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How to Explore Uncharted Territory ( Lessons from the Lewis & Clark Expedition )

ROADTRIP! How Did I Get Here?

I was taking a trip to Louisville, KY. On the way there I noticed big green signs for the “Lewis & Clark Expedition” on the side of the highway.

The signs intrigued me.

My understanding was that the expedition began in St Louis, MO. I remember that because of the Arches there that mention it.

So, why was Louisville mentioning this expedition?

After my weekend of leadership training, business skills, and fellowship concluded I passed that sign again on my way home. I couldn’t let it go now so I started researching the subject. My research led to some interesting facts:

  • 33 people only 1 death
  • over 8000 miles covered in 3 years by foot and on small portable boats
  • 100’s of new plants and insects were discovered
  • one slave and one Native American woman made the journey
  • Lewis was an alcoholic and Secretary to President Thomas Jefferson
  • both Lewis and Clark were made Governor of territories after the fact

No one assigned or connected to the expedition knew what to expect. There were plenty of obstacles to prepare for and many more to surmount as they traveled. All of it for the good of the country. Yippee!

The crew was hand selected based on skill set which included a couple dozen soldiers. They were armed to the teeth with revolutionary guns and plenty of ammunition to fend off opposition.

Oh, and they were allotted about $2,500 by the government. Thus, it began…

 

 

The Lewis and Clark expedition was fascinating research. There was adventure. There was love. There was rekindled family ( Sacagawea with her brother ). There was steadfast leadership. There was pain and there was success.

What do you have to look forward to in your journey into the future?

I hope that you will endeavor to take on the challenges that you will face. That you will brave the uncharted territory that you may face. And, that you will do so with the following ideas in mind:

1. create a plan and take notes along the way
2. uncharted territory sometimes brings with it unparalleled gains
3. unexpected help will come to you when you need it

Create a plan & take notes

On this journey that we take to improve our own station in life we are bound to encounter opposition. What better way to help the next generation than to leave a road map for safe passage?

Along the way take some notes of the interesting sights and people that we meet. Take pictures. Save memorabilia.

Before any of this, we must take the time to create a game plan. Then, get to work completing it. That is repeated so many times on this website and it will continue to be repeated because it is so important.

How do you make plans for something you have never done before though?

Lewis and Clark were given a lot of things to complete the trip. All of it was speculative.

They spent a lot of time planning the trip. But, remember this was a route that no one had taken ( other than the Native Americans ) and what they were setting out to do had never been done before.

It was a lot of guesswork and preparation for the unexpected.

You bring your A-game, a clear mind, and complete focus. You commit to the finishing.

This is why the men were hand selected. You cannot have scrubs on your team and expect to win the game.

Unparalleled gains in uncharted territory

At the successful completion of this mission there was a lot of wealth to be had. They had to win though. ( Have I pointed out the fact that about half of the US was purchased for 15 million dollars! Talk about a steal. )

Later there was oil found in Texas and the Great Plains. There was gold found on the West Coast. There was a lot of land ripe for great farming — sheep, cattle, and horse farms. Plus, using the ocean, there was passage to the Far East for trade.

This proved to be a great purchase.

But, who knew that all this and more was waiting for them? They simply had to stake their claim to the wealth by setting out on their plan and having faith in God. Let’s bring that home a bit…

Think about the young woman who is the first to go to and graduate from college changing the direction of her family forever.

Or the young man from the hood that decides to pursue his academic and athletic career over the street life and then returns to build schools and start foundations to give back to his community.

Think about the young mother that starts a small business in her living room that grows into a million dollar enterprise and opens the door to even more successes for thousands of women in similar positions.

What about the young law school student who decides to change the world by venturing to become the first President of African-American descent thereby giving life to the millions of young African-American boys and girls hoping to become something great.

The tales are endless. Not all of them are Horatio Algers rags-to-riches stories but the wealth that these individuals receive would not have been made available if they did not chart a path, journal their progress, and step out into uncharted territory prepared to face any challenge thrust in their way.

Help is there when you need it

All these preparations were set but none of them guaranteed success. There were to be unforeseen challenges for the party. No woolly mammoths were seen ( as President Jefferson suspected ) but animals and plants undocumented at this point in science were everywhere.

Along with new animals and plants, the landscape itself was vastly different. Most members of the expedition had never encountered the terrain that they faced. Great Plains. Mountains. And, few waterways between.

Let’s not forget about the early inhabitants of the land.

God was on their side as they made peace with the indigenous tribes. They marveled the Native Americans with their shiny objects, tools and potions and made trades. There were expecting opposition — and they ran into some — but to receive the aid and respect of the Native Americans as they did was not expected.

One of those aids was Sacagawea. Her ability to speak and navigate the land was a big help. What people do you expect to encounter on your life journey? I’ll bet you run into more people that will come to your aid when you least expect it than you imagined.

That doesn’t mean that things will always be roses and sunshine. You will have people turn their backs on you. People will try to knock you down. Times may seem roughest and you may find your self back pedaling so that you can find better ground to travel on.

And that’s okay, too. Just keep moving forward. And, trust in God to provide you with the necessities: food when you’re starving, shelter when your in the elements, companionship when you’re alone, guidance when you’re lost, and love when you don’t know how to love yourself.

At the end of the day, these three ideas — make a plan and take notes; expect unexpected wealth; and, help will be there when you need it — will help you to successfully work your way through your journey. What you do with these ideas is up to you. But I believe that you can do it.

I believe that you can make the trip. I believe that you have a fighting chance. I believe in you.

Do it today. Take a step in the direction of the goals that you don’t know that you can complete but would mean so much to you and your loved ones.

If you’re reading this and have made it this far, know this: it’s not too late to get started but you must get started before it is.

 

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Dwight Fortune

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