We humans are at our best when we are fighting for something. Our greatest achievements are usually against insurmountable odds. Our greatest creations occur out of a deep desire to see something take shape, no matter, how fiercely the status quo repels it.
Or so it seems. Would the Michael Angelo on the roof of the Sistine chapel be as breathtaking if it was on the ground. Would a free India have been such an achievement if the British quietly left after the first world war?
It seems to me, our definition of “great work” is heavily biased by the struggle that precedes the achievement. Thus the malayalam refrain when judging common place work “any policeman could have done it”. Does that mean, doing a great thing is always a struggle during the fact, but is awesome post that. This logic pushes one, who wishes to achieve, to try harder, burn the midnight oil etc etc… With dubious results.
I think we need to rethink our definition of “Great achievement ” and the path to get there. Results should be judged on their own account. Take, for example, we are often told by our parents to work hard and climb the corporate ladder (“ravi uncles son has become manager”), but what is the achievement ? Is it breathtaking? Can you sit and watch the payslip for hours lying on your back ? Does it bring tears to your eyes like when you read that famous classic?
Separating the struggle from the result frees us a little bit to be creative about how to get there. Maybe just focus on the final product ? Is the world going to stand back breathless ?
TL;DR – Michael Angelo created “The Last Judgement” because he wanted to. The result is a master piece because it looks awesome and breath-taking. This is the truth. Anything else you add to this is an unproven story.