“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark… Do not let the hero in your soul perish…” – Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
In my last blog, I posed a question: What do you do to keep your fire burning? It ignited a lot of interest. Thank you for your posted answers and the private emails. I’m not taking the space here to acknowledge the many ideas you shared except to say that I do appreciate your response and ideas.
As promised, here are my answers to the question.
What does it take to have fire in our souls and keep it burning? Above all, my answer is purposes—not just a purpose, but purposes. The fundamental, philosophic purpose to grasp, hold, and pursue is that your own happiness is the moral purpose of your life. That involves many other purposes.
Chief among those other purposes is a central or core purpose, which generally is a career purpose. This means a career that fascinates, interests, motivates, and excites us enough to get us out of bed with a smile on our face. My Prometheus Foundation purpose, to promote Ayn Rand and advance Objectivism, brings me excitement, satisfaction, and joy.
Purposes are built from, derived from, our values. Values are our motivating power—our fuel for our fire.
Another of my purposes is to constantly expand my knowledge, which involves many values such as clarity, certainty, and self-esteem. It keeps my fire burning—I love to learn, I love to take courses, I love to discuss ideas, and I read fiction in addition to nonfiction.
A third purpose: maintaining my health and fitness. (I have a goal to live to 120.) Some values resulting from pursuing this purpose are: physical well-being, more energy, vibrancy, restful sleep, and both physical and mental strength. The virtues required are exercise (cardio and strength training), eating right, discipline with medications and supplements, getting enough sleep, and more.
The philosophy I hold, Objectivism, has a profound effect on keeping my fire burning.
Indulging in art, which includes music, novels, plays, uplifting movies (getting rarer), sculptures, and contemplating the wonderful Bryan Larsen paintings in my home gives me emotional fuel.
Romance is a source of excitement, pleasure, and keeps my fire burning brighter. I’m still seeking…
Good friends, especially those who have fire in their souls, are a source of pleasure.
Productiveness is another purpose. I love getting things done. Achieving things adds heat to my fire. Also, standing orders such as “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful,” “make this day special,” and “use this day” are important to me. (I will probably blog about this another time. Would that interest you?)
That’s a lot! I hope you find this of interest. I welcome your comments.
Carl B. Barney
March 26, 2022