Friday, September 4, 2015

A DEFINING DECISION


On February 19, 1519, the Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes set sail for Mexico with an entourage of 11 ships, 13 horses, 110 sailors, and 553 soldiers. The indigenous population upon his arrival was approximately five million. From a purely mathematical standpoint, the odds were stacked against him by a ratio of 7,541 to 1. Two previous expeditions had failed to even establish a settlement in the New World, yet Cortes conquered much of the South American continent.


What Cortes is reported to have done after landing is an epic tale of mythic proportions. He issued an order that turned the mission into an all-or-nothing proposition: "Burn the ships!" As his crew watched their fleet of ships burn and sink, they came to terms with the fact that retreat was not an option. And if you can compartmentalize the moral conundrum of colonization, there is a lesson to be learned. Nine times out of ten, failure is resorting to Plan B when Plan A gets too risky, too costly, too difficult. That's why most people are living their Plan B. They didn't burn the ships. Plan A people don't have a Plan B. It's Plan A or bust. They would rather crash and burn going after their God-ordained dreams than succeed at something else.


There are moments in life when we need to burn the ships to our past. We do so by making a defining decision that will eliminate the possibility of sailing back to the old world we left behind. You burn the ships name "Past Failure" and "Past Success." You burn the ship named "Bad Habit." You burn the ship named "Regret." You burn the ship named "Guilt." You burn the ship named "My Old Way of Life."


-- Mark Batterson in All In




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