MAKE A COMMITMENT: “BURN THE BOATS”

By Arlene Kahn Therapy • January 9th, 2011

As part of a motivational speech Coach Rex Ryan told the New York Jets football team the story of Hernan Cortes, the Spanish conquistador who went to Mexico in 1519 and, despite being outnumbered, ordered his charges to burn the boats they had arrived on! (NYTimes Jan. 8, 2011).

In other words, they couldn’t go back.  They had to make the commitment, give it all they had, right then and

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - AUGUST 07:  General manager...

self-respect is earned not given

there.  In his talk, Ryan also stressed respect and how to get it, not from other team members, not from opposing teams, but respect for yourself.  He said “Self-respect  is earned only through potential realized.”  The Jets realized their potential when they won their first play-off game against the Colts of Indianapolis.  They did it by staying with the game when they were losing and making the winning field goal in the last three seconds of playl

Most of us know we are capable of more than we are accomplishing, but we tend to give up on our goals, get lazy or make a half-hearted effort.  Realizing your potential is what makes you feel good about yourself.  It means “walking the talk,”  getting out and exercising, fixing what needs fixing, in your house, in your life. It’s the opposite of  half-hearted effort.

We all tend to “water down” our goals, procrastinate, distract ourselves with less important or meaningful tasks than the ones we really want to achieve. Ryan is stirring the Jets with motivation, the challenge to commit fully, to commit to their own values and self-esteem, not just money.  They already have plenty of that.   And, they have been rising to the challenge.

Ryan’s words, “Self respect is earned from potential realized,” is something we all need to remember as we move into 2011.

You might ask yourself, “what are five areas of your life that need to be strengthened in order to realize your potential?”  For example:

1. Increasing self-discipline

2. Knowing what you have to do

3. Lowering your stress level

4. Having realistic expectations

5. Making use of opportunities

Are there 3 or more areas of your life that would have to change in order for you to be more motivated to realize your potential?  If you would like to share what they are, leave a comment in the box below. Maybe we don’t want to burn the boats or bridges, but certainly, we need to give full throttle to a worthy effort for a solid period of time. Then, let’s see if our self-esteem, confidence and self-respect doesn’t  increase.

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“Doing what creates self-respect”

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