In the early days, art was more than just something you could do with paint bought at a store. It required hard work, knowing the right tools and materials for the job, and actually being able to sit down and achieve what you wanted to do. Even painting required a basic knowledge of chemistry and a much greater knowledge of how to get the right minerals and oils to mix. It was through these labors of love that we got some of the most inspiring masterpieces in history, and it will be exactly how you will reach a higher level in your life’s endeavors. Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Well There is no such thing as an easy masterpiece. It is as true in art as it is in life. If you want to make a life worth living, then you may have to do it with your bare hands. Some of the greatest artists and industrialists of our time have started from humble beginnings, and through their hard work they have found something important that pushes us all to strive for greater things: inspiration. Where Inspiration Hides By now, you may be curious as to how simply working hard will inspire you. In all honesty, it is not hard work alone that will do the job, but instead by being “awake” while you do that work. Just like the experienced boxer who knows how to form the right fist, it will only be through actually going through the motions that you will know how to innovate and improve your craft, regardless of what it is. It takes time and paying attention. Walk Before You Can Run Inspiration comes from perspiration, and not the other way around. Without first putting in the work, you may not really be able to understand what you are being inspired about, or where that inspiration may actually be leading you. Put time into work, but do not put work into time; let the process of inspiration happen naturally. Know It When You See It Most importantly, inspiration may not be a flash of light or an “eureka” moment. You may just realize that you could be doing something a little smarter. Those small moments of inspiration are actually going to be the fundamental building blocks of what will be your big breakthrough. Treat each one as a stepping stone as you climb toward greater achievement.