Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Life Pioneer-Lessons from Columbus

It's finally happened!  I've finally launched a web page about my passion of being a Life Pioneer.  It all started a couple of years ago with writing my first book.  While I continue to be involved and see patients at TERRIO Physical Therapy, I want to also pursue helping others to become Life Pioneers and seek out the life they have always wanted!  So check out www.alifepioneer.com to learn more or to purchase any of my books. 

While writing the book, I came to identify with Christopher Columbus.  The more I learn of his story the more value I see.  One of his early trips ended in a ship wreck yet he continued to pursue his dream.  A lesson for all those chasing dreams, there will be a few wrecks/failures.  What I find interesting is that he finally convinced the King of Spain to payroll his mission.  Defying conventional wisdom of the times he went with the theory that the world was a sphere but he had it around 63% of the actual size.  So actually if he hadn't hit unexpectedly we would have run out of provisions.  Lesson 2:  Sometimes what you run into is unexpected but beneficial.  Had he run out of provisions then the story would have ended there.  But, he stumbled onto something he didn't expect and it actually not only saved him, it made him rich.  The King of Spain granted him title and riches for the discovery.  A true success story for a pioneer!  Well almost!  After establishing a settlement in the new world Columbus returned to Spain leaving the settlement under the supervision of his brothers.  They completely failed leading to natives burning down the settlement. Lesson 3:  be very careful who you trust with your success.  Upon his return he enslaved the local inhabitants to force them to rebuild everything.  He decided to keep the slaves to continue to build the new land.  The problem was the King of Spain was against slavery so when he learned of what Columbus was doing he had him brought back in chains.  Columbus was stripped of all title and wealth.  A true rags to riches back to rags story.  A true entrepreneur he convinced the King to let him make one more trip to make things right.  He was granted some of his previous wealth but never fully recovered. 

The story of Columbus and his brothers encompasses the lament of the visionary/pioneer (entrepreneur if you like).  You take a risk and if you are successful you need to eventually rely on others but who do you trust.  If you are wrong it can destroy your dreams, if you are right it can take you to new heights.  While there are a lot of books and opinions it remains a difficulty thing to navigate.  I believe the answer lies in what visionaries like the least...Structure.  While the visionary/pioneer thrives in the growth mindset, free to make changes on the fly and exploring all possibilities, in reality very few people have that skill set.  There will always be confusion and friction unless the visionary realizes that they see the world differently and need to set up or have someone set up the structure to keep the settlement going so they are free to continue to explore.

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