I have the feeling that this lesson could change my life in many, many ways. It’s something I just came across yesterday. By today I had forgotten it until I turned on my copy of Andy Andrews’ excellent DVD “The Seven Decisions.” If you have a chance, get this DVD. It is worth every penny.
The lesson we are tuning ourselves to today is that of Cortez, the great conqueror. Now as Mr. Andrews tells it, Cortez took 11 boats, nearly 500 men, weapons, and a deep desire to conquer the greatest treasure on earth. Although Cortez had hand-selected these men to come with him on his journey, part way across he realized many were your standard-fare naysayers.
They began saying to Cortez and each other, “We never should have come. This is crazy. No one has been able to take the treasure for 600 years. What makes us think we’ll do any better?”
So by the time they arrived for the conquering part of the journey, Cortez pretty much knew he had a problem. These men were not 100% committed to this task. In fact, many of them would in all likelihood duck, cover, and run at the first sign of real trouble. Therefore, upon arrival at their landing spot, Cortez set up a series of talks about how great the treasure really was, how proud their families would be of them if they succeeded, how their names would be recorded in history.
When the last speaker had spoken and it was time to put their vision into action, Cortez took center stage. He motioned for them all to come forward to hear what he had to say, and they did. This was it. It was time. Cortez looked at them and said three simple words. “Burn the boats.”
Burn the boats? What? He must be crazy! He must be out of his mind! What if things don’t go well? What if we have to get out of here in a hurry?
But Cortez’s orders were carried out, and the boats were burned.
Now think about how this applies in your life. Have you ever determined, “That’s it. We’ve got to do something about this debt we’re in.” So you work on it—for about two days—until it gets hard, or you get bored, or maybe something comes up that you really just have to have. And you get back on the boat and head back where you came from.
Practically speaking, I’m trying to find ways to burn my boats. Losing weight is a goal of mine. It’s a goal, and although in the past I have in fact burned the boats in relation to my weight, and subsequently attained the weight I wanted to be, this time I can’t find the absolute commitment that it takes. Not just when I can, but every time. Every time I eat something or need to exercise. EVERY TIME.
In short I need to find a way to burn the boats. It has to be do it or die. Do it. Find a way. Make a way. But do it. I’m going to. Those boats need burned because the truth is the treasure of health IS worth it. The question is: How committed am I?
And so you don’t think I’ve forgotten: How committed are you to conquering to attain your treasure? Burn your boats. Do it or forget it. As Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.” I think he must’ve been with Cortez, or maybe all the truly wise beings know this maxim.
I know it now, the question is: Will I use it?
Burn the boats.