In 1501, the Arte della Lana commissioned Michelangelo to create the now famous statue of David. About 40 years earlier, another sculptor by the name of Agostino di Duccio had tried to sculpt the same object but to no avail. When Michelangelo was given the task, he was also given the same block of marble that Agostino had worked on those many years ago. The story is told that every day for 3 months, the 26 year old Michelangelo stood and stared at the marble block. He would leave at the end of the workday and return the following morning, repeating the routine to the great puzzlement of onlookers.
“What are you doing?” someone asked. “I’m working,” the master sculptor replied.
I recently read this story in “The Little Red Book of Wisdom” by Mark DeMoss (which was given to me by Matt Angove…super thanks man!). The story illustrates a great point about the role and principles of thinking productively.
In an age where we have more information being constantly thrown at us then ever before (i.e.—blackberry’s, myspace, facebook, email, blogs, text messaging, twitter, etc…), taking the time to just be still and think is far too often neglected and undervalued at best. In fact, many view this act as “lazy” or “unproductive” given the large assumption that in order to reach success one must be a work-a-holic. But who ever said that thinking isn’t working?
I’ve realized that sometimes I “think” that I’ve taken the time to “think” but I really haven’t set aside all distractions to really clear my head and focus. You know, kind of like a vacation that you end up getting back from feeling as if you need another vacation….even though you’re supposedly “relaxing”…you haven’t given your mind a chance to rest.
Thinking is a process…it takes time, requires scheduling and must be planned.
By Micah Davis