In the early 16th century, a Spanish conquistador led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of mainland Mexico under the King of Castile. He was a part of those that began the Spanish colonization of the Americas. His name was Hernando Cortez. There is famous story about Hernando Cortez that I would like to share with you, of course whether it's completely accurate or not seems to be of some debate, but the point we can illustrate is without a doubt beneficial.

Spring of 1519:

Traveling by sea, Hernando Cortez and his men landed in Mexico and one of the first orders he gave to them was to burn the ships. This may sound shocking and like something you may hear in a blockbuster movie, but Cortez was so committed to his mission that he did not want to allow himself or his men to even entertain the option of going back. His message was simply this:

Succeed or die:

Cortez and his men were forced to focus on what it would take to be successful. He had no way of knowing all that he and his men would encounter in their journey. What he did know was that by "burning the ships" he had completely eliminated the possibility of going back. Failure was NOT an option. They’d find a way to win. He created an intensely powerful need to succeed. Also, since he must have thought they would succeed, he instilled confidence in his men. Of this we can be sure . . . his plan was certainly not to die on this day.

“To guarantee success, act as if it were impossible to fail.” ~~Dorothea Brande

Follow the Stars:

When I was young, I had dreams of being a rock star and I put my whole heart into it, I lived, breathed and ate drums and yes, I had long hair and even wore spandex. I also skipped college while I held odd jobs just so that I could pursue this desire. And then it happened. I started to get some advice from those that were older and wiser than I, and it often sounded like this:

"You should really think about the future. You know, you should have something to fall back on, it’s a tough thing you’re doing, not a lot of people succeed at it."

While the person saying this might think they’re looking out for you, I’m sure you can see the negative implications in that statement. This type of thinking leads you to believe that you may fall back, that you might not succeed, that yeah, it IS tough. It plants psychological seeds of doubt. Your dreams die.

Many people might think that by having a back up plan, you're being prepared. But the reality is this; you’re actually preparing to fail. It can do much more harm than good. Here’s why. By putting time and effort into “something to fall back on” you have to take time away from pursuing your passion or goal, and that will either deter or delay you from achieving it. Also, when you start to think in the back of your mind “well if I fail I could do . . .” it changes your actions and your focus. It can discourage you. Cortez and his men had to find a way to win the battle with nothing to fall back on, their lives depended on it. Doesn’t your life depend on your success also?

Additionally, is this advice coming from someone who is a rock star? A millionaire? An entrepreneur? A conquistador? Someone who succeeded? Or is it coming from someone who is average, someone too broke to pay attention?

"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” ~~Chinese Proverb

The Choice is yours:

What if you knew you HAD TO succeed? What would you do differently? Would you plan more? Prepare more? Work harder? Build a better army? Focus more? Look for solutions? Waste less time? Persevere? Well, if you start doing all of this right now, then in no time . . . BOOM! Success just might hit you like a cannonball!

You see, Cortez made it impossible to fail, and the story ends that he did, in fact, succeed. So what ships do you have to burn? What fears do you have to eliminate? What limiting beliefs do you have to overcome?

Burn the Ships!

If you give 100% to your mission, you'll have no regrets and you’ll enjoy (and deserve) more success than you can imagine. You can't let seeds of doubt grow in your mind and do not let other people discourage you. Forge ahead! If you only go halfway to just try it out, and then you fail, you will have regrets, rumblings below the surface, this feeling of failure along with a sense of remorse. You might know the feeling I mean, it’s not warm and fuzzy. It’s quite possible that you can succeed where others have failed. I, through perseverance, went on to succeed in music, while others failed. Regarding Cortez, his enemy failed, he did not. Don’t be your own worst enemy.

So get out of the boat and burn the ships. And remember to evaluate any advice that you're given to decide if it’s credible or not. Has it worked for others? Will it work for you? Move on what motivates and inspires you, set sail and get excited, you CAN conquer the world!

"I've got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end." ~~Larry Bird

Author's Bio: 

Rob Liano, the Rock Star Sales Trainer, is the founder of Integrity First Consulting
Group, Inc. A company designed to inspire success and impact the lives of others. Through logic, insight and humor, Rob Liano has brought a fresh perspective to
sales training and methodology.

In his late teenage years, Rob was an understudy to his Father, and was taught how
to successfully sell vacuums door to door. He learned priceless fundamentals that he continued to finely tune overtime, including the technique and psychological insight necessary to be the top in his field. He can teach you how to “Sell like a Rock Star!”