A Values-Based Approach to Living- Part 5: Fire and Perseverance

Today is Part V of my series on A Values-Based Approach to Living. In this post, I focus on what I call “Fire” and Perseverance. You can read Part I here, Part II here and Part III here and Part IV here. Part VI, the final part of this series, will be published next Tuesday. Enjoy!

When I coach basketball players, I’m looking to get the most out of them I can possibly get — both on an individual level and for the benefit of our team. I analyze their talents, determine their strengths and weaknesses, how they can benefit the team and how they can subtract from the overall efforts of the team.

At any given moment in time, a player is exactly what his athletic talents, size and level skill are, yet the great differentiator is what I refer to as, “Fire.” Fire is that je ne sais quoi or hard-to-explain quality that when you see it, you know it. And you want it for yourself. Fire is the quality of maximum attitude, passion and effort coalescing and forming an indestructible, indomitable output that elevates you to a highly productive, highly confident level.

It’s a characteristic that can be cultivated, enhanced and ultimately, self-coached by the individual, as long as the willpower of the individual is welcoming and ready.

A person with fire is self-motivated, someone who rises to challenges and steels their mind to power through difficult times. Self-motivation is such an important and undervalued tool that not enough people employ in their lives.

When we can help to enhance and induce someone’s greatest burning passion for a given subject, and meet them in the middle by teaching them how to sustain a high-level of intensity and enthusiasm for what they do, we have helped someone behind measure.

Five Ways to Cultivate Your Fire

We’ve kindled their fire, love — their raison d’etre, and we’ve stoked the flame of happy kinetic energy inside of them. Here’s how we can translate this over to self-coaching for the individual:

1) Determine what your biggest interests are. What is the one activity, subject or thing that most excites you and gives life to your mind and physical body?

2) When do you usually find yourself cultivating and bringing into clear thought these impulses of excitement and inspired passion?

3) Write down and clearly explain to yourself what this feeling feels like. If they cannot lucidly define this, no matter. Simply write down the thoughts, words and emotions that come to mind

4) Recall this feeling every day, in good times and bad, in easy-going moments and in challenging moments, to summon these thoughts and will them into being

5) Surround yourself with the positivity of this feeling, either through meditation, solitude or the company of others

Remember, when you find your passion and the things that motivate and sustain your enthusiasm, it is best to channel the energies necessary to propel your intellect and physical body into a plane of higher thought and emotional stimulation. This is attained when you feel the positivity of spirit and the rush of adrenaline that will power you well beyond anything you thought possible.

In coaching we have a saying:

Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard.

You don’t need to be the most talented to be the best at what you do. You need to combine your talent with the greatest desire, infused with an intensity and love for what you do. Combine this with energy and fire that will lift you well past the goal line after you’ve tired — as well as any competitors — and you’re well positioned for whatever comes your way.

Everyone respects hard work and an individual with a positive attitude who goes above and beyond the call of duty and does so with a passion and panache for life that says, “I love what I do and I do it with zeal.”

Do the Work

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm .”— Winston Churchill

Your task is clear: Find what motivates you, find what gives you the chills down your body and enables you to respond in the purest and most positive of ways, lifting your spirit, empowering you to believe that what you formerly thought to be impossible is most definitely possible. Harness this energy, continue to dig deep into the well inside of you that God has put inside every one of us.

Go back to the well with joy in your hearts, humility and gratitude. You may find it to be music, sports, technology, nature or the smile of someone you admire. Meditate on these feelings, let them be replicated and summon them every day, to bring a greater joy and feeling of purpose to your lives.

Use this power to your advantage, for your betterment and the attainment of your dreams and goals. There’s a fire inside all of us, we have been given the match to light it if we simply tap into our inner strength.

Let the fire and adrenaline inside of you stir up the passion you need each day to reach the pinnacle of where you want to be and to transform your ideas into reality through courage, hope, faith and a conviction in following your heart to where it is leading you.


Perseverance is forging ahead with self-belief and purpose after we’ve encountered setbacks along our path toward achievement and success. People with a firm foundation of values, principles and skills to offer will all face disappointments, meet with failures and temporarily be held back on the road to success.

As Rocky said, “It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.”

Adversity and temporary failure have come to strengthen and fortify my resolve. Perseverance gives me the fuel I need to REFUSE to let negative emotions influence my mind and outlook for the next goal in front of me. Our competitive greatness is affected by setbacks and it’s up to us to push back mentally, and through our subsequent actions, to keep fighting for victory.

Not out of revenge or anger — but out of desire, grit, determination and renewed enthusiasm to meet our definition of success. This is where the “fire” comes from. We need to stoke and fan the fire inside of us with the sensory imagery that makes us feel alive and stimulates our minds to produce positive energy and adrenaline to will ourselves toward action and positive outcomes.

“To persevere is important to everybody. Don’t give up, don’t give in. There is always an answer to everything.” — Louis Zamperini

In Laura Hillenbrand’s brilliant book, Unbroken, the real-life story of American hero, Louis Zamperini, we gain insight into the remarkable fortitude, courage and perseverance that he exhibited all throughout his life. In particular, we gain insight into his struggle with physical, emotional, mental and spiritual challenges while he was stuck at sea and then a prisoner of war during World War II.

Louis Zamperini survived unfathomable conditions, cruel treatment and barbaric torture because he refused to give up. The power of his will and his belief that he would survive is a testament to the remarkable power of the human spirit and perseverance at its finest.

We need to understand that everyone fails at one point or another. Sometimes, the way we get knocked down is completely out of our control. But we have to respond and we have to rise to the occasion.

Strong-minded and determined people are able to see a better day and will themselves into better circumstances through perseverance. This is an iron-will that is trained to focus only on attitude and an approach to hard work that makes no compromises and relentlessly pursues dreams, goals and fulfillment of self.

Thank you!

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My upcoming book, The Courage to Have Faith in the 21st Century is due out early next year. Contact me via my website here and and subscribe if you feel inclined! Please visit me on Facebook here and Like my page if you wish!

More of my writing you may like:

The 3 Key Ingredients for your Personal Mission Statement

Take the Hard Way and Enjoy the Journey

Heart and Soul: Tim Duncan, Why He Mattered