Burn your boats

Burn your boats | HeartStories

Have you burned your boats?

Beginning with Alexander the Great, leading his men to victory over Persia, history holds stories of great leaders who led their underdog troops to victory by burning their boats.

Legend has it that troops who were outnumbered, out-armed, and on the brink of defeat, came back with victories that could only be accomplished by knowing victory was the only option for survival.  There was no exit strategy.  No hope of safety by running away.  By watching their boats burn into the water, the soldiers erased any notion of retreat and became unwaveringly committed to the cause.

In order to survive, not only did they have to stay and fight, they had to win.

And win, they did.

This strategy is bold.  It seems insane.  Crazy.

But it works.  

It worked for great military leaders to conquer entire countries.  It has worked for me, countless times.  It will work for you too.

It’s not easy.

And it’s actually not a one-time thing.  I catch myself thinking I can just build new boats a lot. Sometimes when I’m scared or really tired of fighting, I run looking for some wood and glue, or maybe an old yucky piece of foam, anything to get me the heck out of dodge.  But the when the boats are gone, I come up empty.  I have to turn back around and keep fighting.

What boat do you need to burn today?

Is it the boat on the shore of your marriage?  Your business?  A project you really want to quit?  A friendship?  A change you want to make in the world?

You’ve gotta burn the boats.

If you’re really committed to the outcome you desire, burn the boats.

Burn the boats of safety sitting in the harbor.  Burn the boat you run to when you just need an escape.  Burn the boat you run to when you think you’re too tired to fight one more day.  Burn the boat that promises peace, if only you row somewhere else.

Get rid of all other possible outcomes.   Let your only choices be death or victory.  Leave no option to turn and run.

You can only stay and fight, or die trying.

Passion like that conquers giants.  It conquers countries.

It changes the course of history.

It’s up to you.

How bad do you want it?

Burn your boats.

To more love,


P.S.  It’s easier to burn the boats, when you know you’re not fighting alone.  You’re not alone.  My boats are burned too. We’re fighting together.

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