If Leonardo DA Vinci lived now and was looking for a job what do you think he’d look for? Artist? Biologist? Inventor? Maybe one or none of them. How about this: Leonardo has the following attributed to him: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer.
Imagine he was told to have focus and he narrowed his activities to painting. He would not have invented the ball bearing, or the parachute, or diving suits, or city planning, or musical instruments…
If DA Vinci had to focus on just his engineering and inventing, well, stuff, there would be no last supper painted. Wait! There would be no Mona Lisa painted! Catastrophic.
I could go on with the other disciplines that Leonardo’s curiosity drew him into, that I could break down but I’m sure you get the picture. Imagine Leonardo Da Vinci having to fill out occupation on a form!
Yes, it’s true; Leonardo did not complete some of his work. I guess he got bored to easily, too quickly. Maybe he felt the pressure to return to something he had put on hold. Oh, the curse of genius!
Despite this, he accomplished what thousands of generations after him continue to build on. Interestingly, some of his work has created careers. Can you believe there are people who specialize in studying Da Vinci’s work?
People actually get paid to look at paintings and say stuff about them! Woe to them if Leonardo had not painted some of his unfinished paintings, they would be jobless!
Even Da Vinci’s unfinished work changed the world.
The point is rather simple. At least to me, it is…
Blessed are those who have found one the one thing to focus on. If they are happy to expend everything about themselves on that one thing then great… [English Accent] Good on you Johnny!
Woe to those who bear Leonardo’s curse. The ones whose curiosity draws them in numerous directions. Those whose passions and skills stretch them in different directions. It is not an always and easy journey.
Those whose gifts taunt them and cause the to defy the box of one pursuit. Those who dare to walk down the path of exploring what they can make of the dreams and skills they carry. Those… may just create jobs for those who come after them.
Perhaps the ones who focus on just the one thing are too scared to fail. Perhaps they were told to focus on their strengths. All well-intentioned advice…
But how will you know you have many strengths if you do not explore the possibility? Dare.
Is God so limited that he could only give you one thing as He placed you on earth? Is it possible that we can do a very good job of robbing ourselves by allowing ourselves to settle in the grind of what we studied?
Are we really supposed to live lives in the bondage of carefully navigating the illusive boundary lines of the boxes we have been made to occupy?
I’m more than convinced that you are not one-dimensional.
If you suffer from the itch of Da Vinci, don’t let the many possibilities paralyze you. As you work toward one thing, find ways of moving the others along, even if slowly.
One who moves slowly is farther than the one who has not moved at all.
Will it be the one thing? Or, will it be making daring yourself to pick up a brush, or dancing shoes, or some engineering and design work… Whatever you do, choose your poison wisely and drink it merrily.
Whatever you pursue or decide to do, it is can be a tool to change the world.
Remember the words of Leonardo Da Vinci: Beware the pigeonhole… Be bold. Be /ˈherətik/.