BURN THE BOAT

You have got to stand up for your dream; no one else can do it for you. In the face of all difficulties and against all the odds, it is imperative that we stay tuned into our desires and allow them to direct our steps and our lives.

There is a legend of a warrior that is recounted by Napolean Hill in his book, Think and Grow Rich:

                     “A long while ago, a great warrior faced a situation which made it necessary for him to make a decision which insured his success on the battlefield. He was about to send his armies against a powerful foe, whose men outnumbered his own. He loaded his soldiers into boats, sailed to the enemy’s country, unloaded soldiers and equipment, then gave the order to burn the ships that had carried them. Addressing the men before the first battle, he said, “You see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores unless we win! We now have no choice—we win—or we perish!”

Those soldiers won, as they had no choice and in doing so they came alive. What does it mean to burn the boat?

Decades ago I wanted to be a lawyer more than anything. I was unwilling to wait until a time it was more convenient or when it might be easier. I had a burning desire. There was nothing to indicate that I would be successful. I had no plan to pay for my living expenses or school, but I would not be deterred. I gave up my apartment and moved to another city. I rented a room and shared a bathroom with a man I didn’t know. I did not have a plan, but I did have a dream, and that dream fueled me more than anything. I was willing to go into uncertain terrain, even though my future seemed unclear. People told me to wait, to delay, to save my money and then return with a cushion. I said, no and pushed forward. There were times when I didn’t know how I would eat or pay my rent, but I stuck with it. I am so glad that I did because I learned just how resilient I am and it created a firm foundation for the rest of my life. I learned how to take a step, even when I am afraid. I look back at that time in my life and see places where I could have pushed myself further, but I can only see that now. I couldn’t have seen it then. I also know that I can recover from a mistake, but only if I am willing to try.

I allowed myself to be pulled into the feeling of the excitement of crossing into the bar of justice, addressing the court and speaking to juries. It is such a glorious feeling, and not everyone gets to do that. There are thousands of lawyers in California, but being a trial lawyer is a unique experience, and there was no way I was going to let fear stop me. I was more afraid not to try than I was of failing.

Guess what happened once I started, once I tried. Everything came together. The school created a financial aid package that I could handle, while friends and family pinched in too. None of that could have happened if I hadn’t tried. I had to succeed because I didn’t have a plan B.

Living from your Core Desired Feelings requires you to stand up for yourself in ways that you never have before. You’re going to need to talk to yourself differently and to entertain possibility.

You will have to give some “ish” up too.

It will require you to ignore what others will think to stop you. You will have to tell your fear to shut the hell up and keep going. Sometimes you will have to keep going because you have burned the boat behind you.

 

We are always evolving. We are never going to stop wanting because we are alive. We want this breath and the next one and the one after that. We should never stop dreaming. To get to your best life, give up good enough, go ahead a try excellent. When the choices are good, better, best…Take the BEST, it’s your birthright.  Stop saving the candles for a special occasion, enjoy the beauty available to you NOW.

 

So now I do this coaching because I want more people to experience living wildly fulfilling lives, not sometime off in the future, right now.  Not after you retire.  Not when the kids leave home.  Live your life NOW.

 

It is so exciting to step into an active role in creating a life worth living. The joy is in taking a step, and then another and another.

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