Life is a canvas and we are designed to create as much as we are to consume and destroy. Only a human being can give life to a piece of wood with steel strings and produce an Album like Abbey Road or Let it Bleed. Ever since we were young the desire to build burned within us. Think back to the days of building a Lego set of gargantuan dimensions with infinite possibilities only to tear it down and start over again. You could’ve chosen to build the Death Star or something abstract that reached beyond the limits of imagination, like the artwork we see from Beeplecrap. By recognizing that life is art and we each play a unique and special role in adding to it we unlock a part of ourselves capable of unimaginable contribution to ourselves and society. Around ten years ago I watched a video by Steve Jobs titled The Secrets of Life which impressed upon me that life was not always what you were told (get a job, get married, have kids, retire.. not that there is anything wrong with that if you so desire it) but in fact you were capable of having a direct impact on the world itself. It is worth mentioning that Steve Jobs was one of the most influential figures whom I studied in my early twenties who, while not infallible particularly in his personal life, taught me to think in terms of pursuing your passion over money, along with the importance of fostering creativity and the necessity of developing other positive attributes such as public speaking or communication. Not to say that I do any of those things well, certainly not to the degree which he did, but watching videos of him releasing the iPod nano, iPhone years later or in interviews, etc. were awe-inspiring to say the least and motivating to see someone articulate such revolutionary ideas in an eloquent and compelling manner. Even communication itself is an art form that we are all in someway connected to the benefits of.
For in everything that we do the body is useful; and in all uses of the body it is of great importance to be in as high a state of physical fitness as possible -Socrates
Starting with one’s physical state, many Greek philosophers spoke about the importance of seeing the full potential of the human body. The benefits mentally, functionally, sexually, practically are not beyond anyone’s comprehension. In my humble opinion, this is your first canvas and the decisions needed to express brilliance are common sense but peppered with a need for discipline. I feel sorrow for the many who fail to ever experience the beauty in life that accompanies peak physical health. If someone told you that tomorrow you would be able to fight, perform every physical task you wanted to, have great sex or look good naked would that not be of interest? While overnight successes do not exist, look at your self physically with acceptance and honesty while treating “your canvas” as if you were the famous Michelangelo creating the famous sculpture of David. You will love yourself for it and experience life in its fullest capacity and the richness it has to offer. If our ancestors were able to understand this without a computer and the wealth of information at our fingertips you can easily become the Picasso of your own health. It starts with a single step. The biggest realization for many is that they have more power than they think as artists. An artist doesn’t wait to be told what to do, their fascination lies in play. With their tools, they get to work and through trial and error, failure and loss they produce a work of art that is timeless. I am inspired by people in their seventies and eighties who have truly lived and take their health seriously, who show up on a daily basis with vigor and energy that would put your average twenty year old to shame. It is not meant to be a criticism on anyone, but merely a comparison that should incentivize us to paint our greatest work of art which is ourselves. Steve Jobs started with a typewriter, others with a brush, or a musical instrument, all you need is your mind followed up by the traits of a martial artist that will see the job through to bring your perfect picture to life.