The Fire Starter Sessions

Summary Written by Kira Hug
"Success is messy. Career visions spill into lifestyle choices, mash into spiritual paradigms, and ride on top of relationships. It’s all interconnected and paradoxical. And promising."

- The Fire Starter Sessions, xxv

The Big Idea

Bring your Whole Self to the Game

"If you try to keep your most sacred ambitions off of your calendar and your most genuine traits off of your resume, then you’re missing out on the power of real integrity."- The Fire Starter Sessions, xxvii

When’s the last time you celebrated your idiosyncratic-isms? It’s been a while, eh?

We live in a world where it is normal to Photoshop our eccentricities out of photos and relationships. We hide weaknesses. We gloss over insecurities. In the workplace especially, we cover up tattoos with Oxford shirts, steer clear of controversial conversations that may close doors, and worst of all, we hide our true passions – right under the dusty fax machine. Who faxes nowadays anyway?

Your contradictions make you gorgeously multidimensional. If you want to live boldly and spherically, take your whole self into the future, without hiding integral elements of your life – your faith, your scars, your light.

As Danielle says beautifully, “When we integrate all of the aspects of our beings, we expand. Cosmic love and worldly ambition, consciousness and cash, high standards and compassion – this is where it all comes together.”

So how do you show up in the office? What about your home? If you’re showing up as two different people, you may be hiding pieces of your whole self.

Insight #1

Crushing Competency

"If it doesn’t light you up, you’re not the right person for the job."- The Fire Starter Sessions, page 23

I used to believe that being well-rounded equaled mega success. I was even voted Best All Around in high school because that’s what I thought mattered the most. Barf.

Let’s be real. If you are “good” at something, it doesn’t mean you should saturate your life with it. And if you’re reading these words, you’re probably good at many things. Maybe you’ve even tricked yourself into believing you enjoy the work you’re good at doing. After all, your boss goes gaga over your analytics reports so maybe you should learn to love data…

It’s an easy trap to fall into and can lead down a dark path far distant from the actual things that make you feel like a supernova. Like writing. Or cluster ballooning. Or problem solving. You get the idea.

Letting go of our need to be competent in multiple areas of our lives is the first step needed to move closer to our true calling. How many tasks that you’re “good” at completing (even though they infuriate you) can you eliminate? Even if you can’t outsource all of these elements in your life, at least stop striving for perfection in them. As Danielle used to tell her staff, “Be careful what you’re good at – you could end up doing it for years.”

Allow yourself to unabashedly shine in the core areas that truly make you feel electric. Ditch the rest. Be ridiculously inept at Excel. Stop trying to act like Martha Stewart even though entertaining makes you want to curl into the fetal position. Allow yourself to burn lasagna … and then laugh about it, of course.

But push, push, push forward with your desires. Your passions. Your light. If you’re used to the well-rounded life, this new drive and perspective will lead you into unchartered territory: the new masterful you.

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Insight #2

Choosing Ease

"The easy way is a direction that leads to spacious places."- The Fire Starter Sessions, page 78

No pain, no gain, right? That’s what I always believed until reading this enlightened lesson.

If you’re hitting a ginormous brick wall every single time you work on project X, maybe it just isn’t into you. In other words, if you have to try really hard to be good at something, you’ll never hit Rockstar levels of success. And isn’t that what we are all aiming for?

If you follow the metric of ease and tap into your true strengths, you will have the ability to feel powerful and create work of mammoth proportions. Let it be easy. Allow your energy to focus on the work, not the battle. Ask yourself these questions: Does this come easily to me? Or, does this make me feel weak? These questions will guide your work and daily purpose.

Of course, this philosophy does not give you permission to slack off and watch reruns of Seinfeld on the couch – just because it’s easy. You still need to work your buns off on the work that matters, the work that makes you stronger, the work that will make a difference.

Yes, crushing competency and choosing ease are important, but there are numerous other valuable lessons in this book that have resonated with me. They will probably resonate with you as well.

Read the book

Get The Fire Starter Sessions on Amazon.

Danielle Laporte

Danielle LaPorte is the outspoken author of the forthcoming book The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide for Creating Success on Your Own Terms (from Random House/Crown). A business strategist and inspirational speaker, she’s the creator of The Spark Kit: A Digital Experience for Entrepreneurs and co-author of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. To date, over a million readers have visited, lauded as “the best place on-line for kick-@ss spirituality.”

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