Is it a bit of an overstatement to say, “Nobody goes all in with their goals anymore”? Maybe a little but I see this increasingly as a problem in people that are trying to do big things.
It’s always, “well if this doesn’t happen, then at least I’ll have this.” I often wonder if this mentality sets us up to fail because we’re subconsciously aware of that safety net. There’s the fighter and the runner. What happens when you don’t have the option to run? You fight. Your survival instincts take over. When failure isn’t an option, you adjust your course to reach your goals.
There is something to be admired about the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes before he was feared as too powerful and therefore stripped of said power. Upon arriving to Veracruz with 600 men, he ordered his men to destroy the ships. Upon reaching new, unfamiliar ground, they burned their safety net. Only two people exist in the world at this point: those who believe it’s absolutely foolish and those who want that level of confidence.
Two years after the burning of the ships, he gained control of Mexico. The Aztec Empire fell. His conquest was successful.
If you want to not only chase your dreams but achieve your dreams, you need to have a one option mindset. And that one option needs to be Success. Nothing else. Cortes knew that by removing the option of fleeing, he was removing the option of quitting. There was no going back.
That’s pretty damn powerful: burn the ships. Imagine how you would tackle your goals if you knew failing wasn’t an option.
As you head into your week, mentally remove all those safety nets—the backup job as a bartender, relocating to another department in another state, the idea you’ll just work out twice as hard the next day instead or will run off that donut later, you’ll always have next year, there’s always next time, etc. Remove all of it. Lay out the path of success. What does it look like?
Do you feel the chains of negativity break? Can you feel the freedom?
This week, burn your ships.