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What can Michelangelo and three fishes possibly teach us about hesitation?

Always take a step forward without hesitation!

Welcome to another article by Overmentality! Here, we aim to provide unique, insightful, and inspiring content without hesitating to rub the truth on our beloved readers’ faces! It’s what makes you come back to read. We say it as we mean it!

Today’s article is about three fishes & Michelangelo Di Lodovico. So, in 2005, David Foster gave a special commencement speech at Kenyon College. His speech was good, but what we care about is a joke he cracked!

Wallace steps up to the microphone and starts off by saying:

There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?”
And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”

Remember these guys we’d talk about them later on! But what’s it with Michelangelo & hesitation?

Michelangelo & Hesitation

The setting of the story

It’s the Renaissance! We’re moving towards the end of the 15th century. It’s the age of beauty and aestheticism. Humanism is peaking up and Europe is embracing human potential and beauty in an unprecedented manner.

They are reacting to the black death in the best way possible!

Italians back then were building the Overman society we all crave for! A society where man becomes the center. And is supported to unleash one’s potential; thus become the greatest artist or scientist s/he could be, or both! Become the best version of oneself.

In this era, a young boy in his 20s named Michelangelo is looking forward to becoming a rockstar of his time. He tried multiple disciplines without hesitation. The young polymath tried astronomy and philosophy, poetry, painting, sculpture, music, and piano!

The young man was so devoted in his 20s to achieving his dream of success and fame. He created many famous and gorgeous sculptures whose pictures we, unfortunately, couldn’t get the copyrights of.

But regardless, the dude sculpted The Angel in 1495, Cupid in 1996, and Bacchus in 1997. His most famous masterpiece is probably David, and he made it in 1501!

If you Googled these pieces of art you’d be sure they’re top-notch and very detail-oriented and great! You can tell Michelangelo would be recognized and receive massive help without hesitation. But was he even ready for the big chance?

The struggle to make the right decision

I believe one’s journey towards success is unpaved. We have to keep struggling until we find that trampoline, step on it, and make the big jump that changes our lives.

And we either step and jump and make it. Or break a leg and cry because we weren’t expecting it or we prefer the numbness of the unpaved path. Stay hungry & cautious. Your trampoline is closer than ever before!

Going back to our story, Michelangelo devoted countless hours of hard work to create extremely detailed pieces of art. Yet, he received little to no recognition.

And when we do our best and without receiving the cheers we deserve, self-doubt emerges, and depression backends. We are wired to be social animals. And our beloved artist is no exception.

The silent feedback -if not negative- destroyed his self-trust and made him feel his potential is lower than any roof. Little did he know, a roof would change his life!

Pope Julius II, head of the Catholic Church (or Rome in other words) from 1503 to the end of his life, has a different opinion about Michelangelo.

Pope devoted his wealth and power to help artists create everlasting artworks that will perpetuate his ruling era in Rome. So, in 1505, Pope decides he’s reconstructing one of the biggest Cathedrals in Rome: the Sistine Chapel.

Michelangelo & The Pope

In his project, Michelangelo was invited personally by Pope Julius II to create a sculpture of the latter. The Pope, head of Rome, the strongest republic in Italy back then, invites a young man to take care of his life project!

A great trampoline for the growing man towards fame and richness and the life he always craved. Anyone should grab this chance with no hesitation at all. But the artist was still lost in self-doubt and depression.

The man thought to himself “Nobody cared about David, who’d care about anything else I make, if not David?”

He knew he ought to outreach his potential and create something better than David. What did he do?

He ran away!

Learn to step forward without hesitation NO MATTER WHAT

On the 17th of April 1506, Michelangelo will run away at dusk to Florence. And he’d stay there for eight months before running away again to Bologna to avoid any contact with men Pope sends after him. Especially that the heads of Florence started noticing that something’s up & they’re trying to solve it asap by sending the man away.

Things stayed like this until 1508. Only then did he decide to go back to Rome.

And the first thing that happened was the Pope assigning him to paint the roof of the Sistine Chapel Cathedral which we mentioned earlier.

Only after four years of hesitation and running away, Michelangelo decides to face his fears and doubts and come back to Rome.

He painted the most expensive ceiling of all time that today is worth over 10 Billion Dollars! The big piece of art took four years to be finished. And it’s regarded as the finest piece of art in human history by many historians and critics.

Creation of Adam – Sistine Chapel

The questions that arise here are: Why did he take four years to decide he’s doing it? More importantly, don’t you think you are a replica of Michelangelo?

In other words, don’t you as well have that business idea you know you should execute asap but you’re still postponing? Don’t you feel like it’s already the time you start working on your first novel or book and pursue your dreams?

If you find yourself making up excuses to delay and postpone today’s work, and I’m sure each one of us has at least one thing we postpone, then proceed reading so we help you breakthrough without hesitation!

We all hesitate, but can we go without hesitation?

