You’re about to attack an army of savage barbarians.
They stand 7 feet tall, are bloodthirsty and carry weapons far superior to yours. Oh yeah, and you’re outnumbered 3 to 1. But you’ve got to do it. If you don’t, they’re going to invade your village soon and destroy everything you love, including your family.
Standing on the shores of their land, you look back at your men who are all shaking in their boots. Each one of them being careful not stray too far from the boats as they await your command.
You’re grateful for those boats. They’re your safe haven. You can still turn back you know. You could also start the fight and run back to the boats if everything goes awry.
Suddenly you realize that you’re doomed to die unless you take decisive action as a leader. You walk over to the boats and burn them. Some of your men faint in a total panic; others begin splashing water on the boats to try and put the fire out.
But it’s no use. You’re stuck here.
Now what? You’re men look at you with an eye of desperation and sheer dependence. The only thing to do now is march forward and find a way to make it work.
That's why we burn the boats when we land on the beach.
Because the only way out is through
You want to win at "doing" college. I want you do do well too. That’s why I’m here with you. But you’ll never win if you’re taking a half-baked approach.
If you’re going to build a legacy, set the standard, leave your mark - you need to burn the boats. .
It's pretty easy to bail out of a course (especially an "easy A" online course that no one even knows you signed up for). Easy to quit your job, not follow through with your commitments, or give up on a relationship.
In the moment, walking out is precisely the best short-term strategy. Sometimes this place is too hard, too unpleasant, too much...
The thing is, though, that the long-term strategy might be the opposite. The best long-term approach might be to learn something, to tough it out, to engage with the challenge. Because once you get through this, you'll be different. Better.
We always have a choice, but often, it's a good idea to act as if we don't.
The only thing to do now is march forward and find a way to make it work.