Let’s Burn our Boats!

boatburn2016 taught me something real simple.

If you want to get stuff done, if you want to reach your goals and live a richer, more interesting life you must be willing to “burn your boats”.

Now, before you take a Zippo to your ark let me explain.

The “burn your boats” philosophy dates back to the 5th BC when Sun Tzu’s explored its tenets in his timeless The Art of War. 

However, the phrase itself was coined by the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes in 1519 when Cortes lead a small army of 600 men across the Atlantic Ocean to invade Mexico and attack the Aztecs in an attempt to seize the tribes much heralded treasures.  When Cortes and his men arrived, the wily commander ordered their boats to be burned, giving his men no choice, no excuse–they had to stay and fight.

The “burn your boats” philosophy is one that I love. One, I believe, that speaks to all of us.

By burning our boats we destroy our excuses, eliminate that internal desire– we all have– to quit, to retreat.

Look, we love our excuses. We’re addicted to our excuses. They are familiar and comfortable like a pair of old slippers.

For years I wanted to start a blog. But for years I always found reasons not to. Too busy, too tired, too much work. Moreover,  I found myself always saying, “I should write.” And more and more people kept telling me, “I should start a blog.” But I was too married to my excuses.

Then something amazing happened… I filed for divorce. I burned my boats. I started this blog.

With a new year on the horizon, I challenge you to channel your inner conquistador and start burning your boats. Yes, it may be scary at first but it may very well be the most rewarding and empowering thing you ever do.