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Burn the Boats

Have you ever had to go all in on a decision?  The kind where you know there’s no turning back? 

There’s an old war story where a fully committed captain burned the boats once landing on shore.  As his soldiers looked back to see the boats blazing, he told them there was no retreating now - they either conquer or die trying. 

They conquered. 

When my son was nearing the end of his Junior year in high school, he came to me and said he wanted to live with my sister in Utah his senior year.  What? Are you crazy? No way! I wasn’t about to live without him for a year. Plus, football was his life, was he willing to give that up? His answer was YES! He knew what he wanted and where he needed to be to progress.  

Soon after, all my kids were on board and ready for the adventure.  I always knew we would return to Utah, but I had no idea it would be so soon.  Plus, there were so many impossibilities of moving. Like, what about our livelihood established in Maine?  It’s not so easy for a doctor to relocate.  

On top of that there’s selling and buying a new home, moving all our things across the country, and the list went on.  We were fully established with all of our friends, our dream lake house just an hour away, and 10 years vested into building our thriving practices.  

But…we knew we were supposed to move, and so we went all in. 

It was time to burn the boats.

I remember putting the house up for sale and beginning the process of packing.  My plan was to pack a few boxes per day - slow and steady wins the race! Our deadline was to get to Utah before school started in the fall.  

A simple plan really - sell our house, buy a house, sell our practices, move across the country and establish life. 

Easy, right?


It was almost the end of summer and our house hadn’t sold, we didn’t have a new house yet, and the practices hadn’t sold either. But, we were committed to our move and had burned the boats.  

Our kids had missed all the tryouts for competition teams and sports that had been their staples in life.  We had said goodbye to friends (I’ll tell you about the big white tent farewell party later) and our focus was on the future. 

My theme was no turning back, like Lot’s Wife in the Bible, because I was not about to be turned into a Pillar of Salt!

So we loaded into our RV, loaded up the moving trucks, and on D-Day (the last possible day to make it to Utah in time to start school) we began our trek across the country to start our new life in Utah.  

Yes, the WalMart parking lot across the street from the High School was our first home. Turns out school applications don’t accept that address.  Thank goodness for family that also put us up for a short time while we got settled.  

The transition was hard, and in many ways it’s still ongoing even three years later.  But, we went all in on our decision to move our family forward. And as a result we have conquered, and our kids are thriving.  

Turns out going all in, even at extremely hard at times, does in fact conquer every time IF you are willing to be patient in the process and not give up.  

Where are you holding back in life? 

What changes can you make so you go ALL IN so that you can move your life forward and conquer the challenges you are facing? 

It’s time to go for it, and whatever you do, don’t look back!

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