Walk before you fly

How to remove limitations and make your own

(photo: rosiehardy)


Once you have some beliefs in place, you are ready to get started taking on some life-based fire walks.

Awhile back  I attended a Sales Mastery seminar in London, England with Anthony Robbins (a popular self-help and motivational speaker with a background in NLP: Neuro Linguistic Programming).

I made sure I was in the front row, and anyone who has been to one of Mr. Robbins’s seminars will know that getting in the front row takes some passion, effort, and massive action.  Why was I so determined to be front and center?  Mainly this was because of the motivated spirit of friends also in attendance.

During this 3-day course on personal excellence, one of the nights was to be focused on a fire walk. Wow!  I couldn’t wait for an opportunity to see people hopping and screaming across a bed of hot coals.

A fire walk, in case you’ve never heard of this phenomenon, is where you take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot across a 12 foot bed of red hot coals (pulled from a large wood fire) about 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit (500 degrees Celsius), then spread out into about a 10-foot path.

Tolly Burkan, founder of The Firewalking Institute for Research and Education, claims that fire walking is “a method of overcoming limiting beliefs, phobias and fears.”

Belief is the final command, whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you will make that your reality.

This, however, wasn’t my first fire walking experience.  I had done a few fire walks in the past and even helped to set up some for our martial arts weekend programs.  My first introduction to the concept was a video I watched some years prior of a martial artist claiming to use mind over matter in order to perform the amazing feat of the feet.  This is typical of many so-called “amazing” martial artists—performing tricks that anyone with a five minute lesson in the art could perform.  I feel this can be a good lesson if you aren’t simply trying to look like some super-human master of mind over matter.

It’s not about heat, it’s about believing

The point of performing a fire walk is to build up your power of belief in yourself, and to take action to start walking and continue until you reach the end of the path completely unharmed.  The result (hopefully) is the positive realization that you just did something that you might have previously thought impossible.  If you can walk across a bed of hot coals without being burned, what else can you do?

Getting yourself sufficiently inspired to cross those coals still requires some external motivation and a solid internal belief that you will make it safely to the other side.  Prior to the fire walk, Mr. Robbins decided to see if he could bring a little fear to the audience by talking about some experiences where he got burned and making sure we knew how HOT these coals really were.    He wanted everyone to realize that this is not a trick, but is based on scientific principles* that seem to defy logic.

Even with past experience and the knowledge that I could do it, I still had to question my beliefs.  It is just common sense to avoid walking on hot surfaces, and a debate with the brain would reveal the fact that the general objective is to avoid fire, not walk on it.  In any case, I once again survived another fire walk and it didn’t hurt when I put my socks back on.

If you have seen the Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back, you might remember the scene where Luke Skywalker is being trained by Jedi Master Yoda in the ways of the Force.  After being asked to use his powers to lift his space ship out of the swamp, Luke says, “I will try.”

Do you remember what Yoda’s response was?  He said, “Do or do not, there is no try.”

I have also heard it said that saying you will try is the equivalent of giving yourself an out – or the excuse to fail.  After all, if you only said you would try, you didn’t really promise to do it, did you?

Remember our jet airplane?

You thought I forgot that jet, didn’t you?  Forget I did not.

First, is the belief that it must fly and not, “It should fly, or it will fly after I get the wings painted and give the jet a name.” It simply must fly, here and now.  Decide not to take no for an answer.

The second belief is you must fly it.  We need to understand that we have to be our own pilot.  Looking for a pilot is a recipe for blame.  Get in the pilot’s seat and take full control.

This means you rely on yourself and not others for your actions and reactions.  It doesn’t mean you can’t network or depend on a team; it is more about responsibility.  Your jet is your responsibility.  It means you get yourself motivated, in action, and in the air.  And it also means that if it doesn’t fly, you must take responsibility.  It is up to you to figure out why it didn’t fly, and change something so that it does fly.

The third belief is that you can fly.  If you respond with the “I can’t” attitude, you’ll never get off the ground.  You must have complete confidence that you can accomplish what you are doing.

“Man is what he believes.”– Anton Chekhov

Whether you believe that you will win or lose, you are right.

* People are able to walk across a bed of burning coals (thus fire walking is a misnomer) because the coals are actually made of wood, and wood is a lousy conductor of heat.  There are three ways heat can be transmitted: conduction, convection, and radiation.  Conduction is the main way heat is transmitted to a person’s feet during a “fire walk.”

In fire walking, a person’s feet, which are also poor heat conductors, touch ash-covered coals.  Since the fire walker is indeed walking (moving briskly, not standing still), the time of contact between feet and coals is minimal—too quick for the coals to burn or char the feet.  And there you have it.  Mystery solved!

Winjitsu Work Out

You need some strong beliefs if you are going to be able to take control of your life and fly your own jet.  Remember the following list when you are working on your goals:

  1. It must
  2. You must
  3. You can

Now personalize that list, and fill in the blanks:

It must ___________

Therefore I must ____________

And so I can ________________________

About the Author RICK TEW

I will do the splits for you too. I provide edutainment events that help you to be a Ninja in what you do. I offer Martial Arts Therapy Retreats on Samui Island in Thailand. My unique Winjitsu Mind-Body system of coaching inspires you to BE more fulfilled and to DO more to KickStart your ideas.

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