Against my better judgment, I somehow found myself barefoot, looking across 30 feet of burning coal. A tribal drumbeat pounded behind me and fellow participants chanted encouragement. Sweat dripped down my face, triggered partially by the heat coming off the coal and partially from fear.
I was clearly an idiot for being here.
I take the first step, and before I know it I arrive on the other side. My nerves and feet are still intact.
Some of the other participants claimed that the experience was deeply spiritual or even life changing. I think that’s wonderful, but I can’t say it changed my life. However, there was one aspect of this day that has stuck with me ever since. The fire-walking experience has become a metaphor for just about every difficult thing I’ve had to do since then.
Most truly difficult projects are just like fire walking. The only hard step is the first one. After the first step, the rest come quickly and automatically.