Back in the 9th through 11th Centuries, the Norse (commonly referred to as Vikings) were some of the farthest ranging explorers. From what are now the countries of Ireland, Finland, Iraq, and even western Russia – to name a few – they roamed the lands. The Norse have a bad reputation but not of all of it was bad – and not all of them were the same. There were several jarls (or leaders) which led their communities in their own ways.
Historians recognize the Norse as an industrious people. They worked hard at what they did and are known for having used whatever was at their disposal. In Scandinavia, all they really had were cliffs, water, and timber. And while they could have simply built small communities and made boats for fishing, they wanted to expand. So they took their timber, made longships, and set out for the world.
The Norse people often had the best of the best among them. Their craftsmen were skilled at their trades and came up with innovative methods. Their blacksmiths were some of the best in the world, creating steel long before much of the rest of Europe. They had some of the best armor in comparison to their enemies, using treated hides instead of iron that was more easily pierced with their slits and holes. The Norse also had some of the best boats, having learned how to build longships that could even navigate small rivers. And, of course, they are known as being some of the most skilled fighters with their bodies carved for brute strength.
Being especially thrifty, the Norse used everything at their disposal. During their raids, they would take more than just gold and jewels. They would also make use of wood ready for construction, weapons, and other materials. To them, value meant more than just gold; it was anything that could be traded or utilized for their needs. Sometimes that also meant settling in the areas of their raids. If the land was good, they would often set up shop and use the land for farming. The Norse were also a functional people. Most everything they had and did was for a purpose.
There’s a lot that we can learn from the Norse. Be resourceful. Have functionality in everything that you have and do. Don’t go into a situation without a plan. Be willing to expand and create a life of your own. And most importantly, work hard in anything that you do.