EDITORIAL – The academy award goes to Matthew McConaughey; the Grammy to Jennifer Hudson; and the Heisman Trophy to Johnny Manziel. One of these comes from the acting world, one is a singer, the other a college quarterback. So, what do they all have in common?
While some might say they’re lucky, something more than luck has allowed these individuals, and others like them, to accomplish what they have. To get where they are has required them to do things that most people can’t imagine. Like all people who’ve achieved greatness, they’ve had to “burn their ships in the harbor,” as the following story (relayed to me years ago) illustrates.
A general was to land on a foreign island with several hundred soldiers. Their mission was to seize the beach and hold it until reinforcements arrived the next day.
The enemy, however, were known to be a fierce and ruthless adversary who’d never lost a battle.
As the soldiers were departing their ships, the general heard some of them telling one another that if the going got too tough, they’d simply retreat to the ships and sail away.
Upon hearing this, the general ordered that all the ships be burned in the harbor. His men, with nowhere to retreat, won the battle and held the area.
I hope you got it because within that story lies the key to achieving a big goal in any area of your life. All you have to do is follow the example and there is no telling what you can accomplish.
The thing I’ve found, though, is most people aren’t willing to “burn their ships.” They (like the soldiers in the story) want them there in case things get too hard they can use them to escape with. So, don’t be like most people.
Decide today, right now in this moment, that you will follow the general’s example, and do what you must. In short, you will burn your ships in the harbor. Once you do, great things can happen. And, you’ll be following the lead of all who’ve made a mark in this world.
People like the young musician who moves to Nashville, against the advice of his friends and family;
Or the actor who goes to Hollywood, in hopes of landing a big movie role;
Or the business person who risk his or her life savings to fund their business start-up.
I’m not saying those types of decisions are for everyone. But, we all can learn from their example.
Maybe for you, it’s committing yourself to your marriage, to remain together, for better or worse, and really meaning it.
Or maybe it’s a commitment to graduate from college, or to stop smoking.
Regardless of what it may be, the principle remains the same. You have to be willing to keep going, no matter how hard you’re hit.
When things get tough, you must remain committed to your decision. You must be willing to give it your all. Because if you do, you can’t be stopped.