|BURN THE SHIPS!|
During the invasion of the Aztec Empire in the early ‘1600s, Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernando Cortez attacked the 600-year-old empire with a handful of soldiers from Spain. The Aztecs had never been defeated and were more than prepared to bring the fight to Cortez and his men. Completely outnumbered and outgunned, many of Cortez’s men were unconvinced they could succeed and tried to seize some ships to escape to safety in Cuba. When Cortez got wind of their plot, he captured the ringleader. He wanted to make sure that the remainder of his men were completely committed to his mission, so he ordered all of their ships to be set on fire, trapping them there. He said if they were to go home, it was going to be on the Aztec’s ships.
The path forward was clear. It was going to be ALL OR NOTHING! 100% commitment. The option of retreating or failure was gone. Conquer as heroes or die!
In SEAL training, we were tested in a crucible called Hellweek. 125 straight hours of being cold, wet, sandy, and miserable. This week causes more drops from the program than any other weeks combined. You hope to make it to Wednesday because few quite once over the hump.
But I’ve often wondered, what if quitting wasn’t an option? Could everyone bear it?
2020 has been HELLYEAR for almost everyone. The world has set our ships on fire. We are surrounded by uncertainty, unconvinced whether we can succeed or not. BUT… there is a silver lining to this pandemic thing if you’re willing to see it. Taking away our safety net inspires new levels of commitment and opportunities. Limitations create innovation. It forces us to approach our challenges head-on or pay the consequences.
People have learned to take ACTION in place of PROCESS. We have learned to reevaluate what is truly urgent and important. Items we wasted endless meetings and energy on resulting in constant indecision are being decided and acted on in brief 15-minute Zoom conversations. We are learning to connect and make decisions on what is significant, pushing aside all the non-essentials.
Here’s the reality. You’ve made it past Wednesday of Hellweek. CONGRATULATIONS! What are you going to do now? It comes back to a personal choice. How are you going to take advantage of the new opportunities and the new mindset?
CALL TO ACTION: 3 Simple Steps (Plan, Prepare & Execute).
Step 1: PLAN – Figure out where you are and where you want to go. Then identify your strengths and limitations to help guide you in reaching your goal.
Step 2: PREPARE – Assemble your team. Whether this is a personal challenge you are tackling with your family or a professional one you are wrestling with your organization, don’t go it alone! Use your greatest asset – PEOPLE.
Step 3: EXECUTE – Make a decision and ACT based on the plan and preparation!
You’re still here and already proven you can adapt, so keep charging along and conquer the riches. We’re all-in whether we like it or not so there is NO QUITTING! Remember the world needs HITTERS!
|Quote of the Day “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t – You’re right!” ~Henry Ford|