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Set Yourself on Fire

Set Yourself on Fire

John Wesley was not a nice conservative, conforming, Republican Christian.  Because he was so controversial, he was forbidden by the Anglican Church to preach from its pulpits.  Did he wring his hands, admit defeat and fade silently out of history? Just go keep his day job? Not exactly.  With no pulpit welcoming him he would ride out into the countryside, pick a spot in an open field, and begin to preach.  He was so compelling with his message and his presentation that large crowds began to show up to hear him.  Listeners wanted to hear more of what he had to say and ultimately his thought-provoking theological ideas became the founding principles of the Methodist Church.

Someone once asked Wesley how he was able to attract such large crowds with his preaching.  Wesley responded, “I simply set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.”

You may be doing great work.  You may be responsible, ethical, and compassionate.  But is it remarkable?  Do you do anything with such passion that people would travel to watch and listen?  Maybe you don’t have a message to share or a product to sell.  But if you do – if you have a business or a service you provide – you’ll never get the marketplace more excited than you are.  You have to show your own belief and passion about what you’re offering.  Remember, professional selling is simply sharing enthusiasm.  Incidentally, John Wesley averaged preaching 15 sermons a week.  Not just one 28-minute sermon on Sunday morning.

If you are not working with passion and drawing a crowd, chances are you are drawing on your ability only.  In Wisdom Meets Passion I describe how passion flows out of the blending of:

1. Skills & Abilities – you have the ability to do many things.  I have known lots of physicians, attorneys, dentists and pastors who have proven their raw ability to perform in their profession – but have no passion for what they do.

2. Personality Traits – you can embrace your uniqueness.  If you are bold and outgoing, then use those characteristics to be your best.  If you are introverted and shy, then use systems and technology to show your brilliance.

3. Values & Dreams – you may think your dreams are unrealistic or just common and ordinary.  But if you are a wood sculptor, an artist, a bookkeeper, a teacher or a great mom, then do it in a way that is remarkable where people will remember and talk about you.

Now, go set yourself on fire.

This article appeared originally on Used with permission.

Dan Miller, President of 48 Days LLC, specializes in creative thinking for increased personal and business success. He believes that meaningful work blends our natural skills and abilities, our unique personality traits and our dreams and passions. Dan is active in helping individuals redirect careers, evaluate new income sources, and achieve balanced living. He believes that a clear sense of direction can help us become all that God designed us to be.

Dan is the author of the widely acclaimed 48 Days to The Work You Love and No More Mondays. He writes regularly for many popular magazines and web portals, including,, In Touch, AARP and Success magazines and the Zig Ziglar newsletter. He has been a guest on CBS’ ‘The Early Show,’ MSNBC’s ‘Hardball with Chris Mathews,’ 700 Club’s Living the Life and Fox Business News with Dave Ramsey Show, to hit some highlights. He hosts a weekly podcast that is consistently ranked #1 under Careers on iTunes. Dan is also a frequent speaker and guest on popular radio programs like Moody Broadcasting, Crown Financial, Janet Parshall’s America, American Family Radio, and Prime Time Chicago.

Committed to personal priorities, Dan and wife Joanne have been happily married for over 42 years. They have three grown children, all entrepreneurs, and they enjoy spending time with their eleven grandchildren. Visit his website at

Publication date: November 22, 2012