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Burning The Boats: The Delicate Dance Of Going All-In

Mitchell Wilson


Mitchell Wilson


Mar 12, 2023

Burning The Boats: The Delicate Dance Of Going All-In

You are already all-in on life.

At some point in your future, there will be a last moment titled “The End”.

There’s no getting out of it - it’s inevitable.

As daunting as that may seem, there’s a way to leverage the notion and make full use of the situation.

What do you have to lose anyway when you know all will be lost in the end?

You might as well shoot your shot and go for it, whatever it is that keeps you up at night.

If you’ve made attempts at your dreams thus far, you’ll know that it’s not so straightforward. There’s a balance to strike between unthrottled ambition and responsibility.

It’s a dance and neither should hog the dancing floor.

Taming Ambition..Maybe

My engine runs on curiosity.

The world is so malleable in response to sheer will & prayer that it's intoxicating.

What can I do? What can I create? What change can I usher into my life? What’s possible if the pesky parts of me get out of the way? Where am I self-limiting & what is my limit?

These may look like questions, and they are, but they don’t lead to answers exactly. They lead to adventures. Taking the question as a quest to be explored, you’ll arrive in a much different place than when you started.

The crazy thing for me is that I’ve been exploring these questions for many years. And the most surprising part is how much more interesting life becomes the deeper I go down this path. Encouraging me, all the while, to keep going. Keep looking around that next corner. Keep an eye out for magic. Keep up your pace.

Since I’m called to keep going, the great limiting factor is time.24 hours a day. That’s what we’re allotted, but the pie chart of our responsibilities & sleep eat the time up quick.

I have a weird relationship with sleep.

I don’t have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. I have trouble taming my ambitious nature.

If the only way I can advance my curiosity is outside of my responsibilities (family, day job, chores, etc.), then a part of my sleep must be sacrificed. It’s the only wiggle room I currently have in this season of life.

Of course, everyone tells you to get 8 hours of sleep or you’ll die like 40 years sooner, but I call bullshit.

Yes, do I believe 8 hours of sleep is healthier than 6 hours of sleep. Absolutely.

But do I also believe that not pursuing your dreams will also eat you alive internally and cause just as many (if not more) negative health effects? Absolutely.

It’s not one-dimensional. There’s no getting out of your soul’s calling.

You’re screwed either way if you choose not to listen. Knowledge is a burden, remember? Life requires sacrifice. It will get what it needs from you one way or another, whether it’s intentional for you or not.

So you might as well play the game the best you can with full awareness.

Brutally Honest

The best strategy to be aligning with your soul’s calling over time is to be as honest as you can and trust that things will shift & shimmy right into place.

Honesty tends to be thought of as a noble pillar of character. It is that.

It’s code for no B.S. too. And to some, being truthful isn’t always kind and it can be harsh.

Either way, a harsh truth is still better than a cushy lie that keeps someone from interacting with reality. Instead, non-truth blurs. Non-truth deters. It keeps things fuzzy and generates a subtle layer of fog.

Be a jerk. The good kind of jerk. The one who tastefully tells it like it is.

“People are afraid to come off like a jerk. But a lot of your problems could be solved in advance by being more of a jerk.”

- Adam Lane Smith, Attachment Psychologist

Honesty. Where people know what they’re gonna get when they speak with you. Where they know you’re telling it to them straight.

It’s less weight on you too. No lies to keep up with. No stories to remember. A light traveller with nothing but truth in his bag.

The straight-shooter who’s gone all-in on what’s real to them.

Burn The Boats

True commitment to a value, to a person, to an idea means nothing is left out.

There are no plan Bs. You have to take steps down a path made of irreversible decisions. Ones that change your fate forever.

There’s this saying people use: ‘Burn the boats’. It signifies the act of ditching all backup plans, escape hatches, and safety nets.

Back in the ole days, leaders of armies would land on the enemy’s land and burn the boats. No chance of return, only success or death as an option.

It’s a powerful motivator for sure, yet we don’t have to set any of our things on fire. We can still use this idea to fuel the fire of our hearts because it is inspiring and it does demand the best out of you.

And is it not terrifying to think of a life lived where the best of you never saw the light of day?

Build top-tier mental wealth

Let's keep your soul off airplane mode.

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