Fire In The Belly: Two Big Questions

FireinthebellyIn the early 2000’s when I was first starting to get the itch and the idea that I wanted to do something different with my life, Sam Keen’s book Fire In The Belly, was one of the two most influential books that set me on my path.

Early in the book he details a discussion with his best friend Howard who happens to be very wise about things. The author was in distress because he knew that he was in a relationship that he knew deep down would not stand the test of time. After explaining his situation, Howard told him two stories.

“Once there was a man who loved a woman beyond all measure. He sailed away with her and one day came to an uninhabited island. Leaving her on the boat, he explored the interior and deep in the forest he came across a stone image of an unknown god. It radiated such a sense of power that he fell on his knees and prayed for his beloved; ‘May her life be full and happy. May our love develop in a way that will be fulfilling for her.’ As he headed back he came to a hilltop, and as he looked out across the water he saw his boat and his lover sailing away. His Prayer was answered.”

Then Howard went on with a second piece of advice and this is the nugget that I think about on a daily basis…

“There are two questions a man must ask himself: The first is ‘Where am I going?’ and the second is; ‘Who will go with me?’ If you get these questions in the wrong order you are in trouble.”

Though Fire in the Belly was originally written for a male audience and with a male focus, I believe those two questions are relevant to anyone, regardless of gender. And the order they are asked, even more so.

Where are you going and who is going with you on your path or journey to success in life?

Knowing where you are going or want to go is very important in life. An ancient Chinese proverb state, “If you don’t change the direction you’re going, you’re likely to end up where you are headed.” To get to where you want to go, you have to be the one in the lead. If you get the questions in reverse, you more than likely be going in a direction dictated by someone else and it might not be one to your liking.

Most goals and successes in life do not happen within a vacuum, but ultimately you are the one in front leading the charge to get what you want out of life. Those behind you or even those you choose to accompany you at your side are not the ones driving the ship… you are.

When you find yourself at a crossroads in life, try to remember those two very powerful questions when plotting your course or next move.

Do you have any powerful questions that you use when faced with a major life choice about what you want or where you are going?

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

photo credit: Burning Bright in the Forest of the Night via photopin (license)

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