A while ago, I stumbled upon some quotes by Michelangelo, a famous Italian Renaissance man. These quotes resonated with me, because they describe how I want to live my life very well.
The way I want to live my life is to live it as my art. I do it by minimizing stuff and maximizing experience. I let my curiosity guide me. I seek beautiful moments. Let me focus on beautiful moments here.
I’m in search of beautiful moments. I want to use them as the main components of my life – my art. The way I find them is simple. I choose to believe that there are beautiful moments waiting for me to witness and to experience them anywhere, any time and I choose to let my curiosity guide me. Attitude and awareness – they help me find beautiful moments in my life.
Now, back to Michelangelo. What does this Renaissance man teach us beauty and life?
Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.
Everything you experience has a potential of leading you to beautiful moments. Whether you see it as a stone or something that has a great opportunity depends on you as the sculptor of life.
The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.
You might say that it’s just a stone no matter what Michelangelo says or I say, but it’s more like choosing to see what’s inside the stone. If you assume it’s just a stone, then it’s very likely that it will be just a stone for you. But if you assume there’s something great inside, it’s very likely that you will find something beautiful in it.
The sculptor’s hand can only break the spell to free the figures slumbering in the stone.
If you don’t get that beauty out of the stone, maybe no one ever will. Whether a beautiful figure comes out of the stone depends on you.
Carving is easy, you just go down to the skin and stop.
What we need to do is to show up and to do our carving. Be open to beautiful moments and celebrate things around you.
Another fun assumption to make, by the way, is that you are already surrounded by beautiful things and all you need to do is to notice them. This assumption applies to other things in life as well. That is, you’ve got enough resources, smart solutions, great people and amazing opportunities around you. If you assume that these things are far away from you, you will look for them in a distant place and may not see what’s around you. There are stones everywhere and perhaps these stones have the beauty inside them. Take a look at them and see what you can find.
If you want to live your life as your art, that’s great. In case you are worried that it might be too ambitious for you to make it as your life long project, here’s another set of quotes from Michelangelo.
I hope that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.
It’s not greedy or arrogant to desire more than you can accomplish. It’s great to be aware of what you desire rather than holding yourself back and not even think about what you want. Do you know what you want, by the way?
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.
I believe most of us are pretty good at achieving what we aim for. Those who aim high get that goal, and those who aim low get that goal too. Aim high and start acting. If you show up everyday, there’s no way you can fail.
I believe you’ve got something beautiful inside. I also believe it’s my duty to get that beauty out of you and to set it free. That’s how I make my life richer and how I make my art more colourful.
How do you create your life and your art?
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