Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Relentless initiative creates opportunities (Part 2 of 2)


At that time, Carter was already 48 years old and must have been looking back at his life wondering if he had done the right thing by embarking on a risky venture instead of choosing a safer career as antiquities dealer or monuments inspector. He had no money, no wife, no children, and an uncertain future.

Although he had devoted decades to studying Ancient Egypt, he had failed to secure a high-paying position. The dominant view was that Tutankhamen's tomb had been pillaged and forgotten centuries ago. Only Carter was convinced that the tomb could still be found, buried somewhere under the sand.

Carter's hypothesis and initiative had moved Lord Carnavon to entrust him with conducting excavations in the Valley of Kings, but six years of digging had been to no avail. In fact, the determination to search for Tutankhamen's tomb had wasted Carter's own life and a substantial part of Lord Carnavon's fortune. Europe had been ravaged by World War I and Carter knew that, after his long years of failure, his chances of finding another sponsor for his excavations was nil.

Initiative is a virtue that can be taught only by example. Taking calculated risks to pursue your dream, as Howard Carter did, cannot be emphasized enough as the key to a happy and successful life. The level of risk must be assessed and minimized as much as possible, but in the end, a man must remind himself that he is going to live only once. Extraordinary value cannot be achieved by simply following prescribed routines.

Nowadays, when tourists visit the location of Carter's wooden barrack in the Valley of Kings, their guide usually asks them to take a few steps on the sand, turn around, use their hand to shade their eyes from the sun, and look at the sign on the other side of the dune.

It is the sign that points visitors to Tutankhamen's tomb, which Carter finally managed to find in November 1922, just when his last excavation campaign was to end. He had spent years looking for that tomb and had succeeded only a few days before Carnavon's final deadline. Carter's extraordinary initiative and persistence had paid off against all expectations, in direct opposition to the views of official experts and professors.

History provides countless examples of how entrepreneurship opens the door to striking success. Relentless initiative is far superior to stale knowledge. Those with vision and ambition can always acquire the information they miss. Possessing expertise is not worth much without the willingness to put it to practical use and take the risks associated with innovation.

After discovering Tutankhamen's tomb, Carter lived for another 16 years, enjoying the prestige and financial advantages of being the best known archaeologist in the world. The treasures found in Tutankhamen's tomb have an immense value, but they cannot be compared to the lesson drawn from Howard Carter's initiative and persistence.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by NikonKnight under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Relentless initiative creates opportunities
(Part 2 of 2)


At that time, Carter was already 48 years old and must have been looking back at his life wondering if he had done the right thing by embarking on a risky venture instead of choosing a safer career as antiquities dealer or monuments inspector. He had no money, no wife, no children, and an uncertain future.

Although he had devoted decades to studying Ancient Egypt, he had failed to secure a high-paying position. The dominant view was that Tutankhamen's tomb had been pillaged and forgotten centuries ago. Only Carter was convinced that the tomb could still be found, buried somewhere under the sand.

Carter's hypothesis and initiative had moved Lord Carnavon to entrust him with conducting excavations in the Valley of Kings, but six years of digging had been to no avail. In fact, the determination to search for Tutankhamen's tomb had wasted Carter's own life and a substantial part of Lord Carnavon's fortune. Europe had been ravaged by World War I and Carter knew that, after his long years of failure, his chances of finding another sponsor for his excavations was nil.

Initiative is a virtue that can be taught only by example. Taking calculated risks to pursue your dream, as Howard Carter did, cannot be emphasized enough as the key to a happy and successful life. The level of risk must be assessed and minimized as much as possible, but in the end, a man must remind himself that he is going to live only once. Extraordinary value cannot be achieved by simply following prescribed routines.

Nowadays, when tourists visit the location of Carter's wooden barrack in the Valley of Kings, their guide usually asks them to take a few steps on the sand, turn around, use their hand to shade their eyes from the sun, and look at the sign on the other side of the dune.

It is the sign that points visitors to Tutankhamen's tomb, which Carter finally managed to find in November 1922, just when his last excavation campaign was to end. He had spent years looking for that tomb and had succeeded only a few days before Carnavon's final deadline. Carter's extraordinary initiative and persistence had paid off against all expectations, in direct opposition to the views of official experts and professors.

History provides countless examples of how entrepreneurship opens the door to striking success. Relentless initiative is far superior to stale knowledge. Those with vision and ambition can always acquire the information they miss. Possessing expertise is not worth much without the willingness to put it to practical use and take the risks associated with innovation.

After discovering Tutankhamen's tomb, Carter lived for another 16 years, enjoying the prestige and financial advantages of being the best known archaeologist in the world. The treasures found in Tutankhamen's tomb have an immense value, but they cannot be compared to the lesson drawn from Howard Carter's initiative and persistence.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by NikonKnight under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]