Learning Lessons About Motivation from Ancient Sources

Dr. Adrian Pujayana

DO you ever think about what it took to build the enormous structures that existed all around the ancient world? The seven ancient wonders were built between 2650 B.C. and 240 B.C. by people who had no computers, calculators or power tools such as drills and saws.  Everything was done by hand — and, we speculate, by rudimentary tools in the hands of tens of thousands of laborers.

The seven ancient wonders included:

1. The Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt. Estimated to be nearly 4,500 years old and made up of some 2 million stone blocks that weigh two to 30 tons each!

2. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Iraq. Built around 600 B.C., they may have spanned 56 miles and been 80 feet thick and 320 feet high.

3. Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece. Sculpted in 435 B.C., this 40-foot, ornately carved structure was made of ivory and gold, and was destroyed in the fifth or sixth century.

4. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Greece. Completed in 550 B.C., this massive construction wonder took 120 years to build. It consisted of 127 columns, 60 feet high.  The temple had a max height of 425 feet.

5. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Greece. Built in 351 B.C., this 135-foot structure had intricate sculptures adorning the walls, which had 36 columns 10 feet high. It stood magnificently for about 1,800 years before it was plundered.

6. Colossus of Rhodes, Greece. This bronze statue was constructed between 292 B.C. and 280 B.C.  At 110 feet tall, it overlooked the harbor of Rhodes like the Statue of Liberty. Like many other wonders in Greece, this structure was destroyed by earthquake after only 56 years.

7. Lighthouse at Alexandria, Egypt. Before modern skyscrapers, this lighthouse was one of the tallest working buildings on earth for many centuries. This 440-fgoot structure was built on the island of Pharos and was completed in 280 B.C. A mirror built inside it was seen as far as 35 miles into the sea and functioned for nearly 1,600 years.

Many other ancient wonders didn’t quite make this list, but ought to have. For instance, the Mayan calendar, Egyptian obelisks, Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, hundreds of Roman structures and aqueduct systems, the castles of Europe and so much more. Our ancestors didn’t have the advantage of modern machinery and computers of today.

Today, our culture today depends on automation and computers more than ever. Remember all the phone numbers you had to remember before cell phones came out? In the ancient cultures, children were expected to memorize entire books and stories verbatim by the time they were teen-agers.

The lack of computers and machinery is NOT a disadvantage, as history shows. The lack of motivation, however, is a severe disadvantage and a reason for complacency. Our ancestors were not disadvantaged, they just lived in a different era. They weren’t simple-minded or un-able — quite the contrary. People in the ancient world are just like people in the modern era.  They were resourceful, inventive and used their abilities with the tools that were available.  Likewise, we should be using our modern tools and powers for good, and for those of us who are able, we ought to expect more from ourselves.

People are, and have always been, highly resourceful and creative, able to accomplish great things throughout time. Technology didn’t advance civilization … proper motivation did.

Motivation fuels inventiveness, causes people to change and seek to do right more than wrong.  The result is that people with the right motivation can do great things no matter the era, the geography or the challenges they face.

Today, people are disadvantaged when they don’t want to change, not because they lack a certain resource or access to information. What’s your motivation for change?

Dr. Adrian Pujayana has been providing drug-free solutions for health and wellness to adults, athletes and youth since 2000 through his private practice at Family Chiropractic Center of South Pasadena, a place for strength training and nutrition-based health care. For comments or questions, email him at southpaschiro@gmail.com.