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When approaching the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation, it is important to explore your options personallyBefore Magellan left Spain in 1519 looking for a western passage to the East Indies, he had an extremely difficult time finding enough sailors to man his ships. To be sure, there were plenty of real dangers that scared off potential crewmen, things such as seasickness, storms, hostile natives, and exotic diseases.

However, many feared to sign on for the historic voyage because of reasons that existed only in the imagination. Ignorance and superstition defined global geography in the 16th century. Many Europeans thought that terrifying sea monsters lurked in the depths, that equatorial waters could boil them to death, that great magnetic rocks would literally draw nails out of their ships, and that 60-foot high cannibals, dog-headed savages, and Cyclopes ruled distant lands.

Magellan’s successful circumnavigation of the globe was in significant part due to the influence of a re-emerging Greek concept known as autopsies—”seeing with one’s own eyes.” The origin of the English word “autopsy” and a defining characteristic of the Age of Discovery, the concept of autopsis allowed Magellan and his fellow explorers to take to the seas without being hamstrung by false information and groundless fears.

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