Reading: Danielle LaPorte’s The Fire Starter Sessions

I’ve long alluded that I’m in the process of Making. Things. Happen.  I’m excited to soon share exactly what’s happening!  But, the bottom line is that I’m reading lots about making things happen, and I have been for the last year.  Danielle LaPorte’s The Fire Starter Sessions grabbed my attention, because it’s all about finding clarity– in figuring out what you want to be doing and why.  Because, I’m all about reducing stuck-ness.  I know all too well what it’s like to be trying to get somewhere, but unable to articulate what is actually in your way.

Despite being a big-thinking, dreamy artistic type, I’m actually a very pragmatic person.  As a result, I’m not really a fan of books that give too many encouraging speeches, say things like ‘you go girl’ (or call me ‘darling’), and tell me to get in touch with ‘my deepest self.’  Don’t get me wrong– I’m a big fan of my deepest self.  But, when I’ve bought a book about building a business or making things happen, I want concrete information.

So, The Fire Starter Sessions was a little, um, spiritual for my taste.  I mean, it refers to itself as a soulful and practical guide.  And, there are lots of pump-up speeches (I actually believe that Danielle refers to them as ‘sermons’).  BUT, there’s also a lot of concrete information and hard truth involved.  And, it wasn’t until I completed some of the exercises that I realized how helpful some of the information was at contributing to personal clarity.

One of the exercises asks a very simple question:

Yes, that’s it.  Just that.  At first I wasn’t sure how feelings actually got to the heart of the matter.  How will feelings help me reach the 90 remaining goals on my 1,000 days list, Danielle?  I’m a tough sell sometimes.

But, I made myself do it.  I actually thought a lot about how I wanted to feel, and, according to Danielle’s instructions, whittled my list down to 3 core feelings that are important to me.

One of them was ‘connected’, which wasn’t much of a surprise to me at all.   I’m at my best as a collaborator, in cases where I can tap into stores of empathy, and when I’m working to help other people carry out ideas.  So, it makes total sense that some of my less successful projects have occurred when I’ve tried to take on an enormous effort as one person, and ended up feeling really isolated and alone.  I’m more successful when I feel connected.

The exercise continues:


Yes.  What can you do today to generate the feelings that you want?  Is it writing an email, or starting steps towards planning a project, or showing up an an event?  I like this exercise because it encourages you to start to take immediate steps towards feeling the way you want to feel.  Rather than waiting until you accomplish some huge feat in, say, 6 years that will bring on feelings of success, you can start to feel like you’re headed in the right direction now.  And, isn’t that so much better?

I talk to a lot of friends (specifically artists) who are feeling stuck and not really sure why.  Sometimes it seems like it’s about not getting the grant, or not having enough time or money.  I get it: these are legitimate concerns.  Interestingly enough, though, I have artist friends who did get the grant, the role, and the big check, and still feel just as frustrated.  This makes me pretty sure that getting what we want has to encompass more than just a feat– something that we can check off a list.  It appears that how we feel really does matter– or at least being able to articulate how we want to feel.  So, how do you want to feel?




One thought on “Reading: Danielle LaPorte’s The Fire Starter Sessions

  1. I’m dying to read it! Her blog is interesting and impactful … but I had heard it was a little … soft. Even still, it’s near the top of my list!

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