Adventurer Spotlight: Christopher Columbus- The Guy Who Failed... a lot.


Happy Columbus Day! The odds are you didn’t even know it was Columbus Day unless you checked your calendar app on your phone this morning or need a new mattress. Regardless, I thought it would be interesting to spotlight this man who is credited with the discovery of America. So let’s do it!

Christopher Columbus was an interesting guy. Born in 1451 in Genoa, now in Italy, he was an explorer and navigator, as well as a brilliant speaker.

He led four different journeys across the Atlantic to the Americas, and got the Spanish monarchs to front the bill each time! Quite the salesman considering he never accomplished the goal he set out to accomplish.

You see despite what we were taught on this day during each year of elementary school, Columbus was a failure! The guy thought that he had discovered a new path to the East Indies, which is in the Pacific Ocean.

We even credit him with discovering America, which he never did. He only found an island named Hispaniola, a large island in the Caribbean, where he became governor before he got booted out of office.

The guy was also thick headed, he refused to admit that he wasn’t in the Indies and even called the island native, indios, which is Spanish for “Indian.”

Yet, despite all of these incorrect facts there is something great for us as adventurers to learn from the life of Chris:

It is okay to fail.

In today’s world, where our value is established by our ability to deliver results it seems that we have the lost our permission to fail.

While there is not much that can be promised for the life of adventure, the only thing that can be promised is that there will be moments where you fall on your face and look like a fool, and I believe that is okay!

The only things about Chris Columbus that were consistent were that he failed consistently and kept exploring anyway. He pushed through, and while I don’t encourage the way he did that at times (wiki it for more details) I do believe we can live it out in our lives.

We get so caught up in our fear of disappointing others or ourselves that we never act, we get paralyzed and then the worst thing happens… we lose the desire to explore.

So what is it today that you are afraid at failing at? Is it a project at work, a tough conversation that you need to have with someone you love, or is it a marathon that you want to be in but are afraid you won’t finish? Whatever it is, push through!

And if the worse should happen and you fall in the mud of life, then make a mud angel, get up, and try again! We will never be perfect, but we can always go explore!