This month we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, the coming of Spring, and the excitement of the NCAA Tournament. Interestingly, if you think about it all three incorporate themes that involve the promise of future greatness – the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the coming of new life and summer after a long winter, and lastly the quest for record books and championship.
It also got me thinking about the future greatness within all of us. It’s in there for sure, but it’s not always easy to draw out and does not happen overnight. Instead it often takes time and hard work to bring out.
Just like a great sculpture.
Did you know it took Rodin at least twenty-four years to sculpt his most famous work, “The Thinker”? It started in 1880 as part of a different commission of sculptures for a museum that never was opened. Rodin repurposed his idea, made it bigger and better, and then finally cast it in bronze in 1904.
If we think about ourselves today as a sculpture, it took time to create. Indeed, our entire lives to this point. Who we are today was chiseled away by the sharp edges of the tools we use to strive towards betterment. But our sculpture is not done because our future selves and our future greatness are still within. We need to keep chiseling and chipping away. In doing that, if we improve our self-sculpture by just 1% a day, in a year we will make tremendous gains towards the sculpture of our great future.
It will not be an easy road.
It will hurt as we strike against our hardened and imperfect exterior in pursuit of the beauty and greatness of our future selves inside. Sparks will fly like a sword on a whetting stone or two pieces of flint striking. The pain will smooth out our rough edges and the sparks will kindle our motivation and inspiration to keep sculpting.
Also, be patient. It takes time and requires your attention and artful eye as you chisel and chip away little by little. No matter how difficult, challenging, or lengthy, stay the course. What if Rodin had simply stopped at the first installation? What if he never even started? We’d never have the iconic image that has inspired so many.
Much like a Rodin sculpture always started with some lump of clay or rock, there is a masterpiece inside each of us. We must have the vision of a Rodin and believe that our future greatness is in there, then get to work and keep at it.
This spring season congratulate yourself each day for how far you’ve come and continue to encourage yourself to never stop sculpting your future.