We've all used or have heard this phraze. It can be used in so many contexts. From making a situation worse to helping us move forward with motivation.
I'd like to talk about the positive side first. When we have a subject or an activity we enjoy and like to keep active in our lives, we need to keep the passion alive or it fades out. If it fades out we loose interest and sometimes even dread the thought of it. To keep the passion alive we need to fuel the fire. By finding things that excite us and hold our interest, we can do just that. Sometimes sharing the experience with others who also like the same thing can fuel the fire. Sometimes going somewhere to see someone or to learn from someone who has more understanding or skill in the subject can fuel the fire and really fan the flames to get that fire burning. This can happen because the person with more knowledge and understanding or a higher skill level can show or bring to light things we didn't know were possible. This gives us the desire to improve our own knowledge and skill set. It becomes very motivational for us. Also if this subject or activity has a useful purpose, then by using it to help others it can fuel the fire as well through self gratification. If you feel like you have a purpose then you feel better about continuing on.
Now for what some may call the negative side of the phraze. Any time our help, hurts, then we are fueling the fire as well. Sometimes we do to much for someone and this just encourages laziness. Or we do something that just escalates the situation. I can give many examples in Horsemanship on this. One example. A lot of riders when the horse starts to get a bit unruly, they real in on the reins and hold tighter as if they can restrain 1,000 lbs of emotional muscle. The restriction on an already emotional creature just fuels the fire and fans the flames for the need to escape the situation. Most bucking and rearing problems have this same root problem. I personally have more success with emotional outbreaks by releasing the horse physically, matching the emotional energy and gently guiding and redirecting the energy. Not many can do this for a few reasons. One, they are overtaken by fear and/or panic. Or they just haven't developed a proper response, whether it be lack of practice or knowledge. Either way in these instances we tend to fuel the fire and fan the flames and making for a worse outcome.
So try to fuel the fire of desire and stay motivated and active in the things you love and enjoy doing. But also seek out knowledge and understanding so we don't fuel the fire of unwanted consequences.
Thanks for reading.