Lessons from Columbus Day

Do you find it interesting that Columbus Day is a national holiday that celebrates someone who didn’t accomplish what he set out to do, but whose journey changed history forever? You’ve got to love it.

I like Columbus because he was an early entrepreneur.  He had a vision, had to raise funds for it, build a team and be courageous as he charted new territory.

For the record, Columbus left Italy with the intent to chart a western sea route to China, India and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia; instead, he landed in the Bahamas.  Columbus is now credited with founding the “New World” as he stumbled upon a continent previously unknown to Europeans.

How many projects have you launched that took you somewhere you had no intention to go, but it all worked out to be part of a bigger plan for your good?  As an entrepreneur, I can testify that despite careful planning, this is often the way things unfold.

Another interesting thing to note is that there are several states that choose NOT to observe Columbus Day. Apparently, there are those that focus on the fact that Columbus was Catholic and Italian and consider this should really be a religous holiday, or better yet, a celebration only for Italian Catholics. Others bemoan the fact that the result of Columbus’ discovery of the New World had disastrous effects on the indigineous population as diseases were introduced by the European explorers.

Seems there will always be those that want to bring division instead of unity.  As for me,  I love the lessons found in history.  What can I learn from the mistakes of those that have gone before me? Plenty, if I take the time.

As we salute Columbus this week (the official holiday is Oct. 12th despite the official observance in the form of Monday holidays), look around for the possibilities in the unexpected places you find yourself in. Celebrate the spirit of Columbus –  Be a Possibilitarian. 

“Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing.” – G. M. Trevelyan

Note: If you need some fresh wind for your sails, you’ll enjoy the video series, “Fresh Wind for the Soul”. Delivered to your inbox at no cost! Sign up under the red arrow on your right. 

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