By Steve Mills
When I was a younger man I was fascinated with ancient history. I would spend entire days reading about past discoveries, ancient civilizations, the rise and fall of empires. I was thinking about this today and the image of a medieval nautical map came to mind. People of centuries ago had some pretty detailed maps of the areas that they frequently travelled, especially when you take into consideration the tools and mathematics that they used to draw them.
The one feature that really stood out for me on those maps however were the areas that weren’t quite as well mapped, or were completely unexplored. In these areas, they had pictures of huge grotesque creatures, and dire warnings of what would happen to people if they crossed those waters. Large, foreboding font labelled these areas with such titles as “Here there be monsters” or “Death for those who enter”.
The bravery and skill of people of bygone ages to push on and explore the unknown is often underestimated by people in modern times.
The unknown always has an element of fear, and doing something new, or that means a lot to you is an intense experience. We are so used to the everyday monotony of work routine, of being on a schedule and being told what to do that we don’t quite know how to deal with the idea of new experiences. When we start something new, the voices of doubt and dismay are never far away. There is something inside us that says “This is new, scary and different. I am going to come up with 50 reasons why you should stop”. It sometimes can be the voice of reason, but more often the not it is self doubt and needless worry.
SETTING IN A NEW DIRECTION
A past manager of mine had a good statement on the wall of his workstation. It read something like ” As soon as a new way of doing things starts, the pull of the old ways of doing things begin. In the beginning, enthusiasm is enough to override this force, but in the longer term, a more sustainable source of motivation must be found”
We think that all great adventures are fun, are glamorous and exciting and should “feel good” the whole time. But while I agree that adventures should be REWARDING, I also see that the greatest adventures have their scary times, the boring times, the patience trying frustrating times. They have times where you don’t know what you are going to step in next as you progress towards your goal.
The monsters will always be there in uncharted waters, you just need to stop looking for them, and keep the ship sailing on course towards new land.
Once you get there, the realisation often comes that a) There really weren’t any monsters and b) The journey was well worth it.