What does one of history's greatest artists have in common with people today who want to change their lives? In the following excerpt from The Michelangelo Method, the authors take Michelangelo as a model for looking within, overcoming obstacles, and sculpting a more creative, authentic life.

There is little doubt that Michelangelo was one of history's greatest sculptors, a man who could transform a solid block of marble into lifelike form that married classical proportion and technique with a passionate expressionism that had never been seen before in sculpture. But even considering his genius, how could Michelangelo carve the David from a giant block of stone that was so damaged that his contemporaries considered it "ruined" and "a thing of no value"?

The answer is simple. Michelangelo looked at the block and saw his David locked inside. Michelangelo held an important belief about the art of sculpture. He believed that in each block of stone there was a figure hidden inside, waiting to be revealed. To Michelangelo, the master sculptor's job was to clear away what was not the image and reveal the masterpiece inside the stone.

In addition, Michelangelo's chief value—what he cared about most—was to glorify God. He believed that man was created in God's image and that in rendering God's highest creation as perfectly as possible, he was glorifying God. For Michelangelo's creativity to be released, it had to be aligned with this deeply held value.

This amazing principle applies to all of us. To find your masterpiece, the life you were meant to live, you must look inside. It's there, waiting for you to clear away all that is not you—the fears, beliefs, and wishes that others have imposed on you, the negative stories you tell about yourself, the defeatist attitude toward overcoming obstacles to your vision.
© Beliefnet, Inc., 2008


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