Many people in my generation horribly underestimate the work required to make things happen. We are often too focused on trying to work smarter that we forget how to work harder. Success does not come easy, it takes hard work, discipline, and a lot of sacrifice. Last week we talked about passion, the willingness to burn for the things that are important to us, today we will talk about the fire itself.
Massive Action is required.
Massive action is required to forge your dreams into reality. I use the word forge on purpose: in order to make steel iron needs to be forged. This entails creating a fire that burns super hot, with the use of coal, and then repeatedly hammering on the iron ingot until it compresses and hardens into steel. This process creates a substance that is much stronger by applying heat and force. We are much the same way.
Our super hot furnace is the circumstances of our lives. The need for massive action arises from an uncomfortable or intolerable situation. This could be a horrendous working environment, a lack of funds, a painful relationship, or a psychological insight that cracks open our self perception. As our furnace heats up we are entirely burned and consumed by it. Our psyche starts to unravel as we become more and more aware of the need to change. Old parts of ourselves burn off, screaming, as they are consumed by the conflagration of our lives.
This process is extremely painful and distressing. But there is no way around it. It can look like a long spell of grief, an emotional breakdown, a sinkhole of depression or even a relapse. In the furnace our attention is turned towards ourselves and our shortcomings over and over. Every time we think that we have over come it our necks are snapped back around and our eyes remain glued to our wounds. We are called, again and again, to focus, pay attention, we are given so many opportunities to learn and grow.
Once we have found our flaws and burned off our ego’s pain we are pulled from the furnace and onto the anvil. Then we start hammering. This is the massive action. Each strike shapes and molds us. It hardens us, sharpens us, turns our molten core into solid steel. This takes both discipline and precision. We must continue to hammer even though we are tired, we must hammer even if we don’t know how it’ll turn out, we must hammer until we are afraid that we will break. Each time the hammer strikes we are being forged into something much stronger, we are being honed into a tool, a weapon, a work of art.
What happens after the hammering? Either we are thrown back into the furnace to burn off more excess or we are take out into the world to be used. The more we use our tools in the world the more we’ll come to learn their limits and they will begin to wear. So, back to the furnace, more massive action.
The trick to enduring this process is to accept it. Shed your ego, bathe in the flame, welcome each blow of the hammer as a you would your lover’s kiss. The forge can be your home. Pain is a part of growth, if you feel uncomfortable doing something it means you are pushing your limits. It means you are about to grow. Instead of running from pain and fear we could choose to stalk it. To move towards it and hunt it with unrelenting ferocity.
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