sticky notes on board/burning our ships
LIFE

Burn your ships so you can’t go back

Table of Contents

Burning your ships so you can’t go back is just another way of saying, get out of your comfort zone.

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. Here’s a great example.

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.

Eliminate an escape route

Eliminating an escape route creates a compelling reason to focus on the goal and to keep moving forward. However, it is important to remember 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.

burning bridges requires prudent planning and managing.

Reaching your goals 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.

Think Before You burn Your Ships

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 the resources to carry you through. Creating a savings account 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. 

relationships, especially so

Relationships might be the same. You may have to burn some of those as well but this is one area where you can’t probably can’t think it through enough. RELATIONSHIPS are special, long-term ones, especially so. I take my relationships, and my friendships seriously and it hurts to see them go. I’m one of those people who lets go only if forced to.

Never burn a relationship unless you don’t have a choice.

plan for the risk

sticky notes on board/burning bridges

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. This make take a while.

Burning one’s ships doesn’t mean you aren’t prudent. 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. 

Proverbs has a lot to say about being naive. I’ve known way too many people who have big dreams but never a plan. I would contend you can’t have big dreams without a plan.

Recently, my husband and I burned a ship.

We decided to get rid of cable and go strictly to streaming. Can I tell you how much I don’t like it? But do I have to get used to it because we’ve burned our bridges? Yep.

Burning ships is different than burning bridges.

We shouldn’t burn bridges, but sometimes the only way to make a change is to just go for it.

I am even doing that with material possessions. I have several small accent tables, and I’ve decided I’m tired of having to put something on them and dust them. So, I’m getting rid of them. Just that easily, I might add.

That means I can get rid of some other items as well, like decorative pieces and lamps. We can get away too comfortable sometimes with the status quo, even in our surroundings. And if we continue to keep certain items, we feel compelled to use them.

I have a friend who, when she paints her walls, she doesn’t fill in the nail holes because she puts everything back where it was. And yet, her reason for painting in the first place was because she wanted a change. Once I convinced her to fill in the holes, so she was able to see her walls in a new light and did things differently.

Years ago I painted the glass on my secretary because I was tired of having to display something on the shelves. Now, I use it for my craft supplies. I love using it this way.

painted secretary/burning bridges

Be bold with your choices

If you want to change anything, you have to be bold. Most of us, certainly me, play it way too safe. I sure do. But the older I get, the more I realize it’s time to step out and quit playing it safe.

Writing books was a very bold step for me. I still can’t believe I’m currently on the final edit of book number two. And the Christmas book will be done by the end of September.

If I didn’t know better, I think it started with this paint project. You’ll just have to read it tomorrow.

Until then, have a blessed day.