Danielle LaPorte crams a lot of type into The Fire Starter Sessions—bold black large fonts and tiny san serif and some red, italic and gray here and there for emphasis. It’s as visual as it is legible. The messages are hard to ignore—which is the point. TFSS is a wake-up call from a Type-A, high-enthusiasm, self-help guru who believes that balance is overrated and doing what you say you’re going to do is the secret of success.
LaPorte is pithy, funny, hip, direct and wise. She’s produced a caffeine-jolt of a book that stuffs you in the mouth of the cannon, aims it at a Really Big Goal and lights the fuse. Since death is inevitable, LaPorte writes, your only intelligent choice is to live your passion—and then she tells you how to do it. Part attitude, part tunnel vision and part divine inspiration will start a business, achieve enlightenment, capture the heart of Rhett Butler, sail you through medical school, raise joyful kids, compose a symphony, invent the next technology after Apple.
All the clever turns of phrase, colloquialisms, cussing and conniving keep the pages moving and the message coming. No slacking, no drudgery, no fuzzy thinking, no selling yourself short. First define your self because, like it or not, you are a brand. Know thyself—and really take some time to find out what floats your boat and which is your favorite flavor. Get spiritual—not all tangled up in religion–uncluttered by meditation, yoga, tree-hugging, journal-keeping, making time and room to just be so the creative ideas will arrive in that cleared space.
TFSS is crammed with suggestions for positive thinking, from post-it notes with one-word reminders to ditching the daily planner and immersing yourself in the flow. Pick your heroes, Gandhi and Lady GaGa, and write down four of their traits you admire—then acquire those traits. Make art that feels good—why would anyone want evidence of your enforced industry? It will have struggle written all over it and you won’t have had any fun. Remember that inevitability thing about death? Don’t waste your life.
Starting fires looks like your best and only choice as you devour big chunks of this book. It is served up in big chunks, so you won’t be perusing it sedately. From the flaming red cover to the pyromaniacal advice inside, The Fire Starter Sessions will incite you to blaze a new trail through the weedy dullness of your days, embrace your most combustible ideas, prioritize what is sacred to you, and shine.
The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms Danielle LaPorte | Crown 2012