What does it really take to build a Rome?

Rome wasn’t built in a day. How often have you been given that little bit of wisdom? You probably think you know what it means. It seems self-evident. Several years ago, Karen and I went to Rome and while we were there, we advised ourselves to “just do like the Romans do.” One day over dinner, Karen said to me “Well, just what do or did the Romans do?” I honestly could not say. I only know they do not drive like we do. In addition, while I thought I knew what it meant when we say “Rome was not built in a day”, I also could not tell you how long it took to build Rome. In fact, if it were like any other city, they were probably still building it when it “fell.” Many works are never finished; they are simply “works in process.” Thus, Rome was probably not ever really built since it was never finished. Cities and countries are always works in progress.

The same holds true for people. We are not built in a day or even a lifetime. We are never finished as people until we die and even then we will not be finished. I think of the growth I want in my life and I realize that after having worked on patience for at least the last three years, it will certainly not be obtained in a day or probably even in my lifetime. Many of my friends also doubt it will be obtained in my lifetime. More likely, if I keep trying hard and working at it, I may find myself getting more and more patient, but never reaching the apex I would like to achieve. The best I may be able to do is to be more patient than I was yesterday and the day before that. My creating a patient persona is a work in progress. I will definitely not become patient in a day and maybe not even in a lifetime.

The real goal is not to finish but to make progress with your life. When we work a little each day on something, we eventually create our own individual Rome. Do you get bored easily or give up easily on things? Are you working on long-term goals and sometimes getting frustrated over your rate of change? What could you use as a more realistic measure of change to gage your progress? Who could help you to stay on track? Can you find a mentor or coach or friend who will provide you with encouragement? It is difficult to build Rome by yourself.

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