“Be true to yourself. Make each day your masterpiece. Help others. Make friendship a fine art.
Build a shelter against a rainy day. Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings.”
As newlyweds, Beth and I had plenty of free time.
Four fewer kids, one less dog and far scarcer responsibilities in our community allowed for plenty of time to connect, play and grow. One of my favorite memories from that time is a painting class we took together.
During our first class, surrounded by gifted art students, guided by a talented teacher, and sitting in a picturesque studio, we were asked to paint from memory something beautiful. The other students went to work immediately while Beth and I eased slowly into it; getting familiar again with the feel of a brush since neither of us had held one since high school.
The teacher paced the room, giving critiques on color usage, tones and brushstrokes for the more advanced students and for Beth and I… the lesson we took away was in his reminder of the legacy of Leonardo Da Vinci.
Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa provides three lessons that will inspire you to create something breathtaking on canvas, and more importantly in life.
1. The Foundation Matters. The majority of paintings are on canvas. Yet, Da Vinci used a cottonwood panel. Though , more difficult to paint upon and expensive to procure, his decision proved important, because it was extremely durable.
Lesson: What is true in painting is true in life. The foundations on which you build matter. On what foundation are you building the masterpiece of your life?
2. Tools and techniques are critical. Da Vinci used the smallest brush available thus there are no discernable brushstrokes on the painting. Other artists mocked him and said he’d never finish. Da Vinci said they’re creating portraits; I’m creating a masterpiece.
Lesson: From painting and cooking, to carpentry and life, the tools and techniques used impact dramatically the results achieved. What tools and techniques are you using to create your life?
3. The work isn’t finished. For 14+ years Da Vinci painted his masterpiece. However, part of her hand remains incomplete. The great artist and innovator never finished his painting. And yet, the Mona Lisa is considered the most valuable portrait in the world, estimated to be worth $780 million. Impressive for a piece not yet finished!
Lesson: Frequently in life, we finish school, land the job, lock in the relationship, achieve some success, and then accept status quo. We view the work, relationship or life as accomplished. But Da Vinci reminds us we’re not finished and the work is not done. So, are you growing, expanding and creating something more beautiful today than you possessed yesterday?
My friend, for 10+ years I’ve traveled the world sharing the story of my life to encourage others to embrace the sacred gift of theirs. A little boy who was expected to die now has the honor of encouraging others to truly live.
This is why I speak. It’s why I lovingly write this weekly blog, wrote ON FIRE and produce the Live Inspired Podcast. In a marketplace overwrought with negativity and fear, I want to be part of a movement celebrating the power of possibility and love.
This is why, with great excitement, I invite you to join me in what is certain to be our most transformative, inspiring and impactful adventure yet.
After years of being asked for a better way to stay connected and do life together, I’ve finally created the space for us to do exactly that.
Join me IN STUDIO where we’ll come together to connect on what matters, imagine what’s possible and advance our lives forward.
We’ll connect live, virtually, once a month to discuss topics that matter most to you, from living more abundantly to setting clear vision, mission and purpose.
Turns out that Da Vinci is right.
A masterpiece must have a strong foundation that can withstand the test of time; employ tools and techniques that allow the subject to most beautifully come alive; accept that the best of our work is not finished, but just beginning.
My friend, join me In Studio. I created this space for you. Together, let’s create the masterpiece of your life.
This is your day. Live Inspired.
This article was originally published on #1 National Bestselling Author of ON FIRE and Inspirational Speaker John O’Leary’s Monday Motivation blog. John inspires the R.L. Thomas Service, Inc. and we’re honored to share his inspiration with you! Get his Monday Motivation in your inbox here and enjoy his daily inspiration on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube.
You can see all of John’s Monday Motivation posts here: http://johnolearyinspires.com/tag/blog/