Burn the Ships

There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favor; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had the actual experience of it.”                                        Niccolo Machiavelli


In 1519, Don Hernán Cortés arrived in the New World with a crew of 600 men determined to invade and overthrow the Aztec Empire. To succeed in his venture he destroyed or burned his ships as a declaration to his crew that there was no turning back.  He destroyed the lukewarmness of the adversaries of the new order of things. By “Burning the Ships” Cortes removed the obstacles of the past, pushed his crew out of their comfort zones, committed himself and his crew to a new destiny, and solely focused on succeeding towards the new reality in the New World.

Fast forward to 2020! – A new year, a new decade, and a maybe for you a new beginning or order of things!  A fresh start or a new beginning is a great way to start a new decade. A chance to be a Pioneer in a new decade. But to move into the new decade the new beginning requires you to “Burn the Ships” from last year or the last decade. By “Burning the Ships” you remove the obstacles of the past, commit yourself to a new future, and are become focused on succeeding towards your new reality.

A good example or picture of this “Burn the Ship” mentality can be seen in the music video by For King and Country. The concept for the song came from singer Luke wife’s addiction to pills prescribed to her for nausea and her struggle. The pills were an obstacle to her new beginnings. The song describes the struggle but also the solution. Burn the Ships, Cut the Ties, and step into a New Day.

A new beginning starts with a clear picture for your life and a 2020 vision. Your vision describes your future state and is idealistic and ambitious. Your vision should drive you to a higher standard of personal excellence, challenge you to a higher level of life performance, and motivate you to move beyond the status quo. Your vision should stretch your life from the “as-is” to the “to-be.”

Your vision clarifies your purpose and mission in life. Your vision should clarify your life purpose and make clear how you want to fulfill your purpose. Your vision also provides the motivation for your mission statement and the goals you want to achieve. The vision provides context to your life.

Your vision encourages, inspires, and energizes you to act. Your vision should inspire you, fill you with enthusiasm, encourage your full commitment to achieve the vision, and energize you to take action to fulfill your vision. Your vision should make an impact on how you live your life and what you need to do to live your life to the fullest.

Your vision for your life will either hold you back or unleash your potential. A clear vision reduces the uncertainty and ambiguity that you will face in life and provides direction, order and purpose to your life. A clear and bold vision also creates action. It is the impetus to achieve your purpose and life’s goals. Without a vision you are driving blind in life. Worse yet, without a vision, you’ll waste valuable time and energy trying to achieve your purpose.

What do you see yourself doing or becoming over the next 3, 5, 15, 30 years?

How do you plan to get there?

Do you see yourself as a victor or a victim?

How does your vision fulfill your life purpose?

What is your vision for your life?

The question you need to ask yourself is what ships do you need to burn down to get to the new life?

Be bold in defining your life’s vision for 2020!

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