Monday, October 8, 2012

Charting the Course

This article is written by a member of our expert blogging community.

On October 12, 1492 Christopher Columbus thought he had found a new route to India and the spices that were in such demand in Europe at the time.  The Italian born Columbus was eager to sail for Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, not because he was an expatriate but because he was an adventurer and was delighted at long last to have a sponsor for his expedition.  His crew, divided onto three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria were tired of the endless ocean and it was fortunate for Columbus that he found land before the crew mutinied. 

Columbus made a total of 4 trips to “India” (even though he really was coming to a New World), between 1492 and 1504, and probably died thinking he was close to his desired end.  When he returned from his first trip there was a great deal of interest. By the second sailing, there were 17 ships and between 1,200 and 1,500 mean, nearly 15 times as many men as the 90 sailors on the original voyage.  Columbus was looking for gold and treasure, and when he didn't find it on the second voyage the third and fourth were less supported. 

So other than a holiday (at least for some people), what is the significance of Columbus’ journey?  We now know that he wasn't the first European to touch land in the Americas.  That honor goes to Viking LeifErickson.  He didn't accomplish his goal of a shorter route to India.  He was disparaged when he returned empty handed.  The significance is this: Columbus modeled the behavior of someone who is committed to a great cause; someone who was not deterred, even when he was not meeting with immediate success.  Columbus was a role model for all of us with an entrepreneurial spirit who are willing to chart a course rather than simply follow a course laid out be someone else.  We at C4K admire his fortitude and his determination not to succumb to the obstacles in his way and keep his eye on the prize. 

What are you committed to?  What will you keep working at long after others have given up?  Share the ways that you are like Christopher Columbus who was determined to achieve his goals by commenting below.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user Space Ritual

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