On August 16, 1501, Michelangelo was chosen to the execute the herculean task of sculpting the greatest sculpture ever created, The David. Shortly after receiving the commission, Michelangelo set to work. From a massive block of marble excavated in Northern Tuscany, he chipped away, day after day, week after week, month after month…until just over two years later he’d finished the massive undertaking.
The David is a one-piece marble wonder. The marble block, previously rejected by 2 other artists, waited 42 years for Michelangelo to find it and create his 17 foot high masterpiece. He took the enormous block of marble and chiseled away until he uncovered the sublime beauty that lay inside.
And this is precisely what we need to do with ourselves. Our block of marble is the totality of our entire being. We need to chip away at our grievances, grudges, insecurities, fears, anxieties, pride, vulnerabilities and feelings of superiority and inferiority that we all possess to one degree or another.
Shedding yourself of yourself takes precedence over everything. Why? Because getting closer and closer to our true selves makes us better at everything. Better parents, better friends, better workers, better human beings.
To get a little scientific, a body in motion, stays in motion and a body at rest, stays at rest. Almost all effort is used up in the initial change. For instance, take the rocket. It uses up 90% of it’s fuel getting off the ground. The rest is smooth sailing! So for us, who are bodies at rest, know that the hardest part is initial blast, the start. Put that first small investment into yourself and the rest will follow.
People are often seeing crying when they first set eyes on The David. The sheer size, vitality and force of the statue is emotionally overpowering. The true self deep within us is probably a thousand times more powerful, majestic and beautiful than The David. Our primary job in life is to unearth, with the relentlessness and patience exhibited by Michelangelo, that true self. It’s the greatest thing we can do not just for ourselves, but for the world.