O’Brilliant One,

Lately, I’ve been sharing that it’s time to find our spark. I know what you’re thinking. What does it really mean to find your spark, and why is it important?

Simply put: Finding your SPARK is your path to personal freedom. It’s how you take control of your life.

When you find your spark, you find your joy. When you find your joy, you find your voice. And when you find your voice, you find your freedom.

This week, I want to share something new that I learned about being the spark: 

Do not underestimate the power of stoking the spark in someone else. 

Here’s why: When you keep someone else’s fire going, you reignite the spark within yourself.

Pay attention to the people around you and ask yourself these questions: What sparks joy in them? How can you call attention to that and nurture it?

I realized the power of stoking the spark in someone else when I was on a college visit with my daughter, Madison. What I realized was: Stoking the spark in her not only made my spark bigger, but I found my purpose for being. 

Here’s what I learned about finding your spark again: 

Be present. If you’re going to notice what’s going on with someone else, you’ll need to put away the cell phone when you’re with others, have meals together, and just be together. On this trip with Madison, I committed more than ever to pay attention to her experience.

Being present also means you’re not sitting around later feeling like you should have shown up differently.

I had the privilege of getting her settled in at Smith College in Massachussetts. After I helped her set up her dorm room, she said, “Bye, dad!!” I said, “Wait a minute! I’m going to parent orientation. I’ll text you later when I’m done so I can officially say goodbye.”

When the parent orientation ended, parents were not allowed to go back into the dorms. She was off to an activity, and I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. 

It reminded me of the reality that, at any point, we can be robbed of our opportunity to follow up with someone we love. Being present means never leaving anything unsaid.

Build intentional community. While on a previous college visit at Smith, Madison went to a creative writing workshop with 230 other young women from around the world. And in this creative writing workshop, they’re writing essays every day. 

Well, at the end of our time at Smith College, the professor wanted to publish the group’s work, so Madison’s work is compiled with other amazing young women’s. I read what some of these young ladies wrote, and I can tell you that they write on an adult (and unbelievable) level. It was crazy!

I recognized that it also caused Madison to up her game and her work. I saw that SPARK ignite in her when she was in community with this other group of writers. I was reminded by the importance of building an intentional community around what brings you joy.

How can you challenge yourself or someone else to level up? My daughter is a shining example. Madison has now started filling up this whole book of essays. My daughter is on fire because she realizes she can leverage these amazing skills that she has.

A part of being the SPARK means helping someone else find their spark. Who around you is hungry for presence, community, and challenge this week? Step up and be the light and gift of hope.