Burn the Ships
One of the keys to reaching your goals is to eliminate
any escape routes. It is tempting to retreat to safety and comfort
when challenges and difficulties arise. To avoid turning around
and abandoning your goals, you must make going forward more
compelling then going back.
When striving towards a goal, you must focus on
what you want to obtain and avoid the impulse to go back to
what you know and to what is comfortable. When Spanish Conquistador
Hernando Cortez landed in Mexico, one of his first orders to
his men was to burn the ships. Cortez was committed to his mission
and did not want to allow himself or his men the option of going
back to Spain. By removing this option, Cortez and his men were
forced to focus on how they could make the mission successful.
Eliminating an escape route creates a compelling
reason to focus on the goal and to keep moving forward. However,
it is important to keep in mind that although Cortez had his
men burn the ships, he did not have them burn the food and supplies.
Cutting off an escape route to increase motivation and create
the desire to press on where you might otherwise give up is
totally different from throwing caution to the wind and taking
undue risks. Reaching your goals still requires prudent planning
and managing. All goals contain a certain degree of risk, but
it isn't necessary to create undue risk and stress by not properly
planning and thus lacking the necessary tools and supplies to
achieve your goal. Take risks, but don't be careless or foolish
and simply hope that everything will be okay.
Before you decide to burn your ships, make sure
you have the supplies and tools necessary to achieve the goal.
Something like quitting your job might sound like a good way
to close the escape route, but it might also be a fast way to
bankruptcy if you don't have resources to carry you through.
Creating a savings account balance or having a journey job (a
job that is a stepping stone to what you really want) allows
you to take the risk of leaving your current job without creating
undue risk. I once took a six-month leave of absence from a
job while I was deciding if I wanted to move to a different
state. Although it was difficult making the transition as I
was very homesick, once I found a job in my new location, I
resigned from the job I had waiting for me because I knew it
would be too tempting to go back.
Close off the escape routes and make sure that
you have a compelling reason to move forward. However, at the
same time, make sure that you plan for the risk and have the
tools, supplies and resources you need to achieve your goals.
You can't eliminate risk but you can plan for it. Don't just
jump in without thinking through the process and having a solid
plan for moving forward.
Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD provides daily motivation,
information and inspiration to thousands of busy self development
enthusiast who want to stay focused and on track to their goals
through her award winning e-zine 365 Days of Coaching. For a
free report, "The Power of Daily Action - How to create
more Wealth, Health and Happiness by Tapping Into the Power
of Daily Action" go to http://www.365daysofcoaching.com/daily_action.htm.
2006 True Direction, Inc.