Pioneers: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

How The 7 Qualities of a Pioneer can be used for good or for bad 

Take into account that good visions, which produce noble actions, which result in grandiose achievements, can be switched to another track simply by a change in perspective.  It all depends on the “lens” you see life through, and that lens is molded and developed in each of us by the influences in our lives.  For Morgan, his lens became tainted, his perspective redirected, his exuberant pioneer spirit deformed until it took on a much different mold.

The wheels and pulleys of his life began to form the “lens” of his soul, which would take

Book excerpt

Book excerpt – click image for free sample

his lust for adventure and put beads and flowers on it….

There weren’t any wagon trains anymore, but the West was still out there, and it still beckoned with the promise of wild exploits and untold opportunities.

 The Good

Christopher Columbus


Christopher Columbus has got to rank as one of the top Pioneers of all time.

  • He dared to dream against all the conventional wisdom of the day. Based on the idea that the world was round instead of flat, he reasoned that he could end up in the east by going west.
  • He was willing to leave the known civilized world behind to discover unknown lands

    Colombus ships

    Columbus the Pioneer

  • He was not content to remain in the Old Country with his old life, transporting goods around the Mediterranean Sea
  • He saw the doubters and nay-sayers as limitations that would prevent him from realizing the future opportunities.
  • He knew the risks – the odds were great that he and his whole crew would die at sea.
  • He refused to let caution and fear triumph over his dreams of glory.  What he found changed the world forever, and resulted in the Land of the Free and the Home of the
    Space Pioneers

    Space Pioneers


In the Twentieth and Twenty First Centuries, that same Pioneer Spirit has taken us into the frontier of space, reaping untold riches and advancements for mankind.

The Bad

Highway Pioneers

Highway Pioneers

Looking at these two images  conjures up a variety of emotions. Most people probably recoil in irritation at the thought of being stuck in a traffic jam on a freeway, navigating the flow of high speed traffic, or breathing smog.

Wagon Pioneers

Wagon Pioneers

On the other hand, how would you rather go to work – at 70 mph in an air conditioned car, or 20 miles a day in a covered wagon?

In this sense, the rewards of the Pioneer Spirit can be mixed.  We have undisputed benefits from the efforts of those who went before us, but not without some side effects.

The Ugly

Adolph Hitler had a dream – It just wasn’t seen through the right “lens”.  There is such a

Deranged Pioneer

Deranged Pioneer

thing as evil.  There is right and wrong.

He was willing to do whatever he needed to do to fulfill that dream.  He was determined to eliminate all limitations and opposition.  He knew the risks, but he went ahead anyway. What has always puzzled me is how he was willing to sacrifice his own countrymen and ultimately take his own life when it didn’t work out.

Deranged results

Deranged results

The only way to stop him was with a greater opposing, liberating force.  The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun.

Moral of the story:  A Pioneer Spirit is a powerful force.  Use if for good, and you can change the life of your family or a country.

Copyright © 2015 John D. Cooper

7 Qualities of a Pioneer

California clipper

California Dreamin’

From Woodstock to Eternity Free Look Inside!

The Pioneer Spirit is so essential to having a vibrant, productive and successful life.  At least it is essential to having an exciting life.  I guess you can be productive and successful without being particularly daring, but all of us share at least some of these qualities, as they are part of the human makeup.  For those who have all these qualities and more, I say, keep on truckin’.  If you don’t, let these motivate you to get up and do what you have wanted to do all along.  Just don’t use them in the wrong way.

  1. A Pioneer dares to dream:  It may sound cheesy, but even the Bible says, “without a vision the people perish”  Proverbs 29:18.  Motivational speakers, network marketers, visionaries, preachers, everyone  says you need a dream to pursue.  Life has dealt some people so many disappointing blows that they feel they cannot dream again, but don’t let the past win out over your future.  Old things have past away, behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
  2. Pioneers are willing to leave their old life behind:  This is a deal killer for many.  They don’t want to leave family, or friends, or what they are familiar with to take the next step.  But think of Abraham – he left everything in his old land of Ur to follow God’s promise.  For the Christian, it’s more than a new job, or the chance for a promotion – it’s believing you have heard the will of God and you are willing to follow it, no matter the cost.
  3. A Pioneer is not content to remain the same:  Sameness is a disease, a torture to the pioneer spirit.  While he understands the logic of building a foundation and a reputation, once he has done that at one level, he must break out and pursue another level.  The adventure is not necessarily at the end of the rainbow, it is in the pursuit of the rainbow.  The experience of moving onward and upward is  the adventure.
  4. A Pioneer is compelled to make the effort:  Since the pioneer spirit has dreams and a lust for adventure, he always wonders what is out there that he hasn’t discovered yet.    If a particular challenge presents itself, he envisions what “success” would look like and realizes that he may not even be able to fathom where life could take him.  Then, the possibilities become the prize, and he cannot go through life not knowing what could have happened if he didn’t at least try.  He is compelled to try, or he will be miserable the rest of his life wondering what would have happened.
  5. A Pioneer sees present limitations as hindrances to future opportunities:  What some people may consider to be normal and reasonable to take into account, a pioneer sees as an excuse to not take the chance.  Rather than accepting limitations as constructive or rational, he looks at them as hurdles that are meant to be jumped.  The phrase, “Son, we all have to know our limitations” is not in his vocabulary.
  6. A Pioneer knows the risk:  Far from being naive, or simple minded in his pursuits, the pioneer know full well that his attempts may fail.

    Danger on the trail

    To a cautious person, that is enough to make them content to stay where they are.  To a pioneer, it is the price of admission to a glorious undertaking.  Torpedoes? What torpedoes?

  7. Pioneers refuse to let caution triumph over glory:  This may sound foolish to some who like to have all the contingencies figured out before they do anything.  It’s like the difference between Patton and Montgomery.  The British Field Marshall Montgomery was known as overly cautious.  He would not mount an attack until he had all of everything he needed.  Supplies, troops, Plan A, Plan B, Plan C.  American General Patton, on the other hand, just charged ahead, annihilating the enemy with lightning speed.  He got so far ahead of his supply trucks that his tanks ran out of gas!  On a more reasonable note, preparation is good, but too much fear of the unknown, or consequences if things go wrong can stifle any progress or innovation.

Copyright © 2015 John D. Cooper

The Heart of a Pioneer

Pioneers on the trail make camp

Pioneers on the trail make camp

From Woodstock to Eternity Book Excerpt:  Free Look Inside!

“This is the heart of a true pioneer.  It isn’t enough just to have a dream and work hard to fulfill it.  The pioneer is willing to leave behind all the known quantities of his present reality because he sees them as limitations.  And, those limitations are like chains to him.  He might as well be in leg irons in a dungeon with one little window where he can watch the world outside change and grow while he is forced to tolerate in an eternal hell of sameness. When he sees an opportunity that will enable him to break free of those limitations and latch onto an enterprise with untold possibilities, he has to take it.  He is compelled.  He will not be able to live with himself if he does not at least give it his best shot.  It doesn’t matter that some people will die, others will suffer shipwreck, still more will become discouraged and turn back.  He never believes it will happen to him.”

Next:  7 Qualities of a Pioneer

Copyright © 2015 John D. Cooper