Burn the Ships

In the early 1500s, Hernan Cortés made a bold decision—he burned his ships after reaching the New World.

Those burning ships did more than eliminate an escape route, they sparked a fire within every man to press forward collectively, becoming part of a mission bigger than the individual, because they had no choice but to succeed.

What’s the lesson for us today?

History tells the fascinating story of an explorer named Hernan Cortés who sailed to the New World in the early 1500s. On his arrival to Veracruz, Mexico, his men were gripped with fear and anxiety and began talks of leaving the New World, returning to their homes and families they had left behind.

Realizing his men were about to quit, Cortés ordered the ships to be burned, giving his men only one option: move forward. The men no longer had the ability to quit, to run, to give up. They watched as their “Plan B” went up in smoke.

Those burning ships did more than eliminate an escape route, they sparked a fire within every man to press forward collectively, becoming part of a mission bigger than the individual, because they had no choice but to succeed.

What’s the lesson for us today?

Quitting is easy when you give yourself the option.

Quitting is easy when you give yourself the option. Click To Tweet

Think about that for a second.

You’re a couple of weeks in to the new year. You made resolutions and set goals—how are you doing with them? Are you stuck because of a ship that needs to burn?

Sometimes, It’s What Others Said

Have you ever had someone tell you why you couldn’t achieve your goal, how foolish your resolution is, or how ridiculous your vision for your own future is? I have. It stings.

But not only that, their words stick with you. Just when you begin to make progress, their voice pops up in the back of your head, reminding you of why they think you can’t, you shouldn’t, you won’t.

This ship has to burn. Don’t let anyone else’s limiting belief about you have a negative impact on your life.

I love what Deuteronomy 31:6 says:

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Sometimes, It’s a Method that’s Dead

It might not be working like it used to, but “this is the way we’ve always done it.”

I’m all for tried and true methods, believe me. But I’m not willing to be held back by methods that just don’t work effectively today.

I'm not willing to be held back by traditions that just don't work effectively today. Click To Tweet

Over at Evimero Interactive, we are constantly adjusting. The world of marketing is constantly evolving, and if we get stuck on a particular method just because “this is the way we’ve always done it,” we risk going out of business. Case and point, I just recently threw away another phone book—a marketing method that’s dead.

This area is a bit more of a balance, but deserves your constant attention. If a method is dead, burn the boat! Don’t allow your goals to be sabotaged by ineffective methods!

Sometimes, It’s All in Your Head

This is where I struggle big time. Sometimes, I’m my own worst enemy!

I set a goal, begin working towards it, and then start telling myself I can’t do it! You know what another name for this is? Excuses.

All throughout the Bible we have examples of people God wanted to use. But you know what? God couldn’t use them until they got over their own excuses! Moses is probably the best example of this. As you read through Exodus chapter 4, Moses makes excuse after excuse for why God couldn’t use him. His own mind was holding him back! God had to very sharply correct Moses, burning his excuse ship before Moses could jump back on board and sail away in retreat.

Goals aren't met by falling back on excuses. Click To Tweet

Don’t fall back on excuses. Burn this ship now before you’re tempted to jump back on board.

What about you?

What ships do you need to burn as we move forward this year? Comment below—I’d love to hear from you!

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