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On your journey through life you will have many sparks that will ignite your creativity, your goals, and your dreams. The sound makes it move. That is wanting to start something without knowing how it will turn out. When others are “jealous” of your work or skills, it should be taken as an insult.
Most people rely on someone or something outside of themselves to light their fire.
Your desires, your personal gifts are planted in you by God. It is up to you to develop it.
What are the three elements of fire?
1) Fuel – If there is no burner, nothing will burn. Your “oil” is made up of what you are looking for. What do you read, watch, and listen to? Does it empower you or enslave you? Be careful about what you pour into your body and mind.
2) Oxygen – This is the essential element that creates the environment for the fire to continue burning. Your oxygen is the people you surround yourself with. Find out who they are and whether they build you up or tear you down. Cut accordingly.
3) Ignition – A beautiful car is stopped only when there is a light that turns the engine. Your passion is often fueled by wonder and a desire to try something new, or take a part of your life to the next level. How bad do you want something? What are you willing to do for your health, life, finances, etc.?
I had my “first spark” when I was 8 years old. I was at a summer reading camp. During the 15-minute break between classes, I decided there was enough time to climb a beautiful 9-foot tree in the girls’ dorm. I climbed hand over hand and pushed every inch with my tennis shoes until I reached the top of the pole and placed my right leg on a rusty nail nailed to the board.
When I got down, my right leg was torn from the ground and blood flowed down the tree like water. When Nick, who is a counselor, saw what was happening, he ran to the tree and said: “Do you want to break your leg?”
“I shook my head No!”
He picked me up in his arms, called a counselor to call my parents to meet us at the hospital!
In my mind I see my Mom getting into our car, driving 3 1/2 hours to the hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia. While driving he says to himself, “I have to get him out of the trees before he kills himself!”
When Momma got to the hospital, she had a plan!
When he arrived, he saw me sitting on the ground with more than 25 stitches on my right leg. Mom leaned over and hugged me fiercely. He looked into my brown eyes with his beautiful blue eyes and said, “Madeline, if I buy you a violin and give you lessons, can you promise not to charge any more?”
I looked into my bright blue eyes and promised that I would not pay another price if they would bring me a violin and teach me.”
For years I wanted to play the violin and this was my chance. It all started with the 1st spark, landing on a rusty nail. That rusty nail saved my life and was the beginning of my journey.
What was your trigger, the catalyst for your journey?
My second light!
When summer camp ended, Momma came to pick me up with my new little violin and bow sitting on the back window in her bag. The next day, Momma took me to my violin teacher, a handsome, smiling young man, Mr. William Whitson, a violinist and an army officer.
He taught me to hold the violin and bow, put my fingers on the strings, and make sounds on the instrument by pulling the bow across the strings. He did this by showing me how to use it and then telling me to try it.
He also taught me how to read notes on a sheet of music similar to reading a book and taught me at my first violin lesson to play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Ode to Joy.
After my first violin lesson with Mr. Whitson, I asked my Momma to take me to the public library so I could borrow a Beethoven book so I could read all about him. That day was the beginning of my love for reading.
The motivation of Mr. Whitson was the spark, the 2nd helper, the fuel that kept me going in times of chaos.
Many years later at the age of 17, I had the opportunity to perform at the world famous Carnegie Hall. That journey would not have been possible without the investment my mentor made in me.
What examples in your life changed the course of your life?
What sparked Charles Dickens’ interest?
Dickens said, “One person messed with my mind and gave me the tools to write.” At the age of 3, Charles had so much energy that he didn’t want to sleep. His mother had a maid named Mary Weller who worked 3 meals a day and a warm place to sleep in front of the stove. He did not clean the house. His job was to “find a way to keep Dickens in bed at night. He told the best blood-and-guts story of horror stories.” He knew 125 stories but Dickens’s favorite story was “Captain Murderer” and he always asked this story. (Engels, E. (1997). Dickens for Kids. North Carolina: Authors Ink. )
What was his second power?
When he was 11 years old, the debt police took Charles’ father to Debtors Prison in front of Charles. He said, “I will never be poor again.” His mother and siblings were sent to the Marshalsea Prison and during this time Charles was sent to work at Warren’s Blacking Factory for ten hours a day. He had to wear five socks when he worked in the factory, to protect himself from the rats that would bite his socks in the factory. His experiences of suffering, feeling alienated and betrayed are the titles of his books “David Copperfield” and “Great Expectations”. (Claire Tomalin, “Charles Dickens”.)
These two causes helped the future of Charles Dickens by writing books to bring about social change from poverty, child labor, and workhouses. Dickens changed the world through his writings.
What caused Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson?
“In 1995 I had $7 in my pocket and I knew two things: I’m broke… and one day I won’t be.” He decided to constantly pursue his definition of success. First in the wrestling world, then in the movies.
Do you remember that first fire that started you on your journey?
Through your journey there will be many lights to move!
How can you help ignite a fire in others, a fire within them, to take action and take the first step?
How can you be a shining light, helping someone change?
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Who can you help change?
Sparks is the catalyst for change!
1) List your first, second, and third “everything” that changed your life.
2) Like Charles Dickens was there a person or place that inspired your creativity to act in your future?
3) How can you ignite a fire in someone’s life to take action?
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