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Burn Your Boat – The Only Way To Get What You Want

Burn Your Boat – The Only Way To Get What You Want

Many people spend a lot of time trying to figure out why they aren’t reaching their goals. They can’t figure out why it’s taking so long to get what they want. Yes, great things will happen with time, so we must keep patient. Most people never get what they desire for 1 simple reason; these people never burn their boat. If you haven’t heard of this reference, it comes from the story of Hernan Cortes when he and his soldiers made it to the New World, they burned their boat, sending a message “we take over the island or we die”. There was no retreating. This story is used by many personal development gurus and for good reason. People never get what they want because they always leave themselves an out. In this article I will explain why it’s necessary to put your back against the wall to get what you truly desire in life.

1) Plan B distracts from Plan A – One of my favorite books is “The One Thing” by Gary Keller. He argues in this book that we as humans delude ourselves into thinking we can multitask. He says when we do multiple things that we never truly master them, we at best just get them done. He goes on to say that if you want to really get things done at a high level you need to focus on one thing, master that, then move on to the next task or goal. People never get what they want because they dabble around with too many extra curricular activities, not leaving much time or energy left to go after what they truly want. When you really break things down, much of what people do can be handled more efficiently or worst, isn’t even necessary. When you decide what you want you need to devote your day to doing things that work on that. Everything else is just a distraction.

2) If You Have An Outlet, You’ll Never Get It – Going after your goals will be challenging. You’ll lose friends, people will laugh at you, and you’ll sacrifice different things – it’s really a grind. With that said, if you always have an outlet (a boat for retreat) you’ll always fall back on it when times are hard. You won’t consistently do the uncomfortable things that will get you what you want. With the net up, you’re not fully invested in what you’re doing, therefore, you never reach your goal. My boss had a talk with me about this 2 years ago and it was a hard truth. He said, “as great as you are, you’re not excelling because you’re comfortable right now”. Initially, I didn’t know how to take that because I pride myself on hard work and outworking my competition. He was right, though, because my job was covering all my bills so I shied away from consistently doing the uncomfortable tasks to grow my side businesses. They did not begin to grow until I began working part time (removing the net). Now I didn’t have a choice but to do everything possible to grow the business. It’s either make the sales call or don’t eat. It was either stay up until 3am filming content and writing workouts or don’t pay the mortgage. It took that pressure to force me to go even further. It’s scary but let me tell you it’s worth it!

3) You Become A Better Person – When you take that leap of faith and remove any safety net, you really begin to grow into your goals. As humans when faced with a scenario where you will die or survive, we will find a way to survive. That’s how humans are built. This is why the species developed to what it is today. So when you step out on faith, you will adapt and grow because if you remain the same, you’ll go backward. If you don’t believe me, read the biography of any successful person. Their success usually stems from a back against the wall moment where they had to step their game up and be their best. I can’t think of a story where this isn’t the case. Whether it’s a business story, a weight loss story, any successful story there was no safe route. They had to become more and there was no other option.

If you’re not where you want to be in life, chances are you’re relying on a safety net. I’ll be honest, it’s scary, it’s tough, it’s draining, but it’s equally rewarding. Life is about growth, and when you put your back against the wall and grow into your goals, there’s an amazing satisfaction and excitement that comes along with it. Don’t be afraid take that leap of faith. Like Steve Harvey said “you must jump for your chute to open”. It’s terrifying at first but once you do it, it’s very exciting. You’ll never know if you don’t take that first step.

-Jimmy Carter

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