There is this quote of Pablo Picasso, which became very iconic to me and it got stuck in my mind over the years:
“My mother said to me, `If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.` Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.”
For some people that might sound a bit cocky but for me it became something like a mantra. Even though I am not “Picasso” yet, my mom also taught me the same lesson that if I choose to do something, I should do it right without compromising any quality. Seen through a different angle, if you want to be brilliant in your line of work or to be considered “the best”, you should really devote to it and work hard. It sounds obvious, but many times our human nature wants to be deluded and to believe that there is a shortcut to get where we are heading faster and easier. It is like those online scams which claim that you can work from home and make tons of money by simply clicking a few times here and there…and as silly as it sounds, we all have wondered even for a fracture of a second “What if this one actually works and it is true this time?!”. Please, don’t deny it. This does not make you naïve; it is the human nature at its finest. It looks too good to be true and easy at the same time; who doesn`t want it this way? However, the truth of the matter is that in order to become “Picasso” you should consider the following four advices:
Talent ≠ Skill
I believe that everybody is talented in some way, but to have a well-defined talent which you are aware of is a real privilege. Then it became a choice if you want to perfect your talent or to go into a different direction. The talent, however, often is not enough. Will Smith said it beautifully once in an interview “The separation of talent and skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, who want to do things. Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft. . . . There’s no easy way around it. No matter how talented you are, your talent is going to fail you if you’re not skilled.”
This statement is so on point that I barely have anything to add besides that it is true. When I was a kid, I used to draw very well for my age, I was the youngest accepted student in a local art academy. I remember I was given a special permission to attend by the teacher since I was significantly younger than anybody else…I guess he really saw a potential in me. I probably would have a bright future in this field, but due to my decision at the time to stop attending classes, I basically decided to not become skillful. Since then I stopped drawing for a long time and a few years ago this hobby of mine resurrected in a way. My talent, however, had its boundaries and my current level is at the exact same place as I left it, meaning I have very childish way of drawing. If I chose to develop my skills, my natural talent would have helped me to become great at it, maybe even one of the best. I wish I stayed longer to back up my talent with skill but at the same time I do not regret my decision to the point that I think I have made a huge mistake because deep down inside I know that this is not my true calling. Nonetheless, the point is that if you like the talent you have, you need to get skillful as well.
Anyone who wants to become “Picasso” in their field should dedicate themselves to that goal. Many mistakes probably will be made till you, my friend, perfect yourself to your standards and you should not be afraid, but rather to aim for them because this is how you will progress. Don’t forget that often it is not about the smartest, the best looking, the most athletic or the most talented individual, it is about the one who is not afraid to put up the work. Many incredibly talented people are left behind only because there is one person who outworked them. Those hustlers are there, day and night, with a mission in mind and endless dedication to their goal to become the best…and that actually makes them win.
This is a tricky one, I admit. Some people know from a very young age what their purpose in life is and others got it along the way. There is no specific time by which you need to know what your higher purpose here is but the sooner you find out, the better. If you don’t know it yet, you should make it as a priority in your life to figure it out because only by knowing that purpose, you can focus better on what you need to be doing and you will be having a more fulfilling life in general. If you have a purpose bigger than yourself as an individual, I think you are on the right way and even if you do not have all the specifics yet keep on shaping and expanding that purpose along the way.
No matter how successful you are and how much love you have for what you do, you should aim to better yourself because there will be always room for improvement and if you have this mentality, you will become “Picasso” one day. Did you know that Leonardo Dicaprio, who is one of my favourite actors of all times, was never formally trained as an actor; he took acting classes after he was Oscar nominated. Many people would assume that at this point they reached the peak of their careers, but not this remarkable individual and that is why he is not only one of the best but he is writing a history. I always think that it is impossible for him to outperform himself but with every new movie he takes part in, he proves me wrong.
Keep it stylish inside out.