Fire. What is it that burns inside of you? What moves you? What is the sparkle in your heart and soul that is weaved into everything you do? What is the flame that defines you; that gives you motivation, that pushes you forward, that inspires you? And how do you ignite it?
Finding your sparkle
Before we can talk about firing you up, we need to know what we are working with. Sometimes it takes people quite a while to figure themselves out, to understand how their hearts are put together, and to understand what makes them tick. There are numerous ways to figure this out, but the easiest way for me is to ask you this question: “What is your favourite movie and which part(s) in the movie moves you the most?”
The answers to these questions will reveal much about your inner spark and what the flame inside you looks like.
My favourite movie is the animation How To Train Your Dragon. I have lost count of how many times I have watched it, and sometimes I even have it on repeat. I smile at the same scenes every time, and cry in exactly the same places, even though I can recite the movie from start to finish and know exactly what is going to happen in the end. I get emotionally invested in the characters and what they are going through; their triumphs, their trials, their joys, their heartache. I relive it every time I watch it.
I really do love the whole movie, but one particular scene stands out for me. The first day Hiccup (the chief’s son, who is a misfit, wanted to kill dragons but then realises that he can’t) spends with Toothless (the most feared dragon, who no one has ever seen, or knows anything about) in the gorge where the dragon is grounded after losing a tail fin. Hiccup really wants to make a connection with Toothless, but the dragon will have none of it. Every time Hiccup comes close, he moves away or just gives him a scary glare. Then, at the end of the scene, they meet face-to-face. They are so close that Toothless’s breathing moves the hair on Hiccup’s head. Hiccup tries again, reaching out to Toothless, but again, the dragon moves away and won’t be touched. Hiccup realises then that he can’t make Toothless do what he doesn’t want to do. He keeps his hand outstretched, closes his eyes, bows his head, and, gives the dragon the choice.
Toothless hesitates for a moment, moves forward slightly, but draws back again. And then something heart-warming happens. He makes a choice. He leans his head into Hiccup’s hand and closes his eyes. They connect for a moment. Hiccup breathes a sign of relief, Toothless wriggles his nose, and stomps off. B E A U T I F U L!
Unleash your sparkle
The movie has so many amazing moments and unleashes so many emotions in me. It makes me think of the sparkle that each of us has inside and how the world tries to snuff it out. But if you push through, the fire inside is ignited and you change the course of history. The story of Hiccup and Toothless provides a blueprint of five things that you can do to identify and unleash the fire inside.
First and foremost, I believe we always have a choice. No matter the circumstances, you have a choice in how you are going to respond. Hiccup tried to force a connection point between him and Toothless, but when he changed the situation into a choice, a connection happened. You need to make a choice whether you are going to find your sparkle and allow it to turn into a flame.
You might be stuck in a position that makes you really unhappy, or you have a dream, but fear is keeping you back. You are the only one who can change how you respond to the things in your life. You always have a choice.
Secondly, we need to persevere when we really want something. Hiccup could have given up the first time Toothless growled at him or moved away when he leaned towards the dragon, but he stuck around and finally an opportunity for a connection presented itself. In the beginning, the friendship is beautiful but unfortunately things turn ugly as the story unfolds. His father disowns him, his beloved dragon is captured and bound, and he is an outcast. Only through perseverance does he save his tribe and become a hero.
If you want something, keep at it. Obstacles will come and at times you will struggle, but keep on pushing through. You are stronger than you think you are. Follow your fire.
Thirdly, sometimes your destiny, looks different than how the world says it should. Vikings were in battle with dragons since the beginning and they were taught to fear them, fight them, and kill them. But something inside of Hiccup compelled him to seek out a connection with Toothless. And as he pursued this, he realised that everything they were taught about dragons were built on the basis of lies. Even when an opportunity arose for him to show the village the truth about dragons, the voices of how things are usually done, shouted louder than his. He was born to be different but ridiculed for it. The voices made him believe that he had to deny himself and live up to everyone else’s expectations. But only when he started being true to his heart, he unleashed his sparkle, which changed the essence of his tribe.
Don’t let the voice of the world tell you that you don’t have a sparkle, because YOU DO! Follow your destiny and be bold enough to do so even when everyone around you tells you differently.
Fourthly, you need to have courage to go up against fear. Fear will always speak out against you. There will always be fear when you start walking down the road less traveled. It may be your fear, it may be the fear of those around you. You can either listen to the voice of fear, or you can push through it into a place where your sparkle will catch alight and your flame will be born.
Later in the movie, Hiccup rounds up the other teens and he needs them to fly on dragons, but they are afraid. This has never been done before and even though Hiccup had time to build a relationship with Toothless and learn that he doesn’t have anything to be afraid of, the others don’t have the luxury of time. They need to have courage and go against everything they have been taught.
Trust your sparkle. Push through the fear, have courage, persevere, and your sparkle will turn into a flame.
Lastly, find at least one person who can challenge you to be true to your sparkle. Astrid challenges Hiccup from the beginning. I love the scene where they stand on a ledge and watch the boats sail off to Dragon Island, and she keeps on asking him questions that remind him of his sparkle. Finally, through her pushing, it ignites the flame in his heart and he comes alive.
It is so important to have people around you who will challenge you to rise to the occasion. Through these challenges, what sets your heart on fire will be unleashed.
Spreading your fire
Once you have identified what your sparkle is, and how to turn it into a flame, you have to do something with it. Your fire is your gift to the world. Just like a candle under a bucket is no good to anyone, your gift, if not shared, doesn’t help you or anyone else.
If your sparkle isn’t discovered, and turned into a flame, it will just remain a sparkle. You will go about your daily life, you might even be happy, but you will miss out on a great adventure.
My gifts are motivating others, asking challenging questions, walking the journey with someone, celebrating victories, and helping others to keep their flames alive.
That is exactly what I want to offer you. If you would like to embark on a journey to discover your sparkle, igniting your flame, and ultimately unleashing and spreading your fire – give me a shout and we can have some tea together.
Find your sparkle.
Let the flame be ignited.
Bring light to others.
Share your gift.