The great thing about learning is that it is not confined to certain times or a specific location. Learning can happen anytime, anywhere.
We can even learn stuff from a really old wall…
5 Things We Can Learn From The Great Wall Of China
1. Greatness Takes Time
How long do you think it took to build the Great Wall of China? If you’re anything like me, you might guess 5 years, 50 years, maybe 500 years. Would you believe 2,000 years?
Originally conceived by Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first stage of the Wall was finished around 221 BC, and it is believed to have taken about 20 years. However, what we consider the Great Wall today was built in the 14th through 17th centuries A.D., during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). All in all, many imperial dynasties built and extended the Wall over the course of 2,000 years.
Want to be great? Be patient.
2. Greatness Is A Team Effort
Given how long it took to build, it makes sense that it took effort from many people. But just how many people, you ask. Historical records suggest more than 1.5 million men were used during the peak of the Wall’s construction. Roughly 500,000 soldiers were assigned to both build and guard it during Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s era. More than 400,000 people died during the wall’s construction.
If we are looking to be great, we should also be looking for help.
3. Greatness Is Resourceful
Fun fact: not every part of the Wall is man made. The entire length includes natural barriers like rivers, lakes, mountains and trenches. After about 5 years on the job, I picture a very creative and resourceful construction worker coming up with the idea of building the wall into a mountain. If the goal is to create a barrier, why not use some some help from Mother Nature?
When we are looking for help to become great, it helps to notice anything and everything that might help.
4. Greatness Feels Bigger
It has been said that you can see the Great Wall of China from space. That is not true. The Wall stretches 21,196 km (13,170 mi), but it is not even close to big enough be seen by an astronaut. However, if you were to ask people on the street if you can see it from the moon, they would likely say yes.
When we become great, we feel bigger than we actually are.
5. Greatness Comes In Many Forms
Oddly enough, the Great Wall was never that great at preventing enemies from invading China. Throughout time, however it has become a symbol of China’s strength and is now seen as psychological barrier between Chinese civilization and the world.
On our path to greatness, we may not accomplish what we originally set out to achieve. But that doesn’t mean all is lost.