What Michelangelo Taught Us About Essentialism

Michelangelo

“Beauty is the purgation of superfluities.” – Michelangelo

This quote by Michelangelo epitomizes the idea of Essentialism. What the Renaissance man meant by that poetic phrase was this: beauty is the removal of the unnecessary.

All aspects of beauty, all aspects of a beautiful life, simply emerge when we let go of the useless excess. When fear is let go of, we’re left with happiness. When we transcend limiting beliefs, success greets us. When we remove our blocks, creative inspiration flows.

Michelangelo also said the following regarding his artwork…“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” This further shows how, in his genius, he used reductionism to create great art.

This “Michelangelo mindstate” applies to everything in life. Even if not literally with certain things, it applies metaphorically.

So let’s extrapolate a bit. How do you think Michelangelo would have approached modern life? If I were to guess, it would be very similar to the concept of Essentialism.

More Quotes About Essentialism

  • “To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” – Lao Tzu
  • “It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” – Bruce Lee
  • “Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “Simplicity involves unburdening your life, and living more lightly with fewer distractions that interfere with a high quality life, as defined uniquely by each individual.” – Linda Breen Pierce
  • “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates
  • “Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness—lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.” – Tim Ferriss
  • “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • “Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.” – Edwin Way Teale
  • “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” – Lin Yutang

Can you see the trend? Some of the wisest people to ever walk the Earth emphasized the importance of simplicity and essentialism. Whenever you see this kind of trend, know that it’s a concept well worth investigating.

Essentialism And the Art of Not Giving a Fuck

Yup, you read that right. That’s the title of my latest book.

And it was just released!

If you enjoyed this article, you would love the book even more. Essentialism And the Art of Not Giving a Fuck is a deep dive into the philosophy and practice of Essentialism. It also gives you a manual of how to directly apply the principles to uncover your inner peace, happiness and fulfillment.

Get your hands on the book here:
Essentialism And the Art of Not Giving a Fuck

Thank you and much love.

-Stevie P!
 

Stevie P