Michelangelo once said: “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
And aim high, he did. He was a true Renaissance man who mastered many different fields. He was an accomplished sculptor, painter, poet, and engineer. His famous works, like the magnificent frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, the grand statues of David, and the Pietà, all expressed deep emotionalism, realism, and intensity never before seen.
He remains relevant today not only because of his glorious creations, but his work ethic continues to provide valuable insights and inspire us today.
Here are some life lessons we can learn from the great Michelangelo, the greatest artist of all time:
The complex folds of the Virgin’s robe form a rich background to the body of Christ and are carried out lovingly to the smallest nuance of detail. Its strong naturalism is nonetheless …
1. Quality is in the details
The works of Michelangelo are known for their extraordinary attention to detail. You can see it in the complex folds of the Virgin’s robe in the Pietà, in the veined hands the statue of David, and in the elaborate ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The ability to pay attention to the smallest details is important because it allows you to reach a level of excellence not easily achieved by others. If you carry this into your work—whether you’re in customer service, marketing, and more—then you have a chance to create something of real quality.
2. Step out of the box
Michelangelo was passionate about sculpture. It was his true love. When he looked at a piece of marble, he could already see the statue inside it and all he had to do was to chisel away to set it free. His love for sculpture did not stop him from painting. He worked on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with little knowledge of frescoes. He ended up employing the same meticulous attention to detail, discipline, and radical insight and created two of the most astounding frescoes the world has ever seen: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and The Last Judgment on its altar wall. If you want to expand your knowledge, step out of the box and push yourself. You might discover a hidden talent.
3. Believe in teamwork
In creating his masterpieces, Michelangelo was never quite the romantic lone wolf everyone thought him to be. He drew sketches, created miniature models, and directed a team of artisans to help bring his vision to life. Experts believed that he worked with at least 12 other painters to complete the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This is a prime example of teamwork. Other people are on the team supporting and helping each other to achieve success.
What have you learned from Michelangelo’s life and incorporated it into your own?