In my 30s, I attended a workshop with peak-performance coach, Tony Robbins. He began the first evening by saying to the audience, “Do what you’ve always done, and you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.” Then he invited us to do something unique and extraordinary – to join him in a firewalk experience, by walking on a bed of burning coals.

The takeaway was: Think and act differently today. Otherwise, nothing will change.


We’re always moving toward a future that we’re causing. “Does what I’ve set in motion match my desires? Or am I moving toward a future that I don’t want?”

Our vision and meaning develop out of our why. And when we’re clear about that, our what and our how can fall into place. What do we talk about most passionately? What would we stand up for without compromise? What causes us to feel fulfilled and inspired?


When we’re on a road trip, we don’t get halfway to our destination and then lose it because we’re not there yet. And then turn around and head back to where we began.

We move successfully from point A to point B by concretely defining our destination and then living in the vibe of it. It could be better health, a more meaningful job, healthier relationships, more money or great love. And when we’re on our way to one of these, there’s no problem in not being there yet, as long as we stay aligned with point B, and not point A.

Complaining that we’re not at our destination amplifies what we don’t want. If our focus is stuck on point A – such as when we complain about problems, whine about injustice, gossip about our colleagues, or argue ineffectively with our partners – stuck is where we’ll stay.

Focusing on where we are or where we’ve been, instead of where we want to go, doesn’t move us forward. But when we stay focused on point B, it’s impossible to not get there.


We sometimes think that if we stop struggling, we’ll become weak, as if force equals strength. But that’s not our true power. The goal is to relax rather than effort, and to be in preparation for doing.

When I walked across the bed of burning coals, my goal was to get to the end safely. The first thing I did was relax, by setting aside fear, resistance, doubt and worry. I focused on being successful, which meant being safe and well at the other end of the fire. I had a clear vision that I wanted to move toward, and I felt a strong inner knowing that I would be all right.

And the same can be said about life.


Manifesting what we want requires setting concrete goals, choosing supportive thoughts, and believing that it’s possible and that we deserve it.

When my son was four, I hung a star above his bed – an icosehedron with points on the facets, which we made from thin wooden sticks. We would lie there together, staring at it, and we would use our minds to make it move. Yes, we actually made it turn. I believed in the possibility, and he didn’t yet believe in the impossibility, and that’s how it worked. No breeze and no doubt – it practically became our family motto. And when he was thirteen, he felt confident to walk on fire himself.


To create positive change, we need to identify what we want for our future, and then let that motivate and fuel our thoughts, beliefs and actions. No looking back, no doubting, no losing focus – so that we don’t end up somewhere else.

With a disciplined mind that’s able to focus powerfully and constructively, without distraction or doubt, anything is possible. Then we’re assured that we’re moving toward a future we’ve caused on purpose.

You can read more of Grace’s posts on her blog at


  • Grace de Rond

    Author, Blogger, Contributor

    Grace de Rond writes about effective living through focused thought, at and for sites including The Good Men Project and HuffPost. Her inspiration comes from a lifelong study of the mind-body-spirit connection and her coaching and teaching with professionals and families. Her latest book is called Thoughts Worth Thinking on Life, Career, Lovers and Children.