Finding the Fire
--by Tad Hargrave (Jun 21, 2004)
Okay, so once there was this cow lying in a field. And it mooed and mooed and mooed. A passer-by asked the farmer, "Why is your cow mooing so much?" "Because hes lying on a nail" came the swift response. "Well, why doesnt he just move?" The passer-by asked. To which the farmer answered, "Because it doesnt hurt that much."
Dont you know loads of people who are just like that? Stuck in jobs or situations that they dont really enjoy, but they are not that bad, and so they stay put. Well to me that is as absurd as our cow not shifting its butt off the nail, and I for one have decided that I do not want to cause damage to my behind, not if I can avoid it.
When I was about 15, I had an experience that knocked my breath out of me. There were so many problems competing for my attention. If I tried to dedicate myself to all those problems, I would be touching like one a day every year. And I would not ever scratch the surface. There would be all these fires going on and I would be running around with a thimble of water to make my contribution. I realized that maybe I am not here on this planet to put out all the fires. Maybe its like my life is about one fire, and my whole purpose is to find out what that fire is and work on it religiously to put it out.
I started thinking about all the big people in the world like Mandela, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, or anyone ... and all these people didnt see themselves as leaders in the beginning, but there was a problem that hurt them so much, that they hated so much, that they stepped up even if they didnt think they were capable. And thats what I had to do. [...]
The biggest challenge that I see for people to do what they love is that the way the school system and probably also many corporations are set up now is to beat and bludgeon our souls from our bodies. Most people get out of high school or college without a flipping clue of what they really love. To me the question is not, "How do you find a job with soul?" but "What the hell happened to your soul?" Im finding more and more that the answers to everything out there are in here. I know it sounds so banal and obvious, but I think often people try to find fulfillment by simply changing their external environment and that can be powerful but nothing is more powerful than having a clear message from our hearts telling us what we need to do and then doing it.
--Tad Hargrave, written when he was 22 years old