Thursday, April 20, 2006


Centuries ago, when mapmakers ran out of the known world before they ran out of parchment, they would sketch a dragon at the edge of the scroll. This was a sign to the explorer that he would be entering unknown territory at his own risk. Unfortunately, some explorers took this symbol literally and were afraid to push on to new worlds. Other more adventuresome explorers saw the dragons as a sign of opportunity, a door to virgin territory.

Each of us has a mental map of the world in our heads that contains the information we use to guide ourselves in our day-to-day encounters. Like the maps of long ago, out mental maps also have dragons on them. These represent things that, for whatever reason, we don't want to do or push beyond. It could be fear of going to a party where we don't know any of the people. It could be a reluctance to participate in a particular sport. Sometimes these dragons are valid. Sometimes, however, they prevent us from discovering something new.

Roger Van Oech in "A Kick in the Seat of the Pants"
We all have our dragons. I think dragons are better thought of as a source of empowerment, a new adventure! Now if I can just live up to those words.

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