TOC Next Previous

Light Your Fire

“If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you
will be fired with enthusiasm.” — Vince Lombardi

This isn’t always true but is true enough often enough. It may
not be true if you are the boss’ kid, the only one who knows how to drive the
truck, or if it’s your ball and you will take it and go home if they don’t let
you pitch. Other than that, think of it as Lombardi’s immutable law of
continuing employment. Oliver Wendell Holmes even knew the source of the fire,
“Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with
fire. It was given to us to learn at the outset that life is a profound and
passionate thing.”

You probably won’t want to take the getting fired up thing as
far as John Wesley did. He is the one who said, “I set myself on fire and
people come to watch me burn.” Even so, John W. Foster’s point is definitely
worth keeping in mind, “One of the strongest characteristics of genius is the
power of lighting its own fire.” Turning into a torch like Wesley is going a
tad too far; but keeping a match handy to light your own fire might be pretty
cool, so to speak. Being a genius certainly can’t hurt your chances of avoiding
the employment ax, if it falls.

If you don’t happen to have a promising future as a genius,
Napoleon Hill offers some useful advice, “The starting point of all achievement
is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just
as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.” You need to have a
strong desire to succeed, a lot of Lombardi’s enthusiasm. As Publius Terentius
Afer pointed out, “There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when
you do it reluctantly.”

Winston Churchill hit the same nail on the head, “Attitude is a
little thing that makes a big difference.” And Robert Schuller drove it home
when he said, “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.” Schuller
could have easily added, “And do it enthusiastically.” Should you be thinking
that the fire you need exceeds your capacity, the popular Anon. has a parting
thought just for you, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way;
if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

TOC Next Previous