Is your fallback plan a blessing or a curse?

I was chatting with a friend today. She was asking me about the process when selecting a coach. She was sharing her observations about what she was seeing out there on the market and asked a couple questions about the coaches in my life.

In sports, athletes invest a lot in coaches. They have competitions coming up that they must win, titles they must cop, trophies they collect. Their game is an important one.

In the game of life however the pressure isn’t on us to perform.

Countless coaches provide guidance and direction, roadmaps and tactics, checklists and scripts, yet many of us don’t take action.

Our mental game perhaps shoulders the most blame for why we don’t take massive action.

We are not ready, or confident enough. We don’t feel adequate, or prepared. We don’t have enough information, need more experience, need to start next week for sure. We are not really giving our coaches a lump sum investment. We are paying them by the session and hoping for magic.

The magic is in the doing and discovering.

Whenever I am in this space, reflecting on my own life and progress I am reminded of  Cortés and his story that Robert Greene shares in the 33 Strategies of War:

  1. Sometimes you need to run your ships aground, burn them, and leave yourself just one option: succeed or go down. Make the burning of your ships as real as possible; get rid of your safety net. Sometimes you have to become a little desperate to get anywhere.
  2. Because you think you have options, you never involve yourself deeply enough in one thing to do it thoroughly, and you never quite get what you want.
  3. Locate the root of your problem. It is not the people around you; it is yourself, and the spirit with which you face the world.
  4. In the back of your mind, you keep an escape route, a crutch, something to turn to if things go bad. Maybe it is some wealthy relative you can count on to buy your way out; maybe it is some grand opportunity on the horizon, the endless vistas of time that seem to be before you; maybe it is a familiar job or a comfortable relationship that is always there if you fail.
  5. Just as Cortés’s men saw their ships as insurance, you may see this fallback as a blessing, but in fact it is a curse.

The 33 Strategies Of War – Robert Greene

Maybe just maybe, it’s time to burn those ships.

Let’s see what you got inside. Give yourself the gift of seeing what’s possible for you when you have no other choice but to work the plan you’ve got.

I say this to myself.

I say it to you.

Burn your ships!

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