Burn The Ships

discussion Sep 5, 2022

In 1519, The Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés set sail for the coast of Mexico in order to scout new land for further expansion of the empire. The dominant native tribe of Mexico at the time, the Aztecs, were known for what most would call barbaric warfare. Cortés' orders were to capture Veracruz to gain a foothold in Mexico. The ultimate goal of the campaign was to sack Tenochtitlan, which was the Aztec capital.
The Aztec style of warfare was brutal and seen as barbaric by westerners. Their animalistic fighting style struck fear into the hearts and minds of the Christian conquerors. Cortés was concerned that his men would become fearful and would not fight. So he left them no choice. Upon arrival to Mexico, he ordered his men to burn the ships they had just disembarked. This would leave them no choice, but to fight through. And fight they did! When they reached Tenochtitlan their numbers were as low as 1,300. They were to fight an army of over 10,000 Aztec warriors. History shows that the Spanish did overcome such odds and beat the Aztecs.

How to use this tactic in everyday life:

We've all been in a position in life we wish we could change. People tend to get complacent in life. We wish we could change our lives for the better. We fear that we might fail. We fear what people will think about us.

Guess what? You are going to fail, but failure doesn't have to be permanent. Some people will love you for what you do. Others will hate you. It's okay to take control of your life. It's okay to let go of people that no longer bring value to your world. What you must understand is that you have the power to shape your future. And if you don't you have the power to alter your response.


With a clear goal in mind, you set sail for the unknown. Once you've started your journey there's no looking back. You have to burn your ships and leave yourself no choice but to fight through. You will never know what you're capable of until you have no choice but to do otherwise.

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