I stood on the hillside with my wife and did my best to stay in the moment. It was hard to comprehend what I saw. Below us sprawled the ancient city of Florence, Italy. Rising from the city's center was the Florence Cathedral, distinguishable by its massive and spectacular dome that pierces the skyline.
Building the cathedral took 140 years, beginning in 1296 and finishing in 1436. The dome is particularly unique. It was the last section constructed, taking from 1420 to 1436 to complete, and made of brick. At the time of its construction, it was the largest dome in the world and, to this day, remains the largest brick dome ever built.
A vision made real by laying bricks for 16 years. One after the other. Each one placed securely before moving on to the next. Brick by brick by brick.
Discipline is a lot like laying bricks. Laying a few bricks isn't sexy and probably isn't most people's notion of a fun time. It feels more like labor. But the Florence Cathedral dome isn't made of a few bricks. It's made of 4 million bricks.
Laying one brick, like one act of discipline, doesn't appear artistic or visionary. Laying 4 million bricks allows you to build something that stirs the soul and stands the test of time.
We can only lay one brick at a time. We can only make one decision at a time. Decisions, like bricks, add up. They build something.
What are you attempting to build? How often are you laying bricks of discipline? And are you committed to 16 years of laying bricks to make your vision a reality?
The time is now. Do the work.
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Brian Kight is a multi-industry leader on the topics of leadership, culture, and behavior. He provides simple systems that produce exceptional results for organizations, teams, and people.