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Friday, March 15, 2013

Worried about making a Decision? Consider Cortez

Many of us face challenges in life that push us towards the proverbial "fork in the road". Many times we seek the security of the comfort zone. It provides us with certainty. Here is the concern with us remaining in the comfort zone: It actually holds us back, and retards our ability to reach the zenith of success in our lives.  The process of going towards that high point of success is when we really find out if we have the goods to be happy. We also do not live our lives with true passion. What is that thing that holds us back? The Answer is fear. Fear can be conquered, as it is simply an illusion. For example, let us consider a historical case of Mr. Hernan Cortez

Hernan Cortez was a Spanish Conquistador faced with a serious problem. He was on a quest for gold and was heading to Mexico with visions of riches, power and glory. Here was the problem: There was dissension in the ranks of his 500+ soldiers. The soldiers became mentally lethargic and un-motivated. These are classic symptoms of fear. And, to make matters much worse, they were on a destination course to face one of the toughest feats at that time: The Aztec Warrior Tribe. Oh, the Aztecs outnumbered Cortez and his men. Upon arrival to the coast of Mexico, Cortez and his men were headed to the heart of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan.

Cortez made a decision: He ordered the hulls in all the ships' to be bored and allowed to sink. Well, all the ships sunk except one. He proposed a challenge to the grumbling soldiers. He stated that they had a choice: They could either move forward to fight the Aztecs and conquer Mexico--they would become wealthy beyond imagination, or the ones who were cowards could take the remaining ship and return home.

Surprisingly, the soldiers chose to fight and stand with Cortez. Something amazing happened: The Soldiers were unified and fought the Aztecs, and within 2 years, Cortez conquered Tenochtitlan and defeated the Aztec army. These men were unified, fought intrepidly and they also were highly crafty utilizing Indian allies to conquer the Aztecs.  What happened to the remaining ship? No one accepted that offer. Who wants to be a coward?

Moral to the story: Life requires tough choices and decisions. Consider the Latin root of the word, "decision":  "Cis". This means to "cut". Making a decision requires cutting off the status quo or leaving your comfort zone. Doing this forces the human mind to focus on achieving that objective, just like Cortez and his men.  If you have the desire, faith, plan, cunning and zeal to win, you will be legendary.

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