There’s only one person I know who’d gate crash a well known motivational event, decide up train himself to fire walk in 15 minutes by watching others, then just do it!
Yes, I’m talking about the BigiAm (BiAm) the light of my life and sometimes the biggest worry with his crazy antics and steely determination.
It started like any other night at the hotel in London (our second home). We were checking in as usual, talking to the staff and there seemed to be an extra buzz about the place.
We always ask for a room with a view and this time ended up with one of the car park.
The BiAm was standing at the window, surveying the area for interesting things. Again, nothing unusual there, he is, after all, a curious type.
‘Look!’ he said, ‘There’s a big bonfire in the car park! I wonder what they’re doing?’
Well I couldn’t care less really, i was tired and wanted to go to sleep. ASAP.
No chance, his curiosity got the better of him (it normally does) and off to the bar we went.
BiAm: ‘What’s going on?’
Barman: ‘There’s this famous guy who motivates people to do things. They’re fire walking and they’re here all week. It costs a fortune to do it.’
Seed sown. BiAm’s brain is quickly tuned to mission mode: to find out what motivates these people and how he transcend their thinking with his stubborn willpower. (yes I can actually see this flashing across his face like a kid in a sweet shop).
But he needed more information. A partner in crime. So off he goes to find some friendlier than me type to explain a bit more about this fire walking thing.
This is how he met Cornelius. He looked a learned fellow; watching the people setting up the fire walking area. And looked European, a great BiAm combination for starting a conversation!
BiAm: ‘Hi, it’s crazy what they are doing. Do you know anything about it?’
Cornelius: ‘Ja, Ja…’ He was actually Norwegian, not German, but not sure of the spelling in Norwegian and it sounds the same. Actually he went on later to tell me that they are very similar languages, to which BiAm responded Germans would tend not to agree, since he told his German colleague that German and Swiss-German sound the same (I know?!) and he was a little upset at it.
‘… it’s great! My girlfriend and friend are doing it and I did it last year, it changed my life! I still have the arrow I broke with my neck hanging on the wall in my house!’
But for BiAm, facts in hand, his curiosity grew. What made these people tick? Why couldn’t they just empower themselves? More importantly, why would they PAY?!!!
He didn’t buy it. And being the BiAm, he needed to discover and prove that he was right – you don’t need to pay to walk on fire and unleash your power!
He decided to go outside and watch. Observe what they do and how they’ve been trained to do it. If the focus is mind over matter, why not just do it? Why train all day?
By now the fire was out and there was just a huge heap of red hot cinders in long strips across the car park.
I could see a stream of people looking like possessed ants, swarming outside; chanting, cheering and waving luminous yellow sticks in the air. Strange.
As they got closer, over the motivational techno music, I could hear what they were chanting:
‘Just Say Yes! Just Say Yes!’
A bit of a contradiction after years of being taught ‘Just Say No!’ courtesy of Grange Hill eighties style. The energy was electric, people were exuberant and like animals waiting to get out of a cage.
BiAm watched intently as they started to walk the fire; analysing their technique in detail. Mind over matter.
Some walked fast, some slow. Some just walked like normal, some stepping off, others not able to follow it through – that looked like it hurt. Those who walked across slowly sped up near the end when they realised they’d nearly made it home.
All showed extreme emotion. This was the biggest surprise for the BiAm; an emotional person who tries his best to counteract this fact with his stubborn logical brain.
It was unusual for him, being in a place where it was ok to let it all out; wailing like a banshee or screaming like a child; when we’re all so conditioned to behave in a certain way all day, every day in our working lives.
What started as curiosity from his conscious mind became driven by his sub-conscious mind. It was automatic. Here’s something he really must do…
Before I knew it, the socks were off! BiAm had jumped over the barrier and was in the queue for the fire.
As he got closer to the front, the arrogance disappeared; he was on his own, this was all about him. He hadn’t been in a room all day training for this moment.
Then it was his turn. How would he start? (technique – conscious). Fast, quick, slow …. with his feet tingling with a slightly sharp, warm sensation what he’d observed suddenly deserted him.
As he got towards the middle, he’d forgotten what he was walking on (emotion – sub-conscious). This was amazing! All the stress of the last few months melting away.
By the end, he was in a different place, completely free of anything outside of his head and control and completely open to possibilities and opportunities.
Running bare foot with shoes and socks in hand, toes continuing to tingle and with my jeans still rolled up, he came back inside, on a huge high.
That feeling lasted for a number of days. Something clicked for BiAm that night, it sounds a bit profound but it’s not really. It’s just a reminder that anything is possible: it’s always your choice, you really are in control and everything is an opportunity; if you want to look at it that way.
It’s less about mind over matter and more about you over you.
You might like The edge of reason .