Burning the Boats

I was listening to a podcast called the Hidden Brain back in November. The episode was about back up plans. http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510308/hidden-brain   It talked about how having a back up plan might make you less motivated to your primary objective. It made me think of the famous Spanish Conquistador, Hernan Cortes. Legend has it that when he landed in Mexico to overtake the Aztecs, he burned the boats so that there would be no turning back from their mission.
In reality, some of his men carried loyalty to Cortes’ rival, the Governor of Cuba. A portion of his men, still loyal to the Governor of Cuba conspired to seize a ship and escape to Cuba, but Cortés moved swiftly to quash their plans. To make sure such a mutiny did not happen again, he decided to sink his ships, on the pretext that they were not seaworthy. 20160421_144919
More in the spirit of the legend of burning the boats, I had a “Cortes moment” this afternoon as I disassembled my bike, Hidalgo and packed it up for the airline flight tomorrow. Unlike the practice packing I did Saturday, this was for real and I had that sense that there is now no turning back. I think each step that brings me closer to the Pacific and the start of the ride will give me another Cortes moment. When I check in with Hidalgo at the airport tomorrow morning, I will get that feeling again. I know I’ll feel that way in Oceanside on Sunday. CortezBoatBurning
Throughout the preparation and planning, I have made it a point to tell everyone I know that I am doing this ride. I don’t do it to boast. I do it to give myself accountability and motivation. Because when you have a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), you should tell lots of people about it. That way, every time they see you they will ask, how’s that Big Goal of yours coming? It keeps the pressure and motivation to finish that goal!

Leave a Reply