This is as good a time as any for me to come out of the closet as a person who lives with a lot of darkness. Whether I was born this way or became this way in my childhood I don’t know. I have had to do a lot of exploring as an adult to try to figure out the most efficient way to create a life full of joy and meaning, even though the Black Cloud comes to visit me pretty regularly. Sometimes I feel ashamed about this. A part of me believes that by this point – having been thinking about these matters for something between thirty-five and forty years and coaching others towards peak performance for more than 25 years — I should be able to EASILY be Sparky all the time! That is not my experience, however. If the approach I harangue you all about regularly is anything, it is my own practice to worry less about the fact that I am not “Living on the Nine Line” all the time (thanks to Elly Wood and Sebastian Gaertner for that wonderful phrase), and focus more on how best to move relatively QUICKLY from anxiety/fear and other forms of low sparkedness, towards something better. In terms of my “Spark Number” – my sense of happiness, energy and possibility — I do still see “2” and “3” multiple times a week. It is unusual, however, for me to go much more than an hour without being able to get back to an “8.” I will note that I am writing these words informed by seven consecutive weeks that have been among the most challenging I can remember. To be honest, I don’t really “Wait for the Eight.” I AIM at the eight. And I do it very intentionally, step by step. I am going to start sharing my own thoughts about “Sparking By Number” here this weekend. If you would like to know precisely what steps I suggest for different spark numbers, feel free to write me here with questions or at firstname.lastname@example.org.