What do David, Venus De Milo, and the Pieta all have in common?
They are 3 of greatest marble sculptures ever created. These masterpieces were trapped inside marble slabs until their sculptor freed them.
What if I told you that you could sculpt something more beautiful, more unique, more important?
Let me share a quick story.
Growing up my parents had instilled in me a strong sense of curiosity. I romanced the thought of becoming a Renaissance Man. A Renaissance Man is defined as polymath or a person whose expertise spans many different subject areas. I drew inspiration from were men like my father, my 10th grade philosophy teacher Dr. Pedro Gonzalez, Aristotle, Leonardo De Vinci, and Benjamin Franklin.
I worked hard to become the best athlete I could be. I trained daily, I studied anatomy, physiology, I studied what great athletes and coaches were doing so I could be better. I studied French, Latin, German, Greek, Spanish so that I could communicate better. I took advanced courses to push my mind. I studied philosophers like Aristotle, Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, Watts to learn how to think. I was that kid that asked the teacher a “million” questions.
I kept adding to my “bag of tricks” trying to become Armando, the Man, but something was missing.
This year I went to Thailand for 10 days. I had the opportunity to really reflect and evaluate my life – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Here is one “Ah-ha” moment I had.
We spend much of our lives adding to our lives so that we are “worth it”, so that we become better, so that we can be successful. I believe we were always worth it. I believe that our greatest success lies in showing up as the best version of ourselves at that moment.
When they asked Michelangelo how he was able to sculpt “The David”, he replied, ” I just removed everything that was not David.”
Like Michelangelo, I ask you to start removing everything that is not you, everything that is blocking the best version of you from showing up into this world. Remove everything that is stopping your brilliance, everything stopping your light from shining brightly.
Marble sculpting is subtractive. To get to the masterpiece you must remove rock and dust to see details, to see the real form.
I challenge you to take your chisel and hammer and start removing from your life. Simplify and clarify, and what you have left is the most brilliant, most unique, and most beautiful sculpture of the greatest version of you.
PS – I continue to learn and be curious but they don’t determine my worth. They help magnify my brilliance. Take up your hammer and your chisel and get to work. Make it a great one.