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The Pioneer Spirit

What exactly is it that drives us to want to achieve and to succeed? Why do some people thrive and others fail in exactly the same business environment? Perhaps it has something to do with spirit. Story by Simon Treselyan.

The journey of a thousand leagues begins with the first step! Just over two hundred years ago the forefathers of Australia, armed with little more than resolve, an adventurous spirit and sheer will, began the task of birthing a brave new country.

With what was then, a hostile environment, and unforgiving climate, these people gathered their families and forged a life out of nothing. Braving starvation, little medical or community support and in some cases aggressive local tribes, the current townships of Australia arose from the bush. Many areas of the country have changed little since that time.

What is it about people that they will risk everything to strive for an independent living and a future, determined by themselves and their own efforts, relying less on others, than their own abilities? The fact that you are reading this article, places you amongst the ‘Risk takers’, the ‘Go Getters’ and the ‘Visionary Pioneers’. You want to see what you are made of! You ask yourself “Can I realise the dream? Do I have what it takes to succeed?” The fact that you can even consider those questions, places you in a different league from the employees and serfs that will rely on an employer for best part of their adult life, until they retire and die, knowing nothing but service, and experiencing little else.

Man has always striven for excellence. It is a fact that Mankind is the only creature on the planet that year after year, improves his or her performance, both mentally and physically. We climb mountains merely because they are there, we force our bodies to run and swim faster. We cram knowledge into our brains and go through the stresses of examinations. We walk on fire and break wooden boards with our bare hands, all for what? The answer is simple and explains the motive behind every human action… to feel better about ourselves! We place our lives, our sanity, our money and relationships on the line, we endure hardships and take the risk of failure, all for a feeling! Wow! What courage and fortitude we have. Of course we could all be mad! But since the dawn of time Mankind has used metaphors to challenge him or herself extensively. So this feeling is not in some of us, it is in all of us, some perhaps more than others.

We, as human beings, love a challenge. As a person about to, or already embarking on that adventure which is managing business, you have picked up the gauntlet of challenge. Like those brave pioneers who shaped the city or town in which you are reading this article, you too have ventured out in the hostile marketplace and will experience fierce competition, have to deal with loss, failure, success and rely on your own efforts to secure a future for yourself and your family. It sure can feel lonely and insecure sometimes and you would not have been the first to experience it, nor indeed will you be the last. But if you have the resolve, it sure is worth it.

The first thing the early pioneers had to do, before anything, was ‘Make the decision!’ Decisions come by way of feelings and we only ever take action on what we believe and feel to be true about our capabilities, our environment and our goals at that time. If this didn’t happen we would run the risk of getting ourselves killed every time we crossed the road.

The second thing to do is ‘Establish the vision or goal to be achieved!’ So many fail to do this, and this is the source of all failure. If you do not know where you are going, how will you know if you ever get there or not? It’s simple. If you know where your start point is and you can also establish the finish point, you will know what is missing and therefore be able to fill in the gaps. I know this is not rocket science, it is not supposed to be. Do not think that anything complicated will simplify your life. It certainly will not.

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