Making a Dent in the Universe—The Price of Greatness

There’s always a price for the prize.
The only question is are you willing to pay it?price for prize-image-james-arthur-ray

 One of my long time heroes is Leonardo da Vinci.

Born in a farm house as the illegitimate son of a peasant woman, Leonardo had little to no formal schooling. At the age of 14 he began his apprenticeship with Andrea del Verrocchio in Florence.

Six years later young Leonardo, now 20, qualified for membership as a master artist in Florence’s Guild of Saint Luke and established his own workshop.

However, he continued to study with his teacher for an additional five years. Even though del Verrocchio “marveled at his young students skill.”

The true master never stops his growth and improvement.
If it takes 10 years he invests 20. Ten thousands hours is just a warm up.

Leonardo is famous for polyphasic sleeping and regularly clocked around 2 hours of sleep per 24 hour period. By the way so did Nikola Tesla.

Edison was a slacker, sleeping 3 hours in a 24 hour period.

The average individual sleeps a full 33% of their life away. In addition they then sleep walk through life. Get enough sleep but also get enough accomplished!921673_556589547697153_1952992940_o-4000

Da Vinci’s mantra, which I have adopted as my own, was Ostinato Rigore. Translated from Italian to English this means “stubborn relentless practice. Tenacious work.”

Leonardo was not only a prolific painter, he left countless inventions that were light-years ahead of his time. Many still influencing us today.

You see, good fortune, success, luck and impact have a strange way of looking a lot like hard and relentless work.

The key to doing great work is to do a lot of work.

To do a lot of work you have to be willing to invest the time.

Good fortune, success, luck, achievement and impact have a strange way of looking a lot like hard and relentless work. Commitment to a cause over personal comfort.

I’m always amused (sometimes frustrated) when people tell me “our office closes at 5” or “I don’t work on weekends.”


This is a sure-fire sign that no purpose has been found. Purpose is not a 9 to 5 job.

Purpose is 24/7.

Do you really think that Michelangelo said “well sorry it’s after 5 so I can’t paint”?

Or, “I don’t paint on the weekends. That’s my day to go to watch football”?

If people knew how hard I worked to obtain my mastery,
it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.
~ Michelangelohith-michelangelo-E

When Michelangelo was carving David he lived for two years in a small dumpy room by himself. He hardly ate, hardly slept, and he hardly ever left.

When he did sleep he slept with his clothes on, even his boots, so that when he woke up he could get up; and get at his obsession.

What’s your Magnificent Obsession? The one thing you must do;
and that you have the ability to do greatly?one thing-james arthur ray

When he was painting the Sistine Chapel he invested 4 years craning his neck to the ceiling. His journals prove he was absolutely physically and mentally miserable during this time.

From his pain and suffering he created one of the world’s greatest masterpieces.

Lose the fear of being willing to suffer for your mastery and your masterpiece.
If it doesn’t take everything you have it’s not your quest.

Look, you’re hardwired for greatness. Whether you’re consciously aware of it or not.

Are you willing to go all in and embrace effort and difficulty as a part of your journey to greatness?

Are you willing to come out of the shadows and answer the call?

It won’t be easy.

It’s not supposed to be easy.

Easy is the illusion of the masses.

Nothing great ever came easy and it never will.

Your greatness will not come easy. If it was easy then everyone would be at the top of their brilliance. Nothing great ever came easy and it never will.

Get busy.

There’s always a price for greatness.

The price is high but the rewards are sweet.

Stay Awake, Love Life, and Be Epic,