Earlier this month my wife and I took a trip to Israel. It was a wonderful trip full of history and culture. One of the things that stood out to me was the idea of working like an artisan.
While we were in Israel we saw sculptures and carvings that were centuries old and what stood out to me is that artisans would carve their name or initials into their work.
I began to wonder if everyday I would be proud enough of what I do to carve my initials into my work.
What sets a true artisan apart from an everyday craftsman is an artisan makes their craft their sole purpose in life. They devote their lives to their craft, taking the time to master, perfect and produce their product. They don’t just fabricate for mass production. There is a real pride in ownership to being an artisan.
In 1508, Michelangelo was contracted by Pope Julius II to paint twelve figures on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. After years of painstaking work, laying on scaffolding for hours upon hours, Michelangelo painted 343 individual figures before being satisfied with his work! Michelangelo knew his craft and knew he would not be content putting in the minimal effort. He took pride in his work and made it the best he possibly could to be enjoyed by all for hundreds of years.
While we might not be painting one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, when we put our best efforts into what we do, we take ownership of our work and become, in a sense, an artisan.
When you work like an artisan, you set yourself apart from the norm, you leave a legacy and that is certainly something you’d want your name on.
Would you carve your initials in your work?