If Columbus Had Turned Back

Posted by: on April 3, 2011

Statue of Christopher Columbus

If Christopher Columbus had turned back, no one would have blamed him….But then again, no one would have remembered him either. This simple allusion should bring inspiration to those of us who endeavor to invest our own efforts in the pursuit or discovery of a better future.

The journey that ultimately discovered the Americas was at many times believed to be foolhardy, overreaching, even fatalistic. To be sure, Columbus and his men were beaten, famished and unspirited, well before they got a glimpse of the promise land. Yet centuries later, their efforts continue to be heralded as encompassing one of the bravest and most consequential endeavors of all time. Many of us can draw parallels between the story of Columbus, and that of our own efforts. We carry noble passions, that drive us to go beyond what others seem to think worthy. Yet we also carry the prudent concern that our valuable investments may be lost to a goal that will never come to fruition.

Many people develop dreams, goals and solutions. Not so many have the vision and commitment to see them through. -Author’s Note

The moment we begin to question the valor of our commitment, is the moment when we must be at our strongest. Over the years, we’ve all had our ups and downs. Particularly those in leadership positions. Daring to pursue that which is difficult, is guaranteed to reward you with difficulties. Contributing to an organization of people can be a major source of heartburn. No matter how passionate you are about the pursuit, and no matter how much you love working with your people, the road less traveled is going to be bumpy. The test of time for those who will ultimately change the world, boils down to how they handle the ups and downs of achievement. Success is rarely accomplished without adversity. The trick is being able to detach from the emotion, persevere in the face of frustration, and inspire others to do the same.

If the answers were easy and the journey undaunting, everyone would be doing what you are trying to do. In the end, we must remember that no goal has ever been achieved by giving up. No problem was ever solved by surrender. Have the fortitude to keep driving. Have the strength to persevere. Indulge yourself in the acknowledgment of difficulty, but carry forward with the knowledge that your destination lies just over the horizon. It’s true that if you turned back now, no one would blame you…except maybe yourself.

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