In her famous book “The Five Seconds Rule”, Mel Robbins explains that we all have a window of five seconds to do something. Unless we take action during the first five seconds after we get an idea, our brains will just talk us out of it.

Our brains are primitive

We have to admit that our brains, despite modernity, are still so freaking primitive! Just like any other animal’s brain, the human brain is designed to protect us and shield us against any outer or inner threat. This was a decisive survival factor that protected us from animals that prey on us.

But things have changed today!

However, according to your brain and mine, any new and untested situation is dangerous. Death resides in the unknown! That’s why we always stick to wasting time doing things on autopilot on a daily basis. We obey our stupid human brain that believes hard things only lead to unpleasant outcomes!

But guess what! In our modern world, in order to achieve your goals… in order to become an overman, a better version of yourself, you’d have to do things that are tough and uncertain. You have to go through the pain of breaking a leg and walking a mile with it. Staying up at night alone to outwork everyone, and waking up early to outperform everyone is a must to be the best. And our brains don’t want to admit it.

Our brains know it’s painful, and they only care about the NOW state. they’re not programmed to live in a modern world & think nor care about what’s going to happen after stress ends and discipline remains. They just haven’t evolved yet!

So, what happens is that you’d find yourself wasting your time scrolling that Instagram feed (which you should stop doing by the way). Or pretending to study while not focusing at all! Which means you’re hitting two birds with one rock: pretending to study to avoid feeling guilty, and not really studying to avoid feeling uncertain and stressed! (Seems like our primitive brains are smart after all)

If the brain is primitive, then it can be tricked! (Without Hesitation)

We always evolve to do things more simply or easily. What happens when we decide to prey on a goal is that our subconscious mind starts vomiting excuses to our conscious minds. It tells us to play video games and finish that next level of COD or LOL, rather than finishing that chapter.

This happens from the moment we open our eyes. Once we hit that snooze button, we start thinking:

  • It’s a rainy day, let’s just sleep and start tomorrow
  • It’s a sunny day, tomorrow’s gonna be the day
  • The day is good to hang out, tomorrow’s gonna be the day
  • Today’s too bad to start, maybe tomorrow
  • I’m sure u get the idea already, why are you still reading this? Move on overmantal!

Another thing the brain does is trap us in the Analysis Paralysis hole. We stay counting possibilities and imagining scenarios and how to overcome them. We never take action, none of the scenarios take place, and we never reach our goals. All is theoretical and safe.

The five seconds rule is here to help!

The rule works on two levels: YOU and your cognitive system.

1 – 5SR vs Cognitive system

Our cognitive system is programmed to work according to our mood and motivation.

Unless you feel like writing a book, exercising, learning a new skill…etc, no need to do it!

Ask yourself, how many times you planned to do something and ended postponing it just because you didn’t feel like it? How many times were you so determined to do something, then decided not to at the last moment!

We are continuously being fed the lie that we should always feel motivated to do things. Become a beast and want it then do it… Like c’mon! Who wants to leave bed at 5 A.M and walk five miles and workout and study and learn a new skill and and and and… all for an unguaranteed outcome!?

NOBODY! Not even Nietzsche himself!

But in order to increase the probability of you reaching your goals, you have to reprogram your life and daily routine in a way that will force the world to increase the probability of you reaching your goals and achieving your dreams.

We can’t be sure you’re going to do it, but… Unless you try, you never know! And you’ll never regret giving it a try.

So, throw the belief that you should always feel good and motivated in order to pack the bags and walk the mile! Push yourself to do things you hate but know will increase the probability of a brighter future.

2 – The 5SR & YOU

To do something, you need to stop your brain from making up excuses and trapping you in analysis paralysis.

The solution simply is to count backward from 5 to 0, then take an action at 0 (Yes, backward). This distracts the brain and shifts the focus from making up excuses to a WTF moment where the brain asks itself why are you counting. That’s the moment you take action.

The rule is more like a skill. The more you force yourself onto doing it, the better you become at it, and the easier it becomes. You will rewire your cognitive system from being biased towards thoughts to being biased towards action and movement.

Count backward and leave your bed, start writing, learning, studying, exercising….

Or, you can even use the trick of counting backward to stop a negative idea in your head. Whenever you remember a past situation and anxiety starts building up, just count backward and think about a website where the best content is written for you!

Wait, How about the fish??

The three fishes end up on a plate anyway… It’s okay!

Well, sometimes things we take for granted are the ones that control everything about us. The fish live in the water, their existence relies on it. Yet, they take it for granted and never bother questioning it. And we are the same! We live in our perceived reality, and we take it for granted. While we can be deceived and manipulated by this stupid and primitively complicated thing called the Human Brain!

Stop taking it for granted, and start a revolution against your cognitive system to update it to the OVERMANTALITY level without hesitation!

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9 months ago

[…] What can Michelangelo and three fishes possibly teach us about hesitation? […]

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