Tip #499: How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci

“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.


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