How To Get Your Fire Back

I sat on the couch in the dark, hating myself.

I felt so stupid:

College-educated, “creative,” visionary… with a wife and kids looking to me to provide not just food and shelter, but to LEAD them into a life of love, adventure, joy…

And I was FAILING.

I felt more a slave at my *business* than I had felt at my day job.

Each passing day shredding my confidence, our bank account steadily draining out like a severed vein in the neck.

All around me, it seemed, men less creative, less educated, less visionary were succeeding wildly… creating the life of wealth and abundance that I craved…

Their success taunting me like a slit of sky glimpsed from deep within a muddy pit.

I had spent thousands of dollars on courses and seminars: millions of dollars worth of knowledge sat there behind my dead, spark-less eyes, wholly inaccessible.

And then it hit me, like a knife in the belly:

I had everything I needed to succeed… everything save one:

The wood was piled high: all I lacked was the spark to set it ablaze.

I realized I had spent all this time piling wood (knowledge), then despaired when it did not catch fire.

It was not more wood I needed, but the means to light the wood already there.

You have everything you need to succeed: all you need is the match to ignite it.

This is how it finally begins:

First, stop pouring over other people’s air-brushed unreality.

Then, mine your own life:

Go back to yourself… to your fearless years, when your eyes blazed like a god’s.

Unearth out your old obsessions.

Dig out your troubling propensities.

Unbury the mysteries and confoundments that fired you.

Invite out the old parts of you that defy reason, the persistent madnesses that even now lie but partially submitted to the world’s cold logic.

They’ve told you these dark arts are unacceptable, even as they crave the things that will never be made without them.

So throw off your desolation.

Unbury your old loves, your bright red bones.

They are the strange tools with which you will build it all.

You think they will condemn you.

You think they will be terrified.

But in secret, they too long for all of this.

So go: spark terrible joy in those who have longed for things unknown and unnamed until now… in so doing sparking the same essential terror and joy in yourself.

Do it.

Do it now.

Your cold unlit darkness serves no one.


  1. Steve White says

    Very good and timely article. I can relate so well. Time to grab my matches.

    • Same feelings. Even if living in Morocco, things looks pretty similar. There is no single definition of being a father.

  2. Why is it that simple words that seem more like poetry than anything can make a person feel like they could set the world ablaze?!?!

  3. Very empowering but wished it read more like counsel than prose. Prose has the potential to ignite but counsel (direction) is the fuel needed to maintain a blaze!

  4. I’m a triple major in the social sciences. My whole life my parents taught me that I should go to school. Hat was what success was in my immediate family. The problem was here was absolutely no game plan for what to do after college. I piled wood so high I could no longer move because I drowned in knowledge. The last year of my life I have come to realize it is inspiration that fills my cup. My savior Jesus Christ, fills my cup, until it runneth over. No matter what your religious preferences, I can feel the Spirit speak through you, Bryan. Thank you for this fellowship. You are a true brother. You are a fisher of men. You are a benevolent Angel, releasing your comrades from their chains and shackles. I can smell freedom. I can feel the warmth from the light at the end of the tunnel. He third way is my path. Thank you. God bless lZ

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