5 Life Lessons That You Can Learn from the Gateway Arch (St Louis, Missouri)

Welcome to the World’s Tallest Arch and the Tallest man-made Building in the Western Hemisphere!

If we choose to look at things differently, we see different things.

And while I am pondering on how fortunate I am to have visited the St Louis, Missouri Arch recently, I instantly reflected on what other meanings this arch could have, and how the importance of a symbolic, 630-foot (192 m), stainless steel monument could be applied in different areas of one’s life!

So here are 5 lessons we can all learn from The St Louis Arch.

Lesson 1: If It’s Worth It, You Have to Work For It

So many things in this world make us prone to consciously (and unconsciously) seeking instant gratification. We are occasionally forgetting the values of perseverance, endurance and simply, grit. This is so prevalent that we tend to give up, even on things that are worth it.

Looking back into history, the bidding process for the St Louis arch started on December 20, 1961, then was postponed to January 22, 1962. Building of the arch itself didn’t start until a year later, in February 12, 1963.

Arch 4F

Sometimes, you’re plans get delayed, rearranged and reshuffled. But if it’s really worth it, you keep working on it.

Find out more about The St Louis Arch here.

Lesson 2: The Journey is Molding you for the Destination

I used to believe that being at a place was important, until I realized that “getting there” was the most important thing. And if someone had told me that the journey was more important than the destination, I don’t know if I would have believed them. But be it as it may, I am here now: at the point where I understand that the journey is more important than the destination, and when you get to the destination, you feel compelled to start a new journey. Life is not meant to be static, we have to constantly be moving. So you have to enjoy and live your life while you’re on you journey to get to your final destination.  Allow the experiences to teach you, transform you, mold you, and build you for your destination.

Arch 3F Arch 33F

Lesson 3: There are Always (at least) Two Sides to a Story 

We could leave this here, and you’d still understand what this means. But for the sake of this article, let’s develop.

Sometimes, we fail to see other perspectives because we are so stuck in our own ways of seeing/doing/understanding things. But traveling has an amazing way of opening your mind to so many things that it never leaves you the same. You learn to see things in a different way. For instance, I would have never looked at this magnificent arch as a source of 5 key life lessons. So remember, there are always “at least” two sides to a story. And there is no need to pick sides. Embrace them all.

Arch 2F

Find out more about The St Louis Arch here.

Lesson 4: Life is a Story of Transitions. You’re always moving, from One Point to the Next.

Look at The Arch. It is intrinsically meant to take you from one side to the other (and for the historical purposes, it was built as a monument for the westward expansion of the USA). And so, people passing under the arch were always moving. And so are phases in our life. We always have to be moving, growing, learning, discovering. This is the essence of progress. So do not allow yourself to be stagnant. Keep growing. Keep moving, especially intellectually.

Arch 1F

Find out more about The Arch here.

Lesson 5: Always Do Your Best. You never Know when Your Chef D’Oeuvre will Turn into  a MasterPiece. 

When the Finnish – American designer Eero Saarinen submitted his idea for the St Louis Arch in 1947, I doubt he knew this was going to be the tallest man-made building in the Western Hemisphere. When workers started construction in 1963 and tirelessly dedicated their time and energy to this building for 2 years, they probably had no clue this was going to be world’s tallest arch and Missouri’s tallest accessible building. But here we are. Whatever you put your mind to, do it at your best. You never know when your chef d’oeuvre is going to turn into a masterpiece.

Find out more about The St Louis Arch here.

Have you been to St Louis, Missouri? Have you visited the Arch? What were your thoughts on it?

Drop a comment below if you feel inspired by these words, or if you’ like to share your own. ☺️

PS: to find out more about how I got that “super cool and totally unplanned face painting tattoo” on pic #5, subscribe to see my post: Quick Guide: Don’t be Stuck Up When You Travel: Be Fun! The St Louis Science Center Experiment! .

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

 Ibn Battuta

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