It’s Time To Burn Your Bridges

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

I have been watching the show Gold Rush since the first episode. I don’t know if you have seen an episode, but let me catch you up. The show follows gold minors who are looking to hit it big and find gold wherever they can. As you can imagine with any reality show, the amount of drama and action is always at an all-time high each episode. And this season opened in true Gold Rush fashion with high action and high drama.

As I watched the season premier a couple of weeks ago I realized that I had been learning a valuable life lesson from this show.


Photo from

No, this lesson has nothing to do with finding gold or getting rich.
I learned what it means to persevere and move forward.
Let me explain…

The show is about drama.
The show is about friction.
The show is about the American dream and what some will do to get that dream.

But few see the show as reality. The idea that we can see ourselves in the shoes of these minors seems to be as possible as seeing ourselves in the shoes of the guy who tight rope walked across the Grand Canyon. It is very unlikely. These minors are as unlikely of anyone to teach you about life. Maybe that is why this life lesson has stuck out to me so much.

If you have spent any time with the show, you know these guys never seem to catch a break. Just when they start to make progress, another problem arises. You can’t help but find yourself rooting for them. And after each episode I look forward to another episode. Not because I want to see more drama and problems, but because I leave inspired each episode by their perseverance. Their choice to continue, to not quit, and to stick to a path that seems impossible.

For all intents purposes, they have burned the bridge of safety behind them that takes them back home. That takes them to safety. That takes them to comfort.
They have chosen to move forward in the way of opportunity.

Check out this clip below. They are trying to get their trommel to their mining spot but face challenge after challenge.

I would have given up a long time ago. And yet there is no going back for these guys.

I haven’t just learned this lesson from these guys of Gold Rush. I have learned it from every person I admire. The common theme amongst all of them is they jumped in to their dream, they didn’t fall in to their dream. They have all burned their bridge to safety.

The definition of burning the bridge behind you means: To eliminate any possibility of retreat to a former position.

The very thing that could be holding all of us back from accomplishing what we were made to do could be that bridge behind us that leads us back to safety. Let’s burn them down and move forward. Because you just might find gold on the other side.

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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • Robyn Petrik

    This is great food for thought! Burning the bridge cuts us off from safety, making sure that we’ve jumped into our dreams and now are forced to find a way to succeed. Hmm, I may have to just burn the bridge sooner rather than later… Thanks for this!