“Riches don’t make a man rich, they only make him busier.” – Christopher Columbus
Known as the Italian explorer who made the remarkable change in the “New World,” Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa, Italy to a wool merchant with three other brothers and a sister. Prior his life as an explorer, the teenage Columbus participated in various trading voyages.
In 1476, when Columbus made what could have been his first and last voyage into the Atlantic Ocean. Some French privateers attacked their ship and burned it. The vessel sank and Columbus, on a scrap of wood, swam to Lisbon, Portugal. It was in Lisbon where Columbus met his first wife, Felipa Perestrello, the mother of his first son, Diego, and where he studied astronomy, cartography, mathematics and navigation. When his wife died, he moved to Spain where he had his second son, Fernando.
The Italian explorer, for some economic reasons, decided to come up with a faster and easier route from Spain to Asia and that is by traveling westward across the Atlantic Ocean. Columbus presented his plans to Portuguese officials as well as in Genoa and Venice, but was rejected. His proposition was eventually approved by Spanish monarchs Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile and the monarchs funded the explorer’s expedition. The contract said that Columbus will get ten percent of the riches he would find.
In 1492, Columbus made his first voyage with his ship, Santa Maria, along with two others, Nina and Pinta. Thirty-six days after, the voyagers landed on what is now Bahamas mistaking it as Asia. The expedition continued to different islands of Cuba and Hispaniola, which is now Haiti and Dominican Republic. Before leaving for Spain, Columbus built a settlement on Hispaniola and left therein some his men. However, during their second voyage in 1493 and upon returning to Hispaniola, the settlement was already destroyed. He left his two brothers, Bartholomew and Diego, to rebuild and lead the Hispaniola.
It was during his third voyage in 1498 that he set foot in the present-day in Venezuela. But because of the worsening condition at Hispaniola settlement where locals revolted against Columbus brothers, the Spanish monarchs ordered for the arrest and return of Columbus to Spain. His last voyage in 1502 has reached Panama. Columbus died in 1506 still believing that he discovered a shorter route to Asia.
Columbus’ expedition to reach Asia has led him to America. While history holds that Christopher Columbus was not the first person to discover America, his voyage marked the beginning of European colonization in America including the transfer of natural resources, diseases and culture. Christopher Columbus was also blamed for the extinction and destruction of the native populations in regions he has reached.
America Before Columbus (Video)
Important Life Lessons from Christopher Columbus
Curiosity may kill the cat, but it actually pays to be curious at times. This is true especially to the great Christopher Columbus, the man who discovered the American continent. He was truly an adventurous soul. If it wasn’t for him, things would have been totally different today. He had a great mind for thinking that the world is spherical in shape, opposite to what many others thought that it is flat.
Christopher Columbus, just like many others, has dreams. He did what he needed to do before reaching his goals and that is to strive hard and live his life following his dreams. He has actually fulfilled most of his life’s targets, but he did not succeed with ease. He has been through obstacles but he did not allow any problem to stop him from meeting his prized success on the other side.
There are hundreds of lessons that we can learn, even from just one of the many journeys that Christopher Columbus had during his time. Here are some of the most important life lessons that can be learned from his adventures.
Always see opportunities that others don’t
Life has so much to offer, but your success depends on how you see life. For Christopher Columbus, he chooses to see every opportunity where others did not. The Europeans have traveled to China and India through a safe route. However, time came when the Ottoman Turks have invaded and ruled over the land, placing difficulties for travel. In this case, a new way to reach the places has to be discovered. Before, the populace have believed that there was only one way to reach China and India, but Christopher Columbus was wise enough to use the westerly route, rather than passing through the tip of South Africa. The westerly route was indeed shorter and easier to use for travel.
This life lesson is also similar to the common note of thinking outside the box. Many people may think alike, making one idea to be a social norm since the majority believes in it. On the contrary, that single idea may not be absolutely right. Sometimes, people choose a path because one person said it’s the right one. However, there actually is a better road that no one is too confident to pass. This boils down to our choices. It is therefore important to lay out all possibilities and chose the one that yields the most benefits. Some others may not see your idea as the best, but you should try following your own, for you are sure of tasting your success at the end of the road.
Always trust yourself
Human as we are, we are never perfect. However, life has given us the endless abilities and the power to think. Using our minds, we should be able to strengthen our faith and make sure that we make the right decisions, not because others tell us to, but because that’s the way we want it to happen. Human intuition does not exist for nothing.
When Christopher Columbus was on his way to Asia through the westerly route, he knew that he was on the right track and that land was not far from where they are located since he saw birds in the sky and some vegetation floating on the waters. Christopher Columbus’ journeys teach us to set goals and keep our eyes on that goal. We have to keep a good vision and aim to reach for them always. Most of the successful individuals from any generation have succeeded because they never lost their hope. They have held tighter onto their dreams. Even though the dreams were simple, they never let go of it. Instead, they have worked on them and believed that they will be able to reach it, and so they did.
Attract money with confidence
Once you trust yourself fully, it would then be easier for you to be confident on the things that you normally do. It is important for an individual to be able to trust himself in whatever he does. This will help you reach your goal and actually help in attracting more money for business. If you are planning to put up or are already managing a business, you should be confident enough to look after the tasks that need to be done. When you are self-assured, it would be easier to attract investors and customers to your business.
Like Christopher Columbus, may we be great stewards of the life bestowed upon us. The lessons he has left the world, through his journey, were actually very simple. However, they could bring enormous and efficient changes to us and the following generations. Even though his journeys were done from hundreds of years ago, still they offer lessons that will surely make life worth living.