In Valladolid, Spain, where Christopher Columbus died in 1506, stands
a monument commemorating the renowned discoverer. Perhaps the most
interesting feature of the monument is a statue of a lion destroying
one of the Latin words that had been part of Spain’s motto for
centuries. Before Columbus made his voyages, the Spaniards thought
they had reached the outer limits of earth. Thus their motto was “Ne
Plus Ultra,” which means “No More Beyond.” The word being torn away by
the lion is “Ne” or “no,” making it read “Plus Ultra.” Columbus had
proven that there indeed was “more beyond.”
Think of how different life would be had it not been for people who
pushed beyond what they knew in their day to make way for the things
we now enjoy. Findings in a Top 10 survey of the top inventions of the
past 100 years are ranked from 1-10 as follows: the light bulb, the
internet, printing press, telephone, automobiles, television, camera,
toilet, airplanes, and metal gear solid. Our lives now revolve around
the practicality and usefulness of each invention thanks in part to
those who dared to believe that there was more beyond.
Embracing a ‘more beyond’ attitude is essential to your success as a
leader. The challenges you face are not unique to others but your
attitude is uniquely yours. To transition from “Ne Plus Ultra” to a
“Plus Ultra” mindset you must engage a ‘more beyond’ attitude. Here
are four steps to get you started.
Don’t let others define you. It is important to be comfortable in your
own skin. It is equally important to not be defined by what others
say, think, or believe about you. You are a masterpiece and your
life’s blueprint is an original not a replica of someone else. As you
grow in confidence you can shape your future and be the person you
were created to be and the leader you can become. The ‘more beyond’
tip — be yourself.
What hasn’t been done is possible. Thomas Edison was one of the
inventors from the Top 10 list. Edison understood failure and
disappointment. He once said, “I have not failed. I’ve found 10,000
ways that won’t work.” He embraced a ‘more beyond’ attitude and
overcame his negative circumstances. Just because something hasn’t
been done, tried, or has been rejected in the past doesn’t mean it’s
not possible. It simply means that destiny has been waiting on your
arrival. The ‘more beyond’ tip — remove your limitations.
You need courage to blaze new trails. The Spaniards motto for
centuries had been set in stone; “Ne Plus Ultra.” Blazing new trails
and overcoming traditional ways of thinking can be difficult. A ‘more
beyond’ attitude takes the courage of a lion to break away from old
views. As Columbus overcame centuries-old beliefs he opened up New
Worlds and new possibilities never before known. Courageous leadership
is needed today to help others discover new possibilities yet to be
fulfilled. Leadership is not for the faint of heart. The ‘more beyond’
tip — don’t be afraid.
You can begin today. Everything worthwhile has a starting point. The
inventors had starting points. Great writers begin on page one. Great
sculptors have a chisel and stone. Great artist have a canvas and a
brush. What is in your hand? What is in your heart? Where does your
journey begin that will take you to the place of your dreams? Your
‘more beyond’ attitude begins with the recognition that you will never
achieve your dreams tomorrow unless you take action today. Your
destiny awaits- what are you waiting on? The ‘more beyond’ tip — there
is no time like the present.
What do you say?
Doug Dickerson is a syndicated columnist. He writes a weekly column
for this newspaper. To contact Doug Dickerson, email him at