Personal Growth

Pioneer Or A Settler

I can remember back in the mid 80s (when personal computers were just hitting the market), my Mom would take us to the library, where we would actually get to USE a computer.  Back then, you could register for a time slot, and then go and check out a game on a floppy disk (google it if you don’t know what that is), and enjoy 15 minutes of non-stop action.  Now, non-stop action might not be the best way to describe those ancient games, but for us it was next level entertainment.

One of the games that I enjoyed the most was The Oregon Trail.  This game simulated the player moving westward in a horse drawn, covered wagon, and the challenge was to get supplies that would get you from point A to point B.  In essence, you were assuming the role of a pioneer, that was blazing a trail from the east coast to the west cost.

Pioneering something these days is difficult for us to imagine, because most of our world, planet earth, has already been discovered and explored, and now, we are all pretty much just settlers.  We’re occupying lands that have already been pioneered.

This is what I want to discuss…the difference between a pioneer and a settler.

To be honest, settling somewhere is much easier and convenient than pioneering. Pioneers basically go to a place that is unfamiliar, or maybe even unknown, and establish a town, village, or a community.  It is all about going into new territory, sailing out into the unchartered waters, marching off the map, and doing something that has never been done before.

So, in that sense, and certainly more figuratively speaking, are you a pioneer or a settler?

Take a new idea, concept, initiative, or maybe even a new endeavor in life; I will admit, based on first-hand knowledge and experience, settling somewhere is much easier to do than pioneering a place.  In fact, I’ve summed it up in this one question: would you rather build something great? Or just be a part of something that is great?  You see, this is the difference between a pioneer and a settler.

Now don’t get me wrong, not everyone should be a pioneer, in fact, not everyone should even try to become a pioneer…without settlers, nothing that is built will last.  Pioneers are a different breed. They’re the risk takers in life. They’re the ones that aren’t afraid to fail.  Pioneers know that they will make some mistakes along the way, need a do-over or two or three, and will find themselves at dead ends.  However, pioneers are not discouraged or deterred by any of this!  They continue to press on, regardless of whatever obstacles they encounter or resistance that comes their way.

The application is simple: First, know the difference between a pioneer and a settler.  Second, know which one you are.  Third, be okay with whichever one you are.  Don’t compare yourself with others.  If you’re a pioneer, don’t fantasize about the life and conveniences of a settler.  If you’re a settler, don’t dream of what it would be like to risk it all for some new discovery or adventure.  Finally, who/what you are right now might not be who/what you are forever, and that’s also okay!

Whether you’re a pioneer or a settler, please remember one of my favorite quotes. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they worked on it everyday!

The role of a pioneer and a settler both will encounter their own unique setbacks, circumstances and challenges, but you just have to know and remember this!!! So surge forward into uncharted waters, establish a new beachhead, or…settle somewhere that already been pioneered, and grow where you’re planted.

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