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Six Astounding Achievements
An astounding achievement is a mind blowing fact, or set of facts, of something that is created. It is an achievement that when run through the mind leads to questions like: How was this achieved? What made all the pieces work and all the people achieve the results so fast? How did a person think of such a big idea and keep building on it without fear of looking back? Where did they get all the money to achieve this massive amazing project? It is an achievement that has given the brain a headache just in trying to figure out how a person or persons conceptualized and accomplished an idea. It is an achievement so remarkable that researchers have and continue to use million of hours trying to understand how the decisions were made.
Astounding achievements are also amazing inspirational facts that guide us to success and can be said to be a divine call to duty. As Kenya and World population grows, men and women will be called to create and be part of initiating the success stories of Kenya. As one hears their call we hope these six astounding achievements will cast any fear and pessimism away and feel one with optimism to loudly say, “It is possible! Nothing is impossible!”
Dwight D. Eisenhower 41,000 miles (66,000 km) of Highway Bill
The 34th president of the U.S Dwight D. Eisenhower would sign The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 also known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act. The bill would set in motion the construction of 41,000 miles (66,000 km) Interstate Highway System. The spirit of the nation would be captured in this network that is today an astonishing achievement created by one generation of Americans for the next generation. Kenya as created in the past century today has a paved road network of 8,936 km about 6,000 miles as recorded by Kenya Roads Board. One thing Kenyans can learn from the Eisenhower story is that a General can also become President. Eisenhower was a five-star general who led operation Torch of North Africa in 1942–43, invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 and in 1951 become the first supreme commander of NATO. In 1953 the citizens of U.S elected him President of U.S and 3 years later in 1956 he led to starting the biggest road construction project in the U.S.
Ray Kroc founder of 33,000 restaurant McDonald System from 1955
Ray Kroc took a loan of his home and invested his entire life savings to become the exclusive distributor for a five-spindled milkshake maker. When he was 52 years old, he heard of a McDonald's hamburger restaurant in California running eight multimixers. He drove to the restaurant. Parked outside the restaurant, Ray would see many people come in and out of the McDonalds restaurant like he had never seen before. He would meet with the owners, "McDonald brothers," convinced he could sell his multimixers if the brothers opened more restaurants. The brothers liked the idea but did not know how to go about it. Ray Kroc would start, "McDonalds Systems." In 1955 Ray would open the first restaurant under the new systems. By 1959, 100 restaurants were operating in the U.S. When Ray looked to expand to 500 restaurants the brothers rather than take the risk agreed to sell their rights for $2.7 million. Ray Kroc never looked back as he founded the systems that are today the McDonalds Corporation that is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 33,000 McDonald restaurants serving nearly 68 million people every day in 119 countries. Ray passed on in 1982 when 10,000 restaurants had been opened in the first 30 years (10,950 days) of idea growth since he parked his car in California. The 57 year old astounding achievement today reports revenue of about $24 billion a year. This is about 3 times the taxes collected by Kenya Revenue Authority. It is approximately a third of Kenya GDP. Kenyans should be inspired by ideas as they move toward the future.
Lim Kim Housing Development in Singapore in 1961 - 1965
When Singapore attained independence more than 400,000 citizens were living in over-crowded ramshackle buildings and many were squatters. A Housing and Development Board (HDB) would be created by the newly elected government. Lim Kim was appointed to head the board. Visiting one of the shackles, Lim Kim would find a man sleeping during the day. He would ask the man why he was sleeping. The man would reply that it was because his brother went to work that day with the only trousers the brothers shared. Lim Kim made a promise to that man of a better life in Singapore. He visualized and set the systems needed to build 10,000 units of housing in one year. The pessimists came out in force and loudly said, “It is impossible!” The elected Prime Minister made two decisions that would set off Singapore to become a country with the 4th highest standards of living in the world. He satisfied the pessimists by setting a committee to investigate whether it was possible. He joined the optimist Lim Kim, who refused to take pay if only he could be given the chance, and said, “Let’s do it.”
Lim Kim would deliver 10,000 units of housing completions as the pessimists delivered their now worthless report on their findings on whether 10,000 units could be built in one year. HDB would build another 16,000 units in the second year and in 5 years supply 51,000 units. Kenya has witnessed the destruction of houses and citizens killed because of poor policies that have failed to chart a clear roadmap into the future regarding providing decent sufficient housing for Kenyans as nature demands. Rather than kill innocent citizens, brilliant minds should be allowed to shape the future. The NHC Corporation, the government arm of building houses in Kenya has built 43,000 houses from 1968-2012 a span of 43 years that averages to a rate of 1,000 units/year; a comparison to Singapore HDB, 51,000 units delivered in 5 years 1961 - 1965 at the average rate of 10,000 units/year shows Kenya can do better.
Empire State Building: A 410 Days Project of 102 floors in 1931
William F. Lamb designed and produced the building drawings in two weeks. John W. Bowser was project construction superintendent. Excavation started on January 21, 1930. Building construction commenced March 17 1930. 3,400 workers worked on the project guided by brilliant minds. On the 410th day, May 1st, 1931, the team completed the 250,000 square meters building and presented this tallest building in the world, then, for opening and usage. If this building were to be changed to 2 bedroom apartments of about 60 sq m this would house 4,000 families and house about 16,000 residents. The building occupies about 2 acres in Manhattan city.
World Tallest Building by Architect Adrian D. Smith
“We can build an 829 meter tall building!” These words would scare many architects but not Adrian Smith the lead architect of the 829 meters tall, Burj Khalifa building that is today the world’s tallest building. Showing that the brain can even go higher architect Smith is also working on a proposed 1,000 meter tall, or 1 kilometer building, for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. How many calculations and considerations does an architect need to get right in drawing and ultimately see toward the attainment of what has never been achieved before? Trying to figure this based on factors like: foundation, earthquake, weather, gravity, servicing, building weight, longevity that have to be considered leads to only one answer. Kenyan architects can start, aiming higher for the 10 - 50 floors bracket and not be trapped in the 1 – 5 floors bracket.
Worlds Largest Office Building: A 20 month Project.
The world's largest office building by floor area, with about 600,000 sq m (6,500,000 sq ft) is another astounding achievement that was achieved in 20 months from the birth of an idea to completion. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of U.S in May 1941 was told the War Department has a space problem. On July 17, 1941, a congressional hearing took place and Congressman Clifton Woodrum pressed Brigadier General Eugene Reybold of War Department for an overall solution to the space problem. Reybold agreed to report back to the congressman in five days. The order was passed to construction chief, General Brehon Somervell, to come up with a plan. American Architect George Bergstrom was called in by Somervell. A design was complete and given on the fifth day as scheduled. Congress went into action and Contractor John McShain would break ground of the project on September 11, 1941. On January 15, 1943 600,000 sq m (6.5 million sq ft) of space was completed. In 20 months a set of mind boggling achievements were completed. Kenyans can be inspired to understand where there is a problem, a solution can be created. "Yes!" Kibera and other slums can be eradicated.