Burn The Ship! -An Act For Victory.

This piece promises to be exciting so get glued to your seats, put your lenses on, cross your legs and devour each line with TLC (tender loving care)

There was a time in the pages of history when kingdoms gathered their strongest and adept militia to fight manfully against another with a mission to conquer and subdue them. It was easier to impose rulership upon a nation once its military supply is extinguished. Often only stronger nations would dare embark on a nation-conquering mission. 

That is to say, most wars were fought on neutral grounds but if one were confident in its ability to conquer another one took the war to its enemies doorsteps. Empires arose and as the glory of an empire is contingent on the size or kingdoms under it so did many empires with jealous zeal fight one another to increase their glory. Thus it was a battle for supremacy through wars…bloody wars.

In 1519, a rather unlikely drama unfolded. Aztec(now Mexico) was known for its wealth. They had a beautiful city that was envied by all. For more than 600 years very well endowed empires had failed to subjugate the Aztec empire. That Aztec was a force to reckon with but was no news at all.

Strange as it may sound a man named Hernan Cortes gathered 600 men, 16 horses and sailed across the ocean in 11 ships to do the unthinkable- to conquer Aztec. Out of these 600 men there were a good number that had little or no millitary training.

On the shores of the ocean, Hernan Cortes charged his men up not with lenghty speeches but with three words – *BURN THE SHIPS!* I assume you just laughed. This three worded phrase- BURN THE SHIPS- sounded so silly to one of the millitary men that he laughed. For his good sense of humour Cortes thrust a sword through him killing him to serve as a deterrent to the others. 

As these men watched their ships burn the message became clearer- “WE EITHER WIN THE WAR OR WE DIE ON THE BATTLEFIELD. RETREAT IS NO OPTION. IF PER CHANCE YOU WANT TO GO BACK HOME YOU WOULD HAVE TO GO BACK IN THE SHIP YOU CONQUER FROM AZTEC”. Hernan Cortes conquered Aztec with 600 men but they were not ordinary men. They were men who had burnt their ships! This technique is portrayed by other great generals like Alexander the great. It is almost foolproof.

Brethren, you see, *retreat is easy when you have the option*. This phrase will certainly have no significance literally for we are not in the ages of the conquistadors(and I doubt you even have ships,lol) but surely it is profound figuratively. Many things hold us back. As long as there is an escape route the natural intinct will always gravitate towards it. Safety first is the mantra of timid souls but those who mean business have no room for retreat. How bad do you want to see that dream materialize? 

Most people play not to lose. The best way to win is to play to win. Those who have achieved something worthwhile are those who ‘burnt their ships’. Our ships come in different shapes, colours and sizes. Our ships are in our comfort zones, naysayers, self-doubt, lack of committment and consistency etc. 

Today, sit down and review your dreams. The reasons holding you back are the ships you need to burn. Burn them and the rest will be history. Reflect on these…

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