Don’t go too far … you don’t know what’s out there.

Back in Hercules’ days, the Straits of Gibraltar bore the warning “nec plus ultra” – Latin for “nothing more beyond.” It was telling sailors and navigators to go no further. It worked for a long time, until Christopher Columbus’ daring escape and voyage across the Atlantic Ocean that led to European awareness of the Western Hemisphere.

Talk about an oops. That’s kind of like the first time I went swimming just ten minutes after eating lunch … and I didn’t get a side ache and drown! Another myth busted. After Columbus’ discovery that the world didn’t actually have a ledge, Spain quickly adopted “plus ultra” as its new motto. More beyond. Think of how utterly amazed people must have been to learn of a whole other part of their world. Of course, people who were perfectly content with life as it was likely chose to not believe.

But think about it: some of the things that we take for granted today exist because people before us had the courage and drive to discard public opinion and charge ahead with the belief that there must be more beyond what we see. This self-confidence has led to some pretty amazing discoveries and inventions. And more will come. We all can use some of this in our lives. I don’t mean that we chuck it all in and go explore unchartered territory. What I mean is it helps to step outside our comfort zones sometimes to experience new things. To see things differently. To do something we wouldn’t normally do. Start today. Choose one thing that you’ve wanted to do but just haven’t taken that first step. Tell a person what that is so it’s not easy for you to just ignore it.

What’s my plus ultra? My wife would like it to be ballroom dancing, but that’s not going to happen. I’m going to have to think about that one. I’ll let you know.