Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day: The Key To Being Successful
Success doesn’t happen overnight
The Roman Empire was founded when Augustus was proclaimed as Emperor on 16 January, 27 B.C. and lasted until 4 September 476 A.D. when Romulus Augustulus was deposed.
In total, the empire lasted for 503 years, 8 months and 12 days. That is an incredible length of time for one empire to reign. There are arguments to suggest that the Roman Empire lasted for another 1000 years if you consider the Byzantine Empire as a continuation of the Western Roman Empire.
No matter which way you look at it, the Roman Empire lasted for a long time. There is a famous saying attributed to the empire regarding the significant length of time it reigned for.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
This saying is often used when it comes to building anything of note. In the case of English football manager, Brian Clough, who quipped, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I wasn’t on that particular job,” it can be used to cheekily big up one’s achievements.
However, the key application of the saying is its grounding in reality. No matter how you look at it, building anything, whether it’s a building, career or a website takes time.
You cannot just wish it into existence, the blocks have to be carefully laid into place over time to form the overall structure.
To achieve what you desire, whether it’s starting your own business, developing a successful website, or simply to pass your exams, you need to remember that success takes time, a lot of time.
Brick By Brick
The saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ is often attributed to the English playwright John Heywood. During his time composing plays and poems in Tudor England, he came up with several sayings, which we still use to this day.
From ‘two heads are better than one’ to ‘better late than never’, Heywood’s contribution to the English language is profound. However, it is his saying regarding Rome that is perhaps his most famous.
The current saying is great for considering how success is achieved, but if you stretch it out to say ’ ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour,’ the power of it becomes clear.
Rome is a big city, it will have taken many, many years to complete. That means the work would have been almost non-stop. While it may not have looked much at first as the initial structures were put down, once they began to take shape, the scale of what was being built will have become apparent.
The same is true of any of our endeavours in the modern-day. It is easy to overlook the little steps needed to make big changes, by focusing on the change itself.
However, it’s important you master your craft, improve your habits, and double-down on your work before you can begin to make grand changes.
What is often forgotten when we aspire to make grand changes is that it’s the bricks that we lay daily which lead to grand change. Much like there would be no Rome without bricks being laid every hour, without making an effort to improve bit-by-bit every day, we cannot hope to see the result anytime soon.
Rome was just the outcome, it was the system of building blocks that allowed it to come to fruition.
Build Slowly, Improve Daily
When it comes to making improvements in your life, the system you implement is everything. Without an effective system, you cannot build anything substantial that will last.
The Romans would not have been able to build a city as grand as Rome without a coherent plan and one that was implemented daily. It’s much better to improve by 1% every day than to swing big and miss.
It’s more important to focus your efforts on the factors, you can control, such as habits and productivity, than something you can’t, the outcome.
Laying a brick by itself is not an impressive feat, it does take much effort. However, when all those bricks are laid in unison day after day, the result is a towering building.
The same principle applies to your life. Small gradual changes are better than grandiose ones. Overnight success does not exist, it is by making small improvements over time that you see big changes.
No one could have foreseen the city that Rome became, or how far the Roman Empire would reach, but over time it became clear.
To build an empire, you need to work on it day-after-day, there are no shortcuts. You can’t build Rome in a day, but you can certainly work towards it every day.