It was true then and even more true now. I hear the word (commitment) thrown around ad nauseam in both in the gym and in the board room. And it’s often a platitude in the moment that rarely results in action much less success.
Real commitment means ‘burning your boat.’ From Cortés conquest of the Aztec Empire to as far back as Xiang Yu’s order at the Battle of Julu in 207 BC, there are many documented instances where a leader, once they’ve landed on the shore of a hostile territory would order the men to destroy their ships. This meant they had to conquer and overcome or be killed.
How many of us have that resolve?
I’ve just returned from a very transformative trip and I’m making some truly seismic decisions about my future now. And I’m blessed to know so many successful and generous people willing to share stories and encourage this change, even if only through their example.
The one consistent thing I see in all of these friends, ones who’ve experienced wild and long-term success, is their ability to apply this kind of leverage on themselves. When a friend was struggling with their weight, they didn’t just sign a gym membership card, they threw out or gave away all of their clothes except a sparse few to get them to the next few weeks when they would need new ones and so on.
Another good friend and colleague just left our team after more than ten years, leaving considerable security and tenure on the table for a very uncertain future to work with his brother. I should note, this is at a time when his wife has recently left the workforce and they’re trying to have a baby. That’s guts. That’s inspiring.
But when we look back to our own examples, we’ll find this is true; when our back was against the wall, we inevitably fought harder and succeeded. The fact you are reading these words now might be proof of this alone.
Maybe the reason so many people don’t get what they truly desire is because they can’t let go of what they don’t. Maybe there is little distinction between security and the tie that binds. Maybe getting what you want is knowing what you’re willing to give up to get it.
David Russell was right when he said, “The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.”
Thank you Summy, Randall, Jason Georgiana, Parisa, Conor, Darren and Georgia Hardy – and all my new mentors from HPF8.