If it really took da Vinci three years to complete the Mona Lisa, then I’m thinking I have a pretty good excuse to give my professor when I need more time to finish my paper, right? Good things take time, and if Michelangelo had someone breathing down his neck telling him, “Will you just hurry and finish the dumb statue?” I think it would be safe to say that maybe it wouldn’t have ended up being that same iconic masterpiece.
Let’s be real, deadlines are actually very important and that’s not what this is about. It’s definitely reassuring to see that these seminal artists struggled with their work. Even if you’re not necessarily an artist, we all get stuck in some kind of way, from time to time. It’s hard for me to imagine that a painter would work ceaselessly, furiously stroking their paint brushes in a perpetual back and forth, to find themselves with a beautiful piece of art and a crippled hand years later. The point I’m trying to make here is that at some point they stopped and decided to resume another time.
Sometimes you might feel like you desperately need to reach an end to whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. It’s easy in those moments to view anything that isn’t progress toward that objective as a distraction. It’s called taking a break actually, and it might just be exactly what you need.