I was speaking to a friend this week. Rosemary is a wonderful lady I had lost touch with over the last few years, but who is a loyal reader and commenter on my blogs. As we were chatting, she said to me, Andrew, I can’t understand how you do it, but every week your blogs are spot on. It’s as if you know exactly what I need. Well, that was a marvelous compliment for sure and, just what a writer wants to hear. As I reflected on it after we finished speaking, I realised it is because I follow the same approach to my writing as Michelangelo did to his sculpting.
Back in the year 1501, artist Michelangelo was commissioned to create a sculpture of the biblical figure David. He was presented with a massive block of marble that stood well over 5 metres or 17 feet tall. Between August 1501 and September 1504 Michelangelo carved away and created the awe-inspiring Statue of David. If you have ever seen it in real life, you will know how amazingly detailed it is and what an incredible achievement it was in the 16th century. I stood speechless at its feet in 2018 for hours, mesmerised by its majesty.
When Michelangelo had finally completed this incredible statue, so dumbfounded were the people that the common question he got asked was, how did you do it? His answer has inspired me for many years and, as I mentioned, has totally transformed my approach to writing, and many other things that I do. When describing how he did it, he said, I saw the angel in the marble, and I carved until I set him free. I want you to read that again, if you don’t mind. Let it sink in because, if you can understand what happened for him and apply that same approach to your own life, as with Michelangelo’s statue, anything is possible.
I wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago, called Pass it up, and it is a similar theme. The message is, stop overthinking and just have faith that if you get started, with any vision or goal, and get into consistent action, the angel will appear. That angel for you may be improved health and wellbeing. That angel may be money in the bank and financial peace of mind. That angel may be a restored relationship with an important person in your life. That angel may be your book, your art, your business, or anything you are trying to carve right now.
The key is to close your eyes and visualise what you are trying to create, and then just start carving. The longer you put it off the greater the chance that it will never happen. Why? Because, as I have said many times, the most dangerous place you can stay, is in your head. You know, as I do, that you are your own biggest critic. You also know, as I do, that if you spoke to your friends like you speak to yourself, you would be a very lonely person. In your head you are bombarded by all your limiting beliefs, and critical self-talk. The greatest barrier to any achievement is over-thinking and negative self-talk. The only way to overcome that is to get out of your head and start carving.
In my book T.E.A.R.S. of Joy, I talk about the power of the vision to create a strong positive emotion. The key is to very quickly get out of your head, into your heart and then start carving, while you are feeling excited, determined, focused and empowered. If you go from your head to your heart and then back into your head, you will get stuck. Trust me on this one, just start carving. In my podcast this week called Betrayal to breakthrough with Dr. Debi Silber, she discusses the stages of transformation, and the best way to move through the stages is to just start carving, and have faith that the breakthrough will come.
I know for certain personality types this is a confronting way to approach life. If that is you, I want to encourage you to give it a go anyway. What have you got to lose? Look again at some photos of the Statue of David and be amazed at the incredible detail and life-likeness of this incredible sculpture. Then, all you must understand is that Michelangelo didn’t know, as he began, how he would do it. He knew the angel was in there, so he just wanted to set him free. The angel is in you, in whatever you are striving for right now, so just start carving and you will also set him or her free. Just start carving today.