Picasso was at a Paris market when an admirer approached and asked if he could do a quick sketch on a paper napkin for her.
Picasso politely agreed, promptly created a drawing, and handed back the napkin — but not before asking for a million Francs.
The lady was shocked: “How can you ask for so much? It took you five minutes to draw this!”
“No”, Picasso replied, “It took me 40 years to draw this in five minutes.” -story (probably apocryphal) recounted in the book “What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School” by Mark H. McCormack
“My first novel taught me how to write and it took forever. It took thirty years I think, and when it was done I felt I was a writer. Which was an enormous kind of gratification for me because I hadn’t known this.” -Don DeLillo
“I began writing ‘Matterhorn’ in 1975 and for more than 30 years I kept working on my novel in my spare time, unable to get an agent or publisher to even read the manuscript.” -Karl Malantes, author Matterhorn
When you’re shooting for greatness, trying to make a masterpiece like Rodin’s “La Porte de ‘l’Enfer” (pictured above and took 37 years to complete), the question isn’t “How long will this take?” But rather, “Can I devote myself to this for how ever long it takes?”
It probably won’t take you forty years…But then again, it might. Keep going.
P.S. – “I’m Picasso!”