A man stood near the edge of a small river pondering the implications about what he was about to do. As he meditated on the consequences set before him, he looked back at the men following him and with an abandonment of worry and second thought, he pronounced, “ālea iacta est” (The die has been cast). With that Julius Caeser led his men across the Rubicon River into a civil war that began the Roman Empire as we know it from history.
The significance of the Rubicon River was that it was a boundary of sorts and an ancient Roman law forbid any army from crossing the river to enter Italy. By doing what Caeser did, it was considered treason on his part. As soon as he made the decision to cross the river and lead his men to capture Italy and start his Roman Empire he made the decision to mark that point a point of no return. It was no doubt treachery and Caeser and his men knew that the punishment for them was death if they didn’t succeed in what they set out to do.
There is a similar story of from Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez when he rallied 500 soldiers, 100 sailors and 11 ships and sailed to Mexico in 1519 with one goal in mind: to take the treasure from the Aztecs. How could a small army accomplish this feat against a power and rule that had been around for six centuries? The answer lies on the day they arrived on the shores of the Yucatan. He gathered his men around and uttered the famous phrase, “Burn the ships!” His men were hesitant and resistant at first, but he again gave the order and the ships were burned. Now they had no way to retreat. The only option in front of them was either victory or death.
We can certainly learn a lot from these two powerful men in history when it comes to making bold decisions. What both men did so well that can translate in to leaving a life of worry behind is committing one’s self irreversibly to some course of action with a point of no return. There really is no other option. When Caeser led his men across the Rubicon, they knew that there was no way of reversing what they did. It was impossible. The die was cast and they made a decision to never return.
What habits and things in your life are you ready to leave behind so you can move forward to a better future. Are there things you can identify right now that you know aren’t good for you. Are there habits in your life that your ready to say, the die is cast. There is no return to these things? If so, you’ll enjoy the remaining parts of this blog series. The challenge after reading this is to identify and write down what habits your ready to give up to move to a better future moving forward. In the next blog we will cover a practical tool for your success in turning over these habits.