When Christopher Columbus begged Queen Isabella I of Castile for funding for his proposed trip of discovery, way back around 1492, it may appear as if he knew exactly where he was going, when he would arrive, and what he would find when he got there. Not so. He hoped to find better way to get from Spain to the Indies than the overland route that was the only option at the time. He had dreamed many times that the route lay by water. And about those dreams, he had a “decided heart.”
Our journey parallels his in many ways. We dream of finding new and better ways to live our lives, to build our businesses, to find the joy we know is our birthright. But our dreams rarely lay out for us the course we should take. And without a guide to lead us or a map to follow, the future we face, like the Atlantic Ocean that lay before Columbus, is a huge uncharted territory. How do we tackle that?
If we were to focus on the hugeness of the task, on the many obstacles and surprises it could hold for us, on the apparent inadequacies of the resources we have at hand, we would probably just leave our boats in drydock and go back to work for the company down the street. Let someone else figure out how to get us from here (where we are) to there (where they are!). We’ll do our best to enjoy the ride, though, in truth, it’s not our ride at all.
Ah, but now we’ve seen Columbus’s “decided heart.” He didn’t know where he was going, he wasn’t at all sure about how he would manage with the men and equipment he had, and he had to beg for what few resources he did have. But he was a dreamer, and he knew in his heart that setting out to realize those dreams was the only real option that he had.
That has to be our first step, too. We have to have the “decided heart” that encourages us–no, pushes us–to follow our dreams. With that push behind us, we will take the next steps: to learn as much as we can about that “unknown territory,” to find the very best resources to guide us–people who’ve been there and done that–and to state our dreams as clearly as possible so that, if necessary, the Queen Isabellas of today will be inspired to help us fund our journey.
So go ahead. Dare to dream–and have a decided heart.