I walked on hot coals once—barefoot. Across a bed of white hot embers about twenty feet long. When you walk off the fiery path, you step into a puddle of water, and you can hear your feet sizzle and see steam rise. And lo’, thanks to mind over matter, I didn’t even blister. Hot damn.

I raced home at midnight, under a full moon, with a note card tucked into my Levi’s: “I, Veronica Danielle LaPorte, walked on fire. I can do anything.”

Would I do it again? Ummm…I…dunno. The evening of that fire walk workshop, I asked some of the repeat walkers how it was for them. I was surprised to hear that a lot of them burned their feet on their second walk. “Say whu?! But you already slammed these coals once.” The prevailing response: “Yeah, but I got cocky the second time around.” Every walk requires a fresh meditation.

Ask any athlete or elite performer. Writers, salesmen, speakers, very big project managers, wide-awake lovers:

Success can dull your senses. Each win is a new win, earned with intense focus and an open heart.
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Do not take your expertise or natural talent for granted. Stay awake. Hunt. Kill your old material. Listen for new information. Tell a different story in a different way. Crush your gimmicks. Let the page be white. Kiss him like it’s your first kiss.

Let your heart race and concentrate. Then and only then, begin.

Danielle LaPorte is the outspoken creator of The Desire Map, author of The Fire Starter Sessions (Random House/Crown), co-creator of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan, and soon-to-be publisher of DANIELLE Magazine, launching in early 2014. An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec, and business strategist, she writes weekly at DanielleLaPorte.com, where over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice—a site that’s been deemed “the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality” and was named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes.

You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter @daniellelaporte.

*Image courtesy of Public Domain Pictures.