Personal Note From Columbus' Journal
A little over 500 years ago on behalf of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, a 40 year old Italian explorer led three ships into uncharted ocean waters from the harbor of Palos de la Frontera. After two months of seeing nothing but water and sky, land was finally sighted on the distant horizon. October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus claimed it as territory for the King and Queen of Spain.

The following words were found written in Columbus’ journal:


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Obstacles and Distractions are persistent adversaries. The question isn’t if we will encounter them, but rather how we handle them when we do.
OBSTACLES are road blocks. Setting squarely in our path, they doggedly impede our progress. They fall into one of two categories: Projected Hurdles or Unexpected Developments

Well-planned objectives have a tendency to identify the anticipated bumps in the road early on. These Projected Hurdles discovered in preparation are more easily resolved when they are eventually encountered. They become temporary stopping points, rather than dead ends. A quick pause coupled with a glance both ways, to make sure we haven’t overlooked anything in the details, and we move forward.

Unexpected Developments are more like a twelve car heavy metal merge that snarled the interstate. We weren’t anticipating the stop. Nothing uncovered in the planning stages indicated that it should have been on the radar. Nevertheless, we’re at a standstill until a lane is cleared and the debris has been tagged and bagged for proper documentation.

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DISTRACTIONS are quite different. Rather than present problems that need resolution, they pepper us throughout the day with constant temptations to “stop this and do that” (THIS being the task at hand and THAT being the distraction in question). Distractions can also be cleanly divided into a pair of categories: Interruptions or Allurements


Interruptions come in waves and stand perhaps as the single greatest productivity thief we face. Phone calls, Text Messages, E-mails, Instant Messages, and questions from both associates and clients are just a few examples.

A pair of simple questions can help navigate this maze more systematically:

    • Can it wait until later?
    • Can it be handled more effectively if SCHEDULED for later?

If the answer to both of these is “YES” then. . .  wait until later.

Allurements call gently from every corner of the mind. They tempt us to stop what we are doing and make time for them. And, they’re masters of mixing desire with reasonable logic. Just keep in mind, as external as they seem on the surface, they are YOUR creation. Most forms of “Social Media” fall into this self-manufactured Black Hole.


“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal.
The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It’s not a tragedy to die
with dreams unfulfilled. But it is a calamity to have no dreams.” 

                                                             – Dr. Benjamin E. Mays