To Accomplish Anything Great You Must First Burn Bridges

Great accomplishments aren’t for the feint of heart. To succeed and succeed BIG, you need to be willing to risk, and risk big.

Morning view looking across at my neighborhood in beautiful Vancouver, BC.

My morning routine has changed over the past couple of weeks. Not my nutritional and physical routine, which has remained in tact (I’m still doing the same physical routine as I am in the Morning Routine article); rather, my morning reading, goal-setting, and ‘motivation’ routine.

Every morning I wake up and go through my usual exercises, my testosterone boosting routine, cold shower, and reading. The change occurs after I’ve finished all of this, when I now proceed to take a look at my big, audacious goal in a different light (it’s insanely big and audacious). Where I used to have it in mind at the beginning of my day, I now read it aloud as if it were already accomplished. As if it already existed and it now awaits me to come and accept it. IT waits for me, not I for IT.

I then read a statement of facts – not wishes or goals – of what I’m doing and going to do in order to make this audacious goal a reality. There’s no IF in my goal-setting anymore. It isn’t even really goal-setting but rather me reading about my future self and the position I will be in.

Sounds a bit hokey doesn’t it?

I thought so as well… at first. But then I looked at goal-setting as we usually treat it: as a wish and a fairytale. We usually look at a goal as something we wish to attain, but not as something we’re going to accomplish. It’s a hope not a foregone conclusion.

My new morning routine is a promise. As serious as death and as important as life. Once I made this promise to myself, there was no turning back. No fail safe or safety net to catch me as I descend from failure. Remember again, failure isn’t even a possibility. All bridges back to safety are burned. There’s only one option and only one way to go: forward.

You need to burn bridges if you’re going to succeed.

The bridges I’m talking about aren’t relationships we need to let go of in order to succeed, although many of us have them. These bridges are the safety net’s we all have in case we fail. They’re the back-up plan. The ‘plan B’ we map out in case our business venture is a complete failure. In case the road we’ve embarked on is tougher than we originally thought.

A bridge, in the sense I’ve mentioned, is something you’ll find missing in the plans of our heroes throughout history. Where we differ from them, is that their eventual success was a foregone conclusion. Where ours is a dream, a wish, and a blessing if it ever is reached. For them, the Henry Ford’s and the Steve Jobs; of the world, it was a matter of when, not if. If they failed once, they’d try a second time, and a third, fourth and fifth. Thomas Edison had more than 10,000 failures before creating the light bulb. Ask yourself, how many times are you willing to fail before you succeed?

The reality is that most of us aren’t willing to risk losing what we have to gain something greater. We acknowledge that we CAN fail. We see failure as the likely outcome simply because so many have failed before us, or we have failed so many times already. When failure and doubt creep into the mind, the war is already lost.

On burning bridges.

There’s a story of a long ago general who was about to face his greatest and most powerful enemy. One who greatly outnumbered his army. “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 his men before the first battle, he said, “You see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no other choice – we win – or we perish!”

They won.

***This story is taken from the classic book Think & Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. A book that’s necessary for anyone yearning for something greater, but struggling with the negative self-talk that so many of us struggle with.

Big dreams and those who tell you, you can’t.

It’s amazing that many of the greatest riches and victories are often held by the most unlikely characters. Henry Ford, a man born into no wealth, who was able to obtain a mere 6th grade education, forever changed the world and became on of its wealthiest inhabitants during his lifetime. Abraham Lincoln, again a man born into poverty; a man who taught himself to read because his father saw no value in education. Accomplished nothing until he was in his forties, and then is one of the world’s most famous and respected people, ever.

The friends of Guglielmo Marconi, the man who had the vision that we could transmit messages through the air via radio waves, committed him to a mental hospital upon hearing of his obsession and dream to make this possibility fact not fiction. He didn’t possess the limited imagination that his friends did. Just because something had never been done before, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

In more modern times, Steve Jobs was fired from the company that he helped create. That isn’t where his story ended. He eventually was hired back as CEO, in turn making Apple the biggest company in America. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and failed at his first business before learning from that failure (Traf-O-Data) and creating Microsoft. Oprah Winfrey was born with next to nothing, now she’s the richest woman in the world. More of a result of persistent hard work and a refusal to quit than any exceptional talent. And the list goes on…

It’s fascinating how the majority ruled are limited by nothing more than limitations we place on ourselves. They determine what we can and can’t do. The exterior world isn’t holding us down. Neither is our position in life, our genetics, our family, or our friends. Nor is our degree of intelligence keeping us poor, fat, unhealthy, unsuccessful and unhappy. It’s our belief that we CAN’T that makes our current and future state the way it is and always will be.

How can you burn bridges on your way to success?

With my site and my goals with my online work, I knew if I was going to give it my all, it had to be my all. So I dropped everything else that took my attention away from my work. I devoted, and am in the process of devoting, all of my time to creating this business. BIG risk. But not if you think of success as a when, not an if

If you have a big goal you want to achieve, I suggest you do the same. Read Think & Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill to get you started on the right track. Read some of the other articles on this site to give you a kick in the ass and a wake-up call. Take steps forward like nothing can stop you. If you work hard enough and keep that mentality, nothing will.

As for your training… Are you man enough?

With your training, act as if you’re already there. In my transformation, I trained like someone who had already accomplished what I wanted to accomplish. I ate like him, slept, trained, and breathed as if I was 32 pounds of ripped muscle heavier than I was before.

That person who I imitated was my mentor. That solution is now the PowerHowse Challenge. I couldn’t hoard it to myself. It helped me gain 32 pounds of ripped muscle in 32 weeks! How could I not share that with every single other guy who shares the same struggles with gaining lean muscle mass as I did for so many years? But it isn’t easy…

It took a lot of hard work and it was a very focused 32 weeks of training. No partying. I was strict with my diet. I was intense with my training. But I came out on top. And I hate to call you out, but I had to look myself in the mirror and ask if this is something I really wanted that bad. Is this something I wanted bad enough that I wouldn’t slip up?

Do you want the athletic muscle, that raises the confidence, that leads to the big life that you know you have somewhere within you just waiting to erupt? Ask yourself…

Are you MAN enough to take the challenge?

Basically, are you willing to train like I did (and still do), eat like I did (and still do), THINK like I did and in the way that resulted in my eventual success?

If you are, take the challenge.