I mentioned success fires in a previous post but I think they are so important that they deserve their own post.
I used to use success fires about a year ago and I have no clue why I stopped, I recently started using this method again and it works better than anything else at increasing my motivation. I first heard about this idea in the book the motivation hacker. In the book, it was called a success spiral instead of a success fire. I renamed it because I believe thinking of it as a fire helps explain it better.
What is a Success Fire?
Basically, a success fire is an imaginary fire that is fueled by your goals and accomplishments. Every day you achieve your goals, the bigger and brighter the fire gets. The bigger your fire is, the more you will be able to accomplish because the motivation from your past successes will keep you going. You will get to a point that any goal seems achievable.
What Kind Of Goals Should You Make?
I personally use daily goals as most of the fuel for my success fires. Things like read at least 15 minutes a day, and write at least 200 words per day. Since I do these things daily they become habits much faster than if I did them scattered throughout the week. You can use an app like Habitica or Habitbull to keep track of your daily goals, I use Habitica since it syncs across all of my devices.
I really recommend using daily goals to start, but once you progress in the fire building process you can start to add larger standalone tasks to your fire.
Starting Your Fire
The most important part of building a success fire is when you first start it. When you start a real fire you need to use small twigs and kindling, the same is true for a success fire. You should start off with goals to do daily that are very easy to achieve, this will be your kindling. If you start off with goals too big that is like putting a huge log on top of your fire. It might burn a little but you will end up smothering and putting out the fire with that log.
Why Does This Work?
What you are doing while you are starting this fire is building habits. That’s how this fire functions, it stacks habits on top of each other. Once you start making some of your daily tasks into habits you don’t really need to think about them anymore. Once this happens you can add something new to you list of things to do.
Accomplishing your goals everyday really increases your motivation to get even more done. With each successive accomplishment, you will feel your fire grow. As it grows the better you will feel and the more confident you will be in your abilities. This will allow you to accomplish things you never thought you would have been able to before.
But I should warn you to be careful in making sure your goals are achievable for you, because if you don’t accomplish your goals that is like throwing a cup of water right onto your fire. Too many cups of water and you will need to start over. It is much easier to put out a campfire than it is to start one. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push yourself though. As your fire grows you will be able to accomplish more and more so your goals should also increase accordingly.
Basically, Once you have gotten your fire going with all the kindling, you can then start to add in sticks and small pieces of wood. When you are done doing that your fire should be strong enough to finally handle that big log. Eventually, your fire will be big enough to engulf anything you throw at it and you will feel unstoppable.
I hope you will be able to grow your fire into a huge forest fire that destroys everything in its path.
P.S. I do not condone the starting of real forest fires, this is just a metaphor.