“I wish to work miracles.” Leonardo da Vinci
I have begun the New Year by starting to read Michael J. Gelb’s How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day.
Da Vinci was much more than the artist who painted the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper.
He was the epitome of a Renaissance man: an anatomist, architect, botanist, city planner, costume and stage designer, chef, humorist, engineer, equestrian, inventor, geographer, geologist, mathematician, military scientist, musician, painter, philosopher, physicist, and raconteur.
I do not aspire to genius in any of those areas. However, I do wish to enrich my life- and Gelb offers to help me do that if I practice what he has named: The Seven Da Vincian Principles:
Curiosita– An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.
Dimostrazione– A commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes.
Sensazione– The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to enliven experience.
Sfumato (literally “Going up in smoke.”)- A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.
Arte/Scienza– The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination. “Whole-brain” thinking.
Corporalita– The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness, and poise.
Connessione– A recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things and phenomena. Systems thinking.
I am sure that I have unconsciously practiced some, if not all, of these principles over the years. Anyone with a thinking brain probably has. However, I’m wondering what will happen if I start to consciously practice them in my work and in my life.
Deepak Chopra summarized Gelb’s book in the following quote:
“By capturing the very essence of DaVinci’s life and genius- the seemingly perfect integration of mind, body, spirit and soul- Michael Gelb guides us in a discovery and understanding of the boundlessness of our own full human potential.”
Doesn’t that sound like a wonderfully hopeful and optimistic view to start a New Year?
May your learning be sweet.