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Burn all the ships of retreat

Today I would like to share an extract from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. It is one of the most inspirational story lines I have ever read.

“A long while ago, a great warrior faced a situation which made it necessary for him to make a decision which insured his success on the battlefield. He was about to send his armies against a powerful foe, whose men outnumbered his own. He loaded his soldiers into boats, sailed to the enemy’s country, unloaded soldiers and equipment, then gave the order to burn the ships that had carried them. Addressing his men before the first battle, he said, “You see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no choice—we win, or we perish! They won.

Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships and cut all sources of retreat. Only by so doing can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a burning desire to win, essential to success.”

Yes! It’s completely true if one has to win, he or she has to burn every ship of retreat. This makes them to think only about victory and the ways to achieve it. If someone has the way to retreat the may not show their full potential. Hence, their victory may not be possible or they may retreat at the moment of victory thinking they cannot. So if you have a dream make it a burning desire and burn all the ship of retreat. Victory will come to you one way or the other.

Thank you for reading. Do share your suggestions and appreciations at [email protected]

P.S: The short story is an historical decision by Captain Hernán Cortés of Spain.


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A soft skill trainer hails from Karur, Tamilnadu. Loves to be a bookworm, enjoys watching movies and internet savvy