A Reminder about FIRE

In the first module of the program, there were 2 sections:

  • FIRE – Focus Intensity Reflection Energy
  • Motivation and the importance of enjoying what you do

Fire

The 4 factors of FIRE are the foundation of personal edge.

Focus

Focus means spending your time doing things which will bring you the most reward, doing stuff that really matters and that makes a difference, rather than dissipating your energy being simply, busy. There are 3 steps:

  • Firstly, be clear about what you are trying to achieve
  • Secondly, identify the activities that make the biggest contribution towards your purpose
  • And thirdly, and crucially, allocate time to these activities. Literally block off time in your calendar and commit to these activities. If don’t take this final step, the secondary activities creep in and then expand to fill the time available. So reduce the time available by blocking out time.

The more time you spend on your primary activities, the more successful you are likely to be.

Intensity

Intensity is the most critical factor and means single-minded concentration with maximum effort and resolute determination. It means doing things with 100% conviction rather than simply going through the motions. It means caring about outcomes.

The relationship between intensity and growth has hockey-stick curve – the real gains are only made once you pass a certain level of intensity. Intensity doesn’t mean more effort, it means concentrating the effort into a smaller space of time. By doing so, you reach the threshold required for change to take place. It takes most effort at the beginning, just like a rocket blasting off, but this early effort is rewarded as you see real change.

Reflection

Reflection means taking time to process events and how you responded to them. Initially, you’re unlikely to gain much but over time you will see patterns start to emerge. You will begin to recognize the triggers for your internal programs and, when appropriate, you will gradually be able to take conscious control.

Energy

Ultimately the best intentions, the greatest plan and awesome skills will count for little if you don’t have the energy to make things happen. Do you remember our Energy Checklist?

Focus, Intensity, Reflection and Energy are the four factors which I believe are fundamental to achieving Personal Edge.

Motivation – Enjoying Your Work

Steve Jobs said that the only way to do great work is to do work that you enjoy. So, finding work that you enjoy would seem to be a good place to start your quest for personal edge. However, there are many paradigms, rules for success, and ‘zombies’ that may lead you astray. The main message of this section is that you need to find the sweetspot:

  1. step back and decide what you really want … or what you hate
  2. evaluate your strengths and resources, and
  3. identify where future opportunities lie