Many of us spend our lives trying to bridge the gap between where we want to be and where we are right now, attempting to fill the void between the person we want to become and our current selves. The reality is that making that leap requires tremendous effort and taking some radical decisions.
I surely didn't want to lose my close friends from high school, the military, or the automotive community. Maybe it wasn't necessary, who knows? But one thing I was sure of was that staying physically or mentally in the place I was born would not benefit me or my family in the future. Setting happiness aside, the decisions I made were between giving up on my dreams by deeming them impossible, and saying "yes it's tough but I won't die without trying."
Burning ships doesn't just mean getting a visa and a ticket to move to a different country. Even though they live abroad, there are millions who still spend every day following news from their homeland and texting childhood friends. Perhaps they have raised their living standards, but almost all of them, at any given moment, wonder if it was worth it, while longing for their homeland.
If what you want to achieve isn't consuming your every thought, if your plans haven't become an obsession, if you haven't reached the point where your current circumstances are stretching you like a taut slingshot ready to launch you far away, then it probably isn't worth it.
Otherwise, let me explain what 'burning the ships' is: It means leaving behind all the relationships you've invested years in building, along with the career you've worn your elbows out for, all to nurture and grow. It means getting rid of everything tying you to the past, forgetting about being loved and respected in one fell swoop, and starting life from scratch.
But most importantly, burning the ships means eliminating all your retreat options so that there is only one path forward.
I always told my students:
You can't control the outcome; you can only control the effort.
If you've put in your best effort before the exam, and you have no regrets like, "I should have solved some questions instead of playing video games on the weekend," then you have no reason to worry. You've done your duty, and if you don't pass, no one can blame you.
So, you might expect me to wrap up by saying, "It's not a problem if you don't succeed as long as you did your best". But unfortunately, that's not the case. Once you’ve burnt your ships, there's no turning back, and there'll be no one around to comfort you.
Therefore, if you don't wish to try crossing the ocean by swimming, you'd better give it your all because you have no other choice now.