Saturday, 11 June 2011

Spurring motivation: the power of a burning bridge

Ever known someone who's burnt bridges??

We often use the expression 'burning bridges' to describe a negative behavior - perhaps someone who seems to be slash and burning their way through all their personal contacts.

However, burning the occasional bridge is an essential part of growing.

I have burnt many bridges in my life - all were painful! In hindsight, some were in haste and i probably should have paused for thought before dousing the wooden planks in gasoline and hurling a lit match behind me as i sprinted from the scene. Whereas other times, my actions have given me a new energy to pursue the future by cutting off a bridge to the past.

When you have burnt a bridge of the past - it is the surest way to drive yourself forward. You have no choice to go back!

Like quitting a job before you have a new one, putting in an offer for a house that you can't quite afford yet or buying a $2000 size 10 designer gown for your christmas party and telling everyone about it. Burning a bridge is holding yourself to an expectation. It is committing yourself to the path you have chosen in the future. Whereas the expression 'throwing your hat over the wall' is seen as positive - 'burning bridges' has had a bad press!

The word 'decision' comes from the latin: decisio - which literally means 'cutting off'. When you decide something, you cut off all the other options. What better way of focusing on your decision than burning all the other options to smoking cinders!

Burning a bridge might seem a destructive analogy, but used properly with thought and consideration - it can spur some of the greatest creations!
ans 'cutting off'. So if
Therefore, every time we burn a bridge, we must build a bridge.