I believe that we all have the inherent ability to change the world by changing ourselves.
We can spread the light of freedom to each other just by being free around one another. That’s the mission behind our new initiative called Project Candlelight. Our goal is to do our best to shine as much light as we have found in the world.
When you change the way you think about things and the actions you take, you can create really amazing things. The change can spread so quickly — faster than you would have thought possible.
Christmas Eve Inspiration for Project Candlelight
I trace this project’s inspiration, especially its name, back to my grandmother. She loves to go to church. On Christmas Eve, her church often holds a candlelight service.
Their candlelight ritual begins with a darkened room. They light a single candle.
Then, 12 people bring their candles forward. They light their candles from the original.
Those 12 people walk through the aisles to let the people at the end of each row light their candles. The flame then passes down each row.
In just a short time, the entire room becomes illuminated with candlelight.
I find such inspiration in it for two reasons.
- One flame spreads throughout the room. In a very real way, the same flame is alive in all the candles by the end of this process.
- Your job is to shine the light. Everyone is warned at the beginning of the process not to light someone else’s candle. You could spill wax on someone and burn them. The people with the unlit candles are to tilt their own wicks toward the flame.
In a similar way, it doesn’t serve anyone for you to go out and try to convince others’ metaphorical candles to get lit. That’s how people get burned.
Instead, your job is simply to carry the light. You can go out and shine your light in the world.
Shining Our Light Through Project Candlelight
Here’s where those of us involved with Project Candlelight are coming from: We want to shine our light brightly and invite other people toward it. Others will come and light their candles, and then they’ll go and share the flame with other people.
To clarify, we don’t see ourselves as the source. We didn’t start the fire. But what we get to do is shine brightly. And then what happens is, if you’re willing to come close, your own fire will get stoked higher and higher.
It doesn’t mean that we are anybody else’s success in the world. That’s not how it works. But we provide an example as we shine our light.
Our friend Sarah is an incredible example of the difference this can make.
Sarah didn’t really understand our mindset at first. She told us, “I don’t understand how changing the way I think can make me not poor.”
And we just started having her around more often and talking about her business.
Within a few months, she’d cut back the time she was pouring into work by about a third, but she had tripled her income.
That’s what it’s all about for us. As we’re growing and developing, we want to bring all of our friends and anyone we come in contact with along for the ride.
Freedom is contagious. The more you experience freedom, the more the people around you will say, “What’s going on over there?” And people who haven’t yet figured out freedom will be drawn to your freedom like a moth to a flame.
I know it because I’ve been there myself. I sought out those flames, came close, and leaned in with my candle. Now I want to do the same for others.
Everyone’s candle can be lit. There’s no secret ingredient to success in the world. It’s not something that you either have or you don’t. It can all be learned.
So with Project Candlelight, we are doing our best to share our lights so that other people can pick up the flame.
Shining Your Light
I used to do kung fu with this guy named Tyson. Whenever we’d get together for martial arts practice, he’d go to the whiteboard to draw a yin and yang symbol. He wouldn’t say a word; he’d just draw it and then walk back to his spot to continue practicing.
His point was to remember that yin and yang are in everything. Every move we were making in kung fu and tai chi contained those two aspects. In drawing the symbol, Tyson was reminding us to practice that.
That was a way that he shone his light. The others of us who were gathered could take that and embody it in our beings. We got to work on lighting that up in our lives.
You, too, can take anything that works for you and shine that light in your reality. You can be a light in your community.
Some people will pick up your light and light themselves. They’ll spread that in their communities.
You can’t access everyone on the planet. You simply don’t have access to everyone. But you can reach some people.
I know that the way I communicate isn’t going to land for some people in the world. Those people may be able to hear the message the way that you communicate it though.
So if you’re willing to listen and understand the best way that you can, you can then be that light and shine in the world. You’ll inspire other people and illuminate their lights. Just by being close to your lit candle, others’ candles will ignite.
Changing the World Through Project Candlelight
There are two ways to approach personal development on a societal level.
One is the inside-out approach. If I focus on developing myself, then what impact can I have on the world?
The other is the top-down approach. It entails developing policies at the top and then disseminating the information.
The top-down approach requires a lot more energetic resources to change the fabric of society. There are so many moving pieces involved in every policy shift that happens. It’s not a matter of convincing just one person.
We may not be able to control policies, but we do have control over our thoughts and actions.
So we can start from the inside. If you want your candle lit, you can make it happen. You can then focus on shining that candle brightly in every room you enter.
Some rooms you go in might not be ready for it yet. But others will say, “I want some of that goodness. Where do I get it?” They’ll lean in, and it will be easy to share the flame with their candles.
Imagine the exponential effect. If you tell two people, and they each tell two people, and so on, pretty soon the entire world will be exposed to the flame.
If you’re willing to be a candle, you could potentially change everyone in the world through only seven degrees of separation. And then we’ll have a world of freedom and possibility.
It won’t have happened from the societal level down. It will have taken place from the inside out.
1,000 Questions for Project Candlelight
I hope that, by now, you’re excited to get involved in Project Candlelight. This is a very direct way that you can change the world.
The more people who understand freedom, the more people who go out there brightly shining and sharing lights with the world, the more we’ll change the world.
So how can you get started with Project Candlelight?
Right now, we’re trying to get 1,000 questions from early-stage business owners, people who are ready to lean in and learn about freedom in business.
If that’s you, we want to hear your questions and learn what you want to know more about.
- Where are you feeling blocked?
- Where are your challenges?
- Where do you not quite see the path forward?
- Where is your freedom in some way being hampered right now?
I want to provide answers to those questions. I’m gonna bring my candle to them, and we’ll discuss the topics on The Shift to Freedom podcast. If there are questions I haven’t personally found the flame around yet, I’ll seek out someone who has. I’ll bring them onto the podcast as guests and try to light my candle on their warmth.
So, please, come listen to the podcast. Listen to what we’re saying, internalize it, and tell others.
We’re going to do blog posts and social media posts on these topics too. Please, quote what we share. You don’t need to attribute it to us. You have our explicit permission to share what we say as if it’s your own. The fire is not ours. It is the fire of freedom, and it exists everywhere.
But first, we’re looking for your questions. We have a form that you can fill out. Please go here to connect with us and let us know what you want to hear. Our desire is to build Project Candlelight around you and your path to freedom.
Through Project Candlelight, we are doing our best to shine our lights brightly so that other people can pick up that flame. Please join us for the adventure.
We look forward to reading your questions, so click here to access the form. Also, don’t miss Episode 42 of The Shift to Freedom podcast, where my wife Paige and I discuss Project Candlelight.
- Introducing Project Candlelight - April 17, 2023
- The Tension Between Freedom and Safety - April 17, 2023
- 6 Strategies for Moving Beyond Unworthiness - April 17, 2023