I don’t know everything, but I know this much: Until you’ve decided to go all-in on your dream and have taken bridge-burning steps towards achieving them, you will never achieve them.
This theme is echoed in many areas of our lives. In traditional wedding vows you’ll hear the lines
…forsaking all others… as long as you both shall live.
I’ve been to a number of weddings, as you probably have also. And so, we grow desensitized to what these words actually mean.
Until your dying day, this is the life you will live. This is the path you’ve chosen. This is the disease that plagues you. For better, or for worse. The path to achieving a dream is not common. It’s very unusual. Nobody will understand it. Most people will never achieve their ultimate dream and that’s probably why they have so much time to turn up every weekend. And, that’s ok — dreaming keeps us alive. But for you, dreaming isn’t enough.
Building a dream is incredibly hard, incredibly scary, and an unbelievably lonely experience no matter how many people appear to be cheering for you. Nobody is in the ring with you. It’s you versus the force. This is golf. It’s a beautiful day, but you won’t appreciate it because you’re at the tee. All you can see is your own interlocking grip and sweaty knuckles while everyone else around you appreciates the beautiful greens. All you can feel is the slight bend in your knees and tension of your thighs while the crowd enjoys the breeze. All you can do is focus on this little white ball and the flag off in the distance while everyone else is everywhere else enjoying the show.
You cannot fool it. You can fool them, you can fool yourself. But you cannot fool achievement. It knows you haven’t earned it. It evades you.
Burning bridges gets a bad wrap. So what if you can’t go back to that job. Did you want to? Is that the only job in the world? Plan B’s are not for people with big visions. Plan B’s take time to maintain. People who achieve Plan A’s are forced to be all-in on Plan A. There is no room to maintain Plan B readiness and achieve Plan A.
Maybe that was hard for you to hear. Let me put it another way then… If you want a happy marriage, you can’t keep the door open to going back to your old girlfriend. Old girlfriends are not options for people who want happy marriages. Old girlfriends who wait on the sidelines require maintenance. You have to call once in a while.
There isn’t room for a fallback relationship if you want the first to work out. You must burn the bridge. Us versus everybody.
Plan B’s are for people who will achieve Plan B. Good for them.
Some people are designed to achieve great things in the world. You’re probably one of those people. Still, you might not make it because you’re fooled and don’t even know it. You’ve gotten soft. The sun feels good, and so does the breeze.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I work.
Know this: It’s ok to live a good life. You don’t have to be all-in to be happy. I’m not talking to people who want to be happy though. I’m talking to people who want to alter the rotation of the earth because they know that it’s possible to do so.
Everyone you know will be forgotten in 100 years. Their names will die. Unless.
Nobody is remembered for trying to be remembered. That’s not what this is about. They’re remembered because they changed the world — sometimes horribly, but that’s not the point either. You’re probably not so terrible. You do have an idea that can help a lot people though, and you should probably do that.
We don’t fully appreciate how uncommon hard work really is. Hard work is not long hours. Hard work is not sweating or the presence of blood. Hard work is continuing on when your entire being says that it’s quitting time, we’re spent…. you can finish tomorrow.
There is no tomorrow. I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you.
There is no other life other than the one you’re living. My apologies.
There is no ‘if this one thing happens, everything else will work out’. That never happens either.
You’re probably not one connection away. Ever heard of Memphis Bleek?
Stop waiting for someone to make an introduction for you. Stop waiting for an audience to show up. Stop waiting for an investor. Stop waiting for an engineer to show up to build your awesome idea of an app. Stop waiting for a record label to discover you. Stop waiting for someone to keep their word. Statistically speaking, they’re not going to. (I did absolutely no math to figure this out.)
Save yourself. Nobody else is coming. You defeat gravity by building so much thrust by sheer momentum and internal force that you break it’s laws. Rockets do it all the time. Become a rocket.
If you find yourself with too many options, you’re probably not focused enough and you’re fooled by delusion. This will be as binary a decision as anything. Either you’re going to put in the work, or your not. Either you’re going to stay up, or you’re going to go to sleep. Either you’re going to learn to code, or you’re not. Either you’re going to put down the cookie, or you’re going to eat them. Either you’re going to make the call, or you’re going to talk yourself out of it. Either you’re going to take the stage, or your going to sit in with the crowd. Either you’re going to start the company, or you’re going to find a job. Either you’re going to wakeup at 6, or you’re going to wakeup at noon. Either you’re going to live, or you’re going to die.
By choosing one, you neglect the other for life. Not for a week. Not for a year. For life. This is your new reality. Long hours and heartache are ahead. But, so is glory.
The bridges must be burnt.