I recently visited Washington D.C. to visit my mom who was working there and I was amazed by the story of the Washington Monument.
Did you know that the Washington Monument was originally planned to be 600 feet tall and based on donations only to fund in 1833? By 1854 the monument was at 152 feet tall and out of funding. In 1876 Congress appropriated federal funds to complete the construction but by then the quarry where the initial stone was gathered had been exhausted so another quarry was used causing the next section to be a drastically different color. Later a third quarry was found closer to the original color to finish out the top of the structure. The original design of 600 feet turned out to be not optimal for design so the structure we see today is 555 feet tall and was completed in 1884, 51 years later.
This building did not go to plan. It took far longer to complete than anyone imagined and faced many redirection and hiccups along the way. But our forefathers were committed to completing this masterpiece so they learned to pivot when necessary. When a problem arose they sat in the question until a solution came to them. When something didn't work they found a new way of doing things. They did not just give up, they learned to adapt.
I spent hours looking at this masterpiece from so many different angles and parts of the city. When I needed to find my direction I would look to the sky to find the monument to get back on course for my adventures through the city. I never even noticed the different colors until a tour guide pointed it out to us. I was amazed at the symmetry of the building being 555 feet and never thought less of it for being shorter than originally intended. In my eyes this monument was an absolute masterpiece and I would never have been aware of all of the hardships went through to build it until I researched further.
I think sometimes we are so hard on ourselves in this life. Something doesn't go to plan and the negative voice in our head starts going crazy telling us what a failure we are and how our dreams were just too big. What if instead of dwelling in the negative when things don't go to plan we learn to sit in the issue and pivot our plan to accommodate our circumstances like our forefathers?
What if we learn to turn off all of the negative distractions from the outside world and turn into our internal world and sit with the question and all of the emotions and thoughts that come up. Then we wade through all of that internal data like we would external data and come up with a new solution?
Maybe our monument will only be 555 feet tall, 3 different colors, and take 51 years to build. But maybe it will still be a wonder and a guide for all those that come after us to admire.