Lessons from the leaning Tower of Pisa

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Lessons from the leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa took 177 years to complete after ground was broken on August 8th 1173 as a series of circumstances dictated that work be stopped for lengthy periods.

After construction of the white marble tower had reached only the second floor, in 1178, the structure began to sink into the soft, unstable subsoil as the shallow (3m) foundation proved to be a (fairly obvious) design fault. Work was halted and, due to a series of wars between Pisa and Florence, Genoa and Lucca, nothing further was done for almost a century (during which time, luckily, the subsoil settled and compacted to the point where continuation was possible).

Scientists who monitor the leaning tower of Pisa say that its only a matter of time before the famous World heritage structure falls over. The tower is 55.86m in height on the low side and 56.70m on the high side. The walls are 4.09m thick at the base and 2.48m thick at the top and the structure leans at roughly 3.99 degrees (which means the top of the tower is displaced by 3.9m from where it would be if the tower were perfectly vertical).

It was on February 27, 1964 that the Italian government announced they were accepting suggestions on how to save the famous structure which, experts predicted, was toppling fractionally every year and was in serious danger of collapsing if there were an earthquake or a severe storm, and, after several flirtations with plastic-coated steel tendons, underground drilling, counterweighting and liquid nitrogen, a process of slowly excavating soil from under the North side of the tower was begun in 1999 and completed in 2001 and this reduced the tilt by eighteen inches and, supposedly, gave a further 300 years of life to the Leaning Tower.

Prior to 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees.

From the very beginning there was a flaw in its construction. The tower actually started falling over before it was even completed, partly because it was erected on soft ground (the word pisa means “marshy land”) and partly because its foundation is only 3m deep

What can we learn from the leaning Tower of Pisa:

1. You need to have a solid deep foundation in whatever you want to build or develop. There is no shortcut to constructing something if you want it to last for longer

2. Where you dig your foundation matters.
Where are you investing your time, your energy, your strengths. For example, if you want to become a pilot, spend time learning about flight, geography, mathematics. The more knowledge you have in these areas the better prepared you are for your career

3. Trying to correct a faulty foundation after the building is already completed is much more dangerous and costly. The same with life – trying to “fix” a career comes at a cost – something which could have been avoided had someone just done the right thing from the beginning.

Nothing good comes out of building on a faulty foundation. Be it a relationship, a career or a business. Start building your career on a solid foundation

God Bless Ya’ll

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