That picture right here (if you have a hard time reading) is a poster of Denzel Washington's awesome 2004 smash hit, "Man on Fire". Let me tell you, Zel right here is one of the few people I know that can consistently nail "driven" as a look in his movie posters. I can write at least a couple of articles on that fact alone.
The point of this piece is not to talk on and on about my man Zel. (I could do that though if I wanted to. Go save that Dakota Fanning dammit!!). I want to talk about the importance of lighting and holding fire... in your life.
Now what do I mean by that?
I want to tell you a story where I felt a pot luck of states of being. I think it would be easiest to summarize this mix of circumstances as well the ensuing thing that it inspired with a simple equation.
Severe Dehydration + Caffeine Abuse + Nausea + Exhaustion = Creativity
I was coming off of experimenting some things when a flash of inspiration and exhaustion hit at the same time. I was all at once feeling like I was about to die/sleep/write a book all at once. It was about 11:50pm on a Monday night and I was inspired to record something for the podcast. My whole body was shaking so I wasn't in the mood to set up microphones and start talking like I was coked up or something. So I decided to open up my bullet journal and just jot these Ideas down.
I was a man inspired. The ideas could literally not end and were flowing so much into each other that I didn't know where one stopped and the other began. I did my best, though. I wrote them all down, I loved each one, each idea was inspired, and each idea has a certain significance to myself. And when I looked at it all, I was proud of it, and I said it was good.
I titled it "I'm on Fire List 1, 9/25/17"
I am serious though, these are fucking fantastic ideas. They run the gamut from bits I can add to a dumb joke to unlocking the secrets of life and meaning. Just throw it all in one place and make sure I can reference back to it should I feel the need to work off an Idea for insight.
I'm calling this system, the "I'm on Fire List".
So what is it and why should you make one of your own? 3 things.
1. Perfect self expression:
This list although looking like the raving thoughts of a madman (I'm not going to disagree there) represent the perfect self expression of the flow of ideas from my head. No judgement, no filter, no stop, no organization. Just light the fuse and run.
I thought about what it took for me to realize what I was doing at the time. It felt like I was creatively invincible. Like I was all shining. I was Mario after touching a star and I was destroying procrastination.
It was the perfect self expression of myself. Nothing was off limits and it was honest.
2. Because most times... you're not on fire
One of the more frustrating and inspiring things I got out of doing this list is when I asked myself, "Damn, when is this going to happen again?" When I had enough time to realize what was going on and the possibility of how fleeting the moment might be, I could totally feel like I was coming down. "Would this be the dragon I chase?" I thought.
In the end, I think I was lucky it only took caffeine for me to get into that state. Lucky it wasn't coke... yet (kidding). But I'm pretty confident I don't have to be in an altered state to realize when it's coming up again. Just got to write it down for reference later, because I've learned that a list showing evidence of the time you were so gdamn inspired is an awesome list to refer to when I'm particularly feeling shitty and want to reignite my flame.
3. It's the best answer to the question "where do your ideas come from?".
Seriously, from now on for me I will say I got that Idea from my "I'm on Fire List #X" It's the best.
All kidding aside, I'm very serious about this tool that I have barely described. I write it as "barely described" because I'm not sure it might be something I can replicate at will. This is the goal though. I know there are some instances in my life where creativity just struck and I legitimately had a project completed in a human whirlwind of achievement. That state has been reached before, I know I can again. This is my dragon to chase.
You can call it what you will. I am very partial to the "I'm on Fire List" and would encourage you out there to create the same for yourself. If you find yourself wanting to get started and want to discuss it let us know here in the comments. If you have some similar experiences, please share.
And if you do this shit on a regular basis. Kudos to you... you unstoppable muthafucka. I want to join your ranks and be just like Zel, but instead of mowing down thugs with violence, I'm an unstoppable force creating new ideas with love and inspiration. Either way live a life of fire and be like Zel.