If ever there was a creative genius (and there were many), Michelangelo is surely a name that comes to mind. After all, he created one of the world’s greatest fresco paintings (the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel), one of the world’s architectural wonders (the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica), and many of the world’s greatest sculptures (David and the Pieta).
In addition to his art, Michelangelo wrapped his expansive mind around the great moral issue of his time and ours: “How can we live a good and meaningful life?”
He answered this seemingly simple yet thought-provoking question through his art. And without a doubt, one of his most profound answers was powerfully revealed in the sculpting of the David.
David was sculpted out of what Michelangelo’s contemporaries would initially say was a “ruined” block of marble. Obviously, Michelangelo didn’t see it that way. Instead, he looked inside the stone to find the image he was seeking to create. Once he saw it, he needed only to chip away at what was not the image to reveal the masterpiece inside. You might even say that David had been released from the stone that was imprisoning him.
Such a story has an obvious message for all of us, doesn’t it? We too are imprisoned in some way and while the things that keep us hidden often feel like the weight of stone, they come in the intangible forms of ignorance, fear, limiting beliefs, assumptions, and interpretations -- to name a few.
The truth is, we all have a masterpiece hidden inside. Rather than removing the seemingly infinite layers of “ruined stone” that conceal our masterpiece, we tend to keep adding layers in an effort to “improve” or “fix” ourselves.
Here’s the thing: there’s nothing to add and there’s nothing to fix; there are only layers to shed so your masterpiece can be revealed.
Want help chipping away at your own proverbial marble? Start by thinking about your values, your passions, and your strengths. They’re already there, sitting deep inside of you, imprisoned in stone.
When you focus your thoughts on who you really are, all that is not you will drop from its own dead weight, revealing the core of your beauty and love. And you know what’s really great? You’ll be left feeling a whole lot lighter and a lot more alive.
So, how can you live a good and meaningful life? Simply set yourself free so you can reveal your masterpiece to the world. The cost of this beautiful and awe-inspiring work of art? Priceless.