We’ve all seen it — it’s hard to miss. The Great Wall of China has nothing on it. It’s so thick, an atom bomb could barely scratch it. It’s so high, that the moon has to pivot to avoid hitting it. Anyone who plays the game of life, sooner or later, comes up against… the wall.
It’s not as though you haven’t scaled obstacles before. The path leading to the wall had Burmese tiger traps you managed to escape, it had all sorts of snakes and spears that you ducked and wrestled. And the quicksand trap almost got you, but you grabbed that branch and pulled yourself out. But the wall? Now, that’s a formidable enemy. A full stop. Nowhere to go. No way around. Too high to climb.
There’s no solution apparent and no way to continue the journey.
What do you do?
Well, there’s always giving up. Could walk back along the path that got you here, go around the quicksand, duck the spears, kill the snakes and leap over the Burmese tiger trap. You’ll make it home, light a fire in the fireplace, and kick back until you kick off.
That’s always an option.
Seems a bit of a shame, though. It wasn’t easy getting where you got. Took a lot of courage to get here. You won a lot of battles too. And you could smell victory — it was just around the corner. But you never expected coming up against an obstacle like this.
If only there were a way to climb it, but its height puts the redwoods surrounding it to shame. You tried to walk around it, but it kept going and going and going forever. And when you hit it with your hammer, the hammer snapped in half. You even fired a bullet at it, and it ricocheted off and nearly took your eye out. It’s a wall alright, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Then you remember a Chinese proverb by a guy named Confucius, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
Small stones huh? More like grains of stone with this wall. Man, that’s a long process. Could take a few hundred lifetimes. You probably will never get there.
You contemplate the other option of giving it all up and decide you can’t do that. You’re not a quitter. Never were. Never could be.
You take out your trusty hunting knife and dig into the wall. A few tiny grains of rock trickle down, just a few. Hardly noticeable. You dig in again, and a few more grains peel off the face of the wall. In many ways, you feel this battle is futile but you still brighten up a bit. At least you’re moving forward, not backwards. You keep looking at the wall, digging a grain or two away, and you realize that people have gotten past it before. You’ve heard all the tales. They've come down from generation to generation. The heroes, the legends. They can’t all be false. There has to be a way. And you dig your knife into the stone and a few more grains fall off.
“Underneath, underneath,” you hear yourself whisper. The wall rises to the stars and goes on to the left and right endlessly. But it sits on the surface of the earth. It must be possible to dig a tunnel underneath the wall. That must be the way around it.
You turn your trusty hunting knife to the ground and thrust it into the earth. It’s a bit chunky, but compared to the wall, it’s as soft as butter. By sundown you’ve dug yourself a healthy ditch, and you’re turned West toward the wall. Excited by the possibility, you ignore your exhausted muscles and dig in earnest. A few more feet and, why, you are beneath the wall! You’re actually under it! There is a way out! Exhilarated, you continue to dig, inch by inch, and you’re getting closer and closer. Not long after, daylight fills the tunnel as you break through. You’re there. You made it to the other side. A miracle!
Entrepreneurs are playing a big game of life and sometimes life throws a wall at you. It may look insurmountable, but it’s not. Every barrier has a solution. If you look long and hard enough, you will find it.
The thing not to do, is give up. That’s easy. The epic tales of adventure are about those few who pursued and achieved the impossible. You can do it.
— Isa Totah