You’re No Leonardo DaVinci and That’s Okay

I was doing a bit of research into Pablo Picasso for the showcase of his earliest works, and I read that he created some fifty thousand works during his life. Fifty thousand. If you were to do one per day, it would take you some 136 years. A hundred and thirty six years…

Do you understand the level of commitment that is required of one if he desires to become phenomenal? One of the best? To be considered a genius by his peers? You literally have to break yourself in half. To be so obsessed about whatever it is you’re doing that you end up sacrificing a lot of other stuff.

Yes, you can have anything you want, but you’ll have to give up on (almost) everything else to get it.

Now, Leonardo DaVinci.

Areas of interest: invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. The father of paleontology, ichnology, and architecture. One of the greatest painters of all time. Credited with the invention of technology we never properly developed until hundreds of years after his death, such as the helicopter, the parachute, or the tank.

This guy was way ahead of his time. Probably he could have been one of the best at any given field. He could have had an encyclopedic knowledge on any topic you can think of.

But…

Your time is limited, and I think that it’s extremely rare to be phenomenal in multiple areas. Being laser focused, giving it your all to be the best in one particular field is preferable.

After all, you got one life, you have to live it in such a way that you leave your mark on it. Can’t get distracted.

Think of Goethe. The supreme genius of German Literature. Of course, he did a bunch of other stuff, but he was primarily a writer.

It is important to take an interest in many things. It inspires oneself. It keeps oneself young. But… you must dedicate yourself to one thing beyond everything else. Never neglect it. The most important passion. The flame that makes you feel alive. The thing. The one you can’t live without. That thing that defines who you are, the one you’d be nothing without.

12 thoughts on “You’re No Leonardo DaVinci and That’s Okay

  1. Yeah, I may have left this blogging thing a bit late.
    At my present rate it would take, er…
    one thousand, two hundred and seventy years
    to reach your (current) level of popularity, Cristian!

  2. To be honest I don’t know about this. It’s boring to just be known for one thing. The great thing about DaVinci and Goethe is that they explored the intersection between art and science. Remember Goethe discovered a lot about optics. DaVinci drew to such a level of perfection that he learned anatomy and physics to get the human form just right on paper. There are so many crossovers. Our world today is teeming with over-specialization and not enough people to see the interconnections between everything. I say, try to be more like davinci! (Though have one priority passion like painting for davinci)

  3. Dedication to anything can prevent relationships. Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius was extraordinarily virtuous but friendless and lonely. Looking up to people is practiced less than looking down on them and they couldn’t look down on Marcus Aurelius. He was so good, it is said he made people feel bad about their inadequacies. I suppose hanging out with Jesus would have been unnerving. Maybe a person shouldn’t pursue their art to the exclusion of family and friends, declining to become another Picasso or Leonardo?

    1. Thank you for your comment, Martin.

      It is difficult to find a balance. And what do you want to invest your time and energy in?

      Some want greatness, no matter the price. It’s just how they are wired.

      After all, even Marcus Aurelius, thought of as being such a virtuous person, failed to raise his son properly.

  4. Pingback: You’re No Leonardo DaVinci and That’s Okay — irevuo – Roger Aaron Benoit
  5. 50,000 paintings WOW!. I’m ecstatic when I complete 10.Both were very defiantly passionate about there work. Great read, would definitely like to reblog this.

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