Genius is eternal patience.

Genius is eternal patience. – Michelangelo

One of the most recognizable sculptures in the world, Michelangelo's David (a copy).

What does that mean?
Patience. Waiting, working, thinking, perfecting. That is the key element of genius. It’s not a quick thing. It takes as long as it takes, and genius will take the time necessary to craft the finest results the world has seen. No short cuts, no slap-dash work. Hard work and patience.

Sometimes, like Einstein’s E=mc² equation, the genius is in the simplicity. Other times, like the quote’s author’s famous Sistine Chapel ceiling, the genius is in the incredible level of detail. In each of these extremes, the patience to refine, test, adjust, observe and try again is what was made the respective projects the height of genius.

Why is patience important?  
In the creative process, which is at the heart of the quote, patience is essential. You can only push things a little before the quality starts to drop. Patience is required (both yours, and the patience of those wanting you do be done) to get the best possible result.

Without patience, you may not be able to find the final detail that will change your work from good to great, or from great to genius. The trick is to recognise the difference between perfecting your work and procrastination. However, that’s a very subjective call, and not something I can help you with. If you have the patience, you will eventually figure that out as well.

Where can I apply this in my life?
Part of becoming good in the creative process is to be able to practice until you can do rapidly what takes others a great deal of time. In this way, you can work effortlessly, because of the time you have taken before, to become good at your craft.

Working that hard and that long requires, you guessed it, patience. I’ve been working on this blog for just over a year now, and find it a lot easier to write than it was at first. I imagine it will get a little easier as time goes on. While I don’t think blog writing will ever become automatic, I imagine it will take less time and effort as I practice.

So, you need patience to start, more patience to get better, and eternal patience to become a genius at what you do. That’s a lot of patience for today’s hustle and bustle society. I spend so much time just getting places and getting things done that it’s hard to find time for patience. So I do what I need to do to *make* the necessary time.

Do you have a lot of patience, or do you chafe at red lights, waiting for the green? Can you wait for the microwave to finish, or the oven to pre-heat? For many people, patience isn’t a skill they use often, and as such, are in need of practice.

I’m still no expert, but I can talk about some of the things I have done to become better at it. As with most skills I try to develop by myself, it is based on conscious competence. That means noticing you are doing it wrong and trying harder to do it right.

I tend to get tense as I lose my patience, so I use that as an indicator that I am in need of more patience training. My kids give me plenty of opportunities to practice. I have also tried meditation at various time, with differing degrees of success, both long term and short term.

With art (as opposed to life in general), I have been setting aside time when things are quiet and I am alone. That means first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Not my peak creative times, but that is part of the tradeoff for time when I can practice patience with crafting of blog entries.

What do you want to develop more patience doing? Grab some paper and write down a couple of things you have some interest in, and how good you are at that skill/art/craft/whatever. Then add how much work you think it would take to get to the next level.

Now select the one on which you are most interested in working on improving. Add to the list what you need to achieve to complete this task, so you have a goal towards which you are shooting. Now, you need to figure out when you will set aside the time to practice, and get started. Started on becoming more patient.

From: Twitter, @thehrgoddess
confirmed at :
Photo by Robert Scarth

Happy Birthday to Michelangelo Buonarroti, born on March 6, 1475. Known to most simply as Michelangelo, he is one of the greatest, and perhaps one of the best known sculptors and painters in the world.


About philosiblog

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
This entry was posted in discipline, focus, goals, patience, procrastination, time and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Genius is eternal patience.

  1. Deepak says:


  2. Omar says:

    Great Blog!
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
    Patience, like self discipline, it is very hard to master, but defines your destiny.
    Perhaps that is why there are very few people who are real genius, who are willing to pay the price of time, dedication and fate to reach any goal.
    “Genius is eternal patience” Great quote by Michael Angelo.
    Just like “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration” Thomas Alva Edison


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s