Burn Your Ships


According to folklore, when Cortez came to the Americas, he had his men burn their ships. As a result, everyone was well-motivated to survive in the Americas because they had no other choice. Sometimes the problem we have is that we want something, but we don’t fully commit to it. We kind-of want to do this, and we kind-of want to do that.

This week, we were talking to one of our production assistants who has a goal to make it in the film industry. He told everyone he was doing it. The result is that he created this atmosphere of social pressure, and it hardened his determination. This guy is going to make it. He burned his ships.

It’s like Nike says, just do it. But how many of us waiver, and in waivering, we can never get anything difficult done? My friends and I sign up for races so that we have to work out. We’re already committed. No one can run a half marathon well without training, so we train because we are committed. Commit, commit, commit. You aren’t going back. Burn your ships.

When I came to school, I made that the only option I could do. I must get this degree. I am committed.

Amazingly, having lots of options and opportunities isn’t adding to our happiness. We have too many options, and so we never commit. The result is we can’t really take advantage of any of these opportunities. Then some of them pass us by, and we think, “Maybe that would’ve been great.” But, at the time, we weren’t willing to commit, and we are in a stalemate forever. I’m not advocating making hasty decisions. I just think that sometimes we’re unable to reach our goals because we don’t have the conviction of mind to commit, and then we don’t persevere and fight for our goals because we’re not fully committed.

How about you? What goal or plan do you need to commit to today? What can you do to burn your ships and fully commit?


6 thoughts on “Burn Your Ships

  1. Matt Ocheme says:

    Most often lots of people go into university without realizing what they are doing or what they are into. All they know is that, I want to get a degree and get a good job. The question is why?


  2. I burned my ships this year! It’s definitely not the easiest, safest or most stable decision but you do risk just laying stagnant, if you don’t take the risks to truly pursue what you want in life. 🙂


      • I was in a stable and steady job, which was flourishing, I’d received numerous promotions, the last being on a Monday, I resigned the next day… to others, that would seem like one of those insane/hasty decisions but I just knew that it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life, though aspects of it would help me going forward. I didn’t have anything else lined up but I didn’t want to just “stick” at it, which was a risk, within a week a great opportunity arose and I’m much happier, even though this is the tougher road to travel.

        “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything!” …Isn’t that what they told us in BTTF? 😛


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