Your Fire is Never Out

Published on 7 July 2024 at 07:45

‘I thought my fire was out, and stirred the ashes…I burned my fingers’

Antonio Machado 1875-1939

Around 3000 gigs ago, egged on by Machado,  with a sense of theatre, treading the boards, I came up with an ending I really liked, and I’ve pretty much stuck with it ever since, for every gig.

Whether a motivation talk at a conference or hall, a sales or leadership training session in a country house hotel or a service station motel, or a magic show in a club or on the street, I’ve always left people with the same message, simple and heartfelt, linked with a strong visual, burning the message in.

“Here we are, the end is just a couple of minutes away, and there are just a few words now I would like to leave you with”, I say, knowing people will listen more if they know it is an ending.

“Imagine there was a Secret Scroll, an ancient text, discovered in a mystical other worldly land without a name, and passed down through the ages, to just a few, passing on the secret of a life well led.”

As I talk, a scroll appears in my outstretched hand, and I look at it with reverence, not taking my eyes off it, completely still, freezing the moment, and I’m  silent, creating attention and tension.

I look back to my audience, with a big smile, and a shrug, as if to say I’m kidding, and then my eyes flash back to the scroll, and it bursts into flames, bright red, and fierce, right there on my hand, and just before it disappears, with just a whisper of smoke, leaving no trace, I deliver the end line.

“I was born to tell you this”, I say, quietly, smiling, like I’m joking, pausing, “you have a fire within.”

I’ve always loved the idea that we each have a fire that burns in us through our lives, and beyond, burning brightest when we discover in ourselves a sense of purpose, and never, even in the toughest, lowest of low, days, dying out.

It’s an idea that sums up how I’ve always felt, and I bet a shiny, fake, silver dollar, that in those times that you knew what you wanted, something that mattered, and you began your journey towards it, you’ve felt it too.

So, Dear Reader, be happy, stir the ashes, set out somewhere you’ve never been, light a fire.



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