Saturday, April 04, 2015

To create a masterpiece

Michelangelo is a great sculptor. His great masterpiece is David, a sculpture of a person which is so lifelike that it amazes anyone who had glanced upon it.

One day, he was asked about his great masterpiece and how he had managed to carve a lifeless rock into something that is so lifelike.

He said this, "It's easy. All you have to do is to chip away everything that didn't look like David."

And so that is the way to create life's masterpieces. How to find the meaning of life? Simply remove the parts that is not meaningful to you. How to create a great blog post? Remove the parts that are not great.

Sounds like a stupid obvious statement, isn't it? But I think if you sit on it and mull over it, there's much wisdom in those few simple words.


Createwealth8888 said...

In investing, how to find multi-baggers?

Some time after market has risen XX%, sell those stocks that don't look like multi-baggers; but we do the opposite. Right?


la papillion said...

Hi bro8888,

I think this is one of those non-actionable advice. It gives you a certain direction to follow, but you will require wisdom to act on it. How to find multibaggers? Remove those that are not multibaggers...but how do we know if they are multibaggers or not?

Not so easy to find out before it happened lol

That's why your pillow system works :)

Singapore Man of Leisure said...



You are getting naughty!

That's good! It means you are comfortable not playing with bull-shit:

"Buy stocks that go up; if they don’t go up, don’t buy them” (Will Rogers)

Will Rogers is a comedian. Sometimes we need a Jon Stewart to poke and make fun of Wallstreet and the Media before the audience realise they have been consuming bull-shit all this time...

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


I'll chip-in my 2 cent's worth:

The chipping away part is not the hard part; the hard part is figuring out WHO the hell is David?

I see you are getting more and more comfortable with being LP ;)

Anonymous said...

Knn 2 chao ah guys talking to each other here and "naughty" teasing. Wahlaoeh

B said...


This reminds me of this phrase I used to use on my teachers in the past :)

Practice makes perfect, but no humans are perfect, so why practice?? LoL

la papillion said...


"The chipping away part is not the hard part; the hard part is figuring out WHO the hell is David?"

That's the crux of the problem! You saw through the smoke and fog to distill to this single most important question :)

To be honest, I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with being LP or not. I'm still in the discovery stage, haha! But from my fb postings, I realised that I have a tendency to be the devil's advocate - always taking the view of the opposing 'minority' camp in order to illuminate the bigger picture. That's not just my online persona - it's my offline persona too. I always ask the questions.

I'm definitely not as comfortable in my own skin as you are ;)

la papillion said...

Hi anonymous,

Glad you found it entertaining!

la papillion said...

Hi B,

I'll counter with this:

If you don't practice you won't be perfect, but humans strive for perfection, so why don't you practice? :)

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

Anonymous 9:45,


Jing gu bo gong Hokkien liao.

Chap ni cheng du bo reservist :(

Wu eng lai wah eh blog OK?

Bhan sim. Wah mersi tak chek kia.

Buai sai kali tik toh liao; dio ai jo kang...

Bai bai :)

SG Trader said...

Hey la papillion,

We should connect our sites! Thanks for the info earlier on

My site:

la papillion said...

Hi Sgtrader92,

Added :)

Rolf Suey said...

Hi LP,

I think first and foremost we need to know who WE ARE, not who David are or how to sculpt David. Just like finding Rolf Suey!

Most of the time, we are too focus on a target and how to achieve it, before realizing that eventually that may not be what we really want. The target can be even due to herding.... seems like in this financial blog space everyone is herding about financial freedom.

So what's next after financial freedom? You only think after you achieve? why dun we even spent more time on finding who we are and what we really want to do in life..

If you look at all the great, they understand from day one, what they were born to do. They never chase an end point. They instead chase a never ending target and they just love doing that, because that is in their blood and soul!

la papillion said...

Hi rolf,

Well said! I subscribe more and more to the kierkegardian philosophy of how we can understand something if we look at the relationship it forms with others.

So, to know how to carve a David, we need to know what we are and how David look like. I agree!

You also made an astute observation regarding people following financial freedom. You hear young pple talking about going into retirement at age 30 or 35. Not sure if that's what they really want.

For me, I'm not obsessed over it. Or rather, I'm no longer obsessed over it. I like my job too much and will work as long as I'm relevant. I don't need to escape from a dreary 9 to 9 hour job.

Thanks for your insightful comments ;)

Joyce Leong said...

Honestly, I admire artists, sculptors, painters etc... For their dedication to their art, constant pursuit of perfection and their mastery of their skills which can only be done through their hands alone.

It can't be taken over by a robot etc... Much like being a trader/investor who takes things into their own hands rather than leaving their money to be invested by so called experts.

We went to Rodin Museum last year and ACCICB told me that it's ridiculous how many pieces he has created in his lifetime. I told him to Rodin its art that captured his heart and soul, but for you, it could be investing/trading and he kept quiet.

la papillion said...

Hi Joyce,

I like it that you are very encouraging :) I wish I can visit the museum too, I think I would love it ;)