· 2 min read

Why the architect's family stood under the bridge

In Roman times, when a new bridge was tested for the first time, the architect’s family was called to stand under the bridge.

If the bridge collapsed, they would lose their family.

Scary, huh?

But it did one thing: that architect is going to work really hard to make that bridge safe.

They had skin in the game.

In our modern society we’ve built many structures to avoid this.

And it leads to a lot of problems.

Politicians get paid when they’re elected. Their marketing is more important than their actions. And the results of their actions are often only seen years after they left office—so they’re disconnected from the consequences of any bad decisions.

Doctors get paid when they solve your problem…in the short term. If you have high cholesterol, they can prescribe statins which “solves the problem” but can lead to many complications decades down the road. They’re disconnected from your true, long-term health.

Friends want you to be happy because they love you. So if you’re facing a relationship issue, they might advise you to leave that relationship. They’re unlikely to ask you to go through the very difficult process of healing that relationship—even if it would be better over the long term.

And maybe worst of all, business consultants (uh oh 😅) make fancy slide decks with recommendations, leave their client with a lot of money and are mostly immune if their advice turns out wrong.

I’m not saying you should distrust any of these people.

They have good intentions and truly want the best for you.

It’s just—the situation they’re in, influences what they believe and say. So listen to them but also consider their inherent bias.

And if you’re at the wheel…

Put your skin in the game.

It’s one of the best feelings to know someone has your back. So keep someone’s back.

We win when we’re in the game shoulder-to-shoulder.

And while risking ourselves for the sake of others is scary, it’s how we create the harmony in society we’re all craving for.

“The moment we succeed is when our people say ‘us’ or ‘we’ more than ‘I’ or ‘me,’ when we see our people celebrating wins together, dining together, crying together, striving together.”
– Brendon Burchard


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