Like most things 2020, the upcoming holiday celebrations will look different than they usually do. But the feelings of gratitude, joy, and inspiration burn brighter than ever.
I considered this as we finished recording Season 3 of our new podcast, The Combustion Chronicles, which Man on Fire launched earlier this year, to spark game-changing disruption by combining bold leaders and even bolder ideas.
The conversations shaped us as we created them, and I hope they sparked something in you as well to, as St. Ignatius implored, “Go, set the world on fire!”
Ignite People’s Passions
Man on Fire commissioned Larry Domsky to create a series of limited-edition glass sculptures called the “Ignite” series, recognizing the big ideas and audacious leadership that emanate from our partners and friends in the Man on Fire movement for each of our podcast guests. They represent our vision to ignite people’s passions into action by giving the middle finger to the status quo and thinking differently about the world’s biggest problems.
Renowned Artist Larry Domsky is no stranger to fire. He has worked in the medium of hot glass since 1990, and his work can be found in 17 countries and throughout the United States. The beauty and quality of his work have elicited countless commissions from premier hotels and public sites in Las Vegas, the home of Domsky Glass Studio and DG Gallery.
Each “Ignite” Series sculpture he crafted for our podcast guests features a vibrant swirl of colors evocative of those who give life to sparks of ideas that emerge and dance along the journey.
As the year comes to a close, I ask you, fellow ignitor (or fire starter?), to consider:
- Who has stoked your passion and calling this year and spurred you to continue fanning the flames of innovation?
- How will you, “Go, set the world on fire,” as St. Ignatius of Loyola called his followers to do?
Last holiday season, Man on Fire was a spark, lighting the embers of change to inspire explosive evangelists who would be ready to launch ideas that humanize a world that is far too often focused on the wrong sh*t.
(This is when I take a moment to remind you that we only blow sh*t up; we don’t ever recommend throwing sh*t it in a fire. Trust us on this.)
Now, as the year winds down, we pause to thank those of you who have joined us on this journey to disrupt mindsets and heartsets that value the humanity of each and every person above all else, and we invite you to continue the journey with us in 2021.
Spark Your Own Movement, Light a Fire Under Your Ass
Fire starter St. Ignatius, who founded the Jesuit movement, was an innovator who modernized the Catholic church.
The next time you think about how hard change might be for yourself or your organization, picture a man on fire with a vision to modernize the Catholic Church in the 16th century. At that time, the church was roughly 1500 years old, and his efforts weren’t always welcome at first blush. They were extinguished more quickly than an acolyte’s taper when he’s excited to be somewhere else on a Saturday night.
Even with a Papal-approved mission to create a new order and found schools throughout Spain, his book, Spiritual Exercises, brought him before the Roman Inquisition in 1548 (He was released and the book was eventually printed). His ideas were burning up the status quo, and not everyone liked it.
But he was driven by a bold purpose to serve his God and to care for the individual person. He was ablaze with this vision and a few setbacks couldn’t extinguish his passion.
Inspired by his mentors and co-collaborators, he dreamed big about how he could serve humanity by choosing the greater good.
Eternal Flame, Not a Short Wick
Ignatius viewed his mission as part of his state of life. It was the filter through which he made all of his decisions, big and small. To set the world on fire in 2021, you must bring that same clarity of purpose. You can’t flame out because of a wind of opposition or a setback that snuffs your initial spark. Your vision must be larger than your obstacles.
And no matter how hot your spark, if you can’t fan the flames without a plan of action. Even a bolt of lightning won’t spark anything without something to conduct its heat.
Where will your flame go next year, and what will ensure it stays ablaze through storms of discouragement? Are you ready to withstand a little damper?
Light It Up and Let it Burn
Ignatius sparked an entire movement, the Jesuits, through his clear sense of purpose and vision for fanning the flames to create people for others, to inspire them to share their gifts with those in need, and to pursue justice for all. Today, the Jesuits are still recognized as the bold, progressive members of the Catholic Church.
Without that sense of purpose, his movement might have been a small candle lit for mass and then extinguished due to its own lack of wax and wick, rather than a worldwide moment, still strong a half a millennium later.
Are you ready to start your fire and let it burn? What actions can you take now to fuel a raging fire of purpose and change next year and not another dumpster fire like we had this year?
Go fan the flames of innovation. Don’t let anything burn you out.