NICK THOMSON- This Matador Motivational comes from the 9th episode of the Ramblin’ Raiders Podcast. On that episode, Lane and I took a stab at our first motivational together, and I think it came out pretty well. The saying goes “Burn the ships, and never look back.”
The origins of this saying go back all the way to the 1500’s when Spanish conquistador, Hernan Cortez, would famously yell “Burn the ships!” upon arriving at his new destination. It was more of a battle cry for him and his crewman because they were arriving to conquer the region. Now, I’ve done a little research and I have yet to find out if this was a real battle cry or simply folklore. My guess is that it is folklore because it would be pretty inefficient and expensive to burn your ships each time you arrive at a new destination to conquer. Either way, the saying is a good one. Let’s unpack it a little bit.
Chances are you’re not a Spanish conquistador, nor have a literal ship that you can burn. But I will bet money that you have something in your life that you’re wishing you could get past. Whether that is a bad habit that you wish you could get over, or a milestone in your life that you just can’t seem to get past, your life has something. If you’re really just tired of the way things are, then adopt this Burn the Ships mentality and it can make all the difference. This mentality is one of not looking back. When you Burn the Ships, that means that the only way left to go is forward. You have no other option than to try. It’s win or die trying. Well maybe not that intense, but you get what I’m saying. If you can go about your life with this win or die trying mentality, you will no doubt have growth in your life.
This Burn the Ships mentality has another caveat as well. It means that you’re taking a leap of faith. When you have no where to go but forward, you’re putting faith in yourself to get the job done. If you’re taking this mentality into business, then you’re putting your abilities on the line for others in your organization as well. This can be a good thing to give you the competitive edge that you may need to get the job done. If it’s in your relationships, then you are likely taking a leap of faith to be vulnerable and more open to someone else. That can be scary, no doubt. But you’re Burning the Ships, so you’ve already decided that you’re tired of the way things are and you want change.
That’s the best thing about this mentality. You want change and you’ve made a conscience decision to make that change and not look back. You’ve made the leap of faith to improve your life in such a way that your old ways are a thing of the past. If you adopt this Burn the Ships mentality, it can work wonders in your life. My best advice to you is to write down some things in your life that you’d like to put in your burn pile. Create that list and make it visual. Then come up with a plan to mentally burn these things and start anew. It may just change your life for the better. If not, then at least you’re not in the same spot you were before.