warmth and happiness or excitement and fear? Or all of the above and then some? 

 

Make a date with yourself to reconnect with 'you' and explore what lights you up.

 

People

 

Sometimes we can learn much about ourselves through our interaction with others.

 

Who are the people that you feel good being around? Do they enhance or bring out the best in you? Do they challenge and excite you in a positive way? Do they support you in generating a sense of well being and invigoration? And vice versa? What kind of conversations do you have with them? What language do you use? Do you come away from seeing them or her/him feeling invigorated, inspired, refreshed and ready to go? We all need different types of people in our lives and it can't always be rosy but, it's important to recognise those in your life that 'lift you up' and generate the desire in you to do the same for others …

 

Places

 

Many of us draw our inspiration, our energy, our fire from environments…

 

Where do you find yours? 

 

In the heart of nature, a jungle or Greenfields? Sandy beaches, blue skies, bright sun and clear sea? A crowded bar, amid laughter and chatter? Or a club with pounding rhythmic bass, blaring beats, swaying bodies and electric energy? wherever it is, find it and go there if it lights your fire…

 

Music

 

We all have songs that get us moving as soon as we hear them, some old, some new…

 

Maybe they hold good memories, maybe it’s the way the songs are put together, that makes the hairs on the back of our necks stand up and give us that feeling in our stomachs…

 

Be it funk, classical, hip-hop or punk, certain sounds or songs just do it instantly for us…

 

So what are you waiting for? Press play and get lost in the music…

 

Art and Media

 

There are books we can read over and over again, because of the emotions and images that the author evokes in us, films we like to watch that make us feel good and inspire us, that take us to places of fantasy and imagination, of narrow escapes, challenging situations, mysterious worlds and characters, maybe it’s a painting or a comic or a graphic novel or a game on our console or phone, maybe it's going online and connecting with our social networks?

 

It depends on the person and everyone's different, but look for your 'fire' where you will, the only limit is your imagination…

 

Fanning the flames

 

Wherever you find what lights your 'fire' I guarantee like all fires it will go out at some point, which is why once you've found what method works for you (and it could be all or none or a mix, of the above) it's important to fan the flames and be ready to relight it when it goes out…

 

Fire safety 

 

Like all things, it's about balance, so by all means 'light your fire, fan the flames!' but don't let it become all consuming, as a controlled and sustained fire generates light and warmth, drawing people close to it, but a blazing fire can burn everything that’s near it, so once you've lit your fire, it would be advantageous to endeavour to keep it in harmony with the other 'elements' in your life…

 

I hope this has been helpful