Curiositá – Insatiable Curiosity and Thirst for Learning

We all have an innate sense of curiosity that we can cultivate. It starts with asking questions. The most brilliant minds spend their entire lives asking questions about confounding issues. Leonardo’s mission in life was a pursuit of truth and beauty, which led to his own inquisitiveness.

  • Try looking at things from various angles, and don’t take "yes" for an answer.
  • At the same time, take time off occasionally to relax and refresh your perspective.
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How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci

by Michael J. Gelb


"Just as food eaten without appetite is a tedious nourishment, so does study without zeal damage the memory by not assimilating what it absorbs."

Dimostrazione – Test Knowledge Via Practical Experience

Test your ideas and those of others through experience and original thought. Never stop learning, exploring, or experimenting, even if it results in failure

First-hand experience (including disasters, failures and mistakes) is the best way to test and improve on existing practices, and to develop new wisdom, know-how and independent thinking.

Leonardo Da Vinci

"Although nature commences with reason and ends in experience, it is necessary for us to do the opposite, that is to commence with experience and from this to proceed to investigate the reason."

Sensazione – Constantly Sharpen the Senses

Our senses are the only means by which we can experience the world around us.

According to Leonardo, the average man “looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, moves without physical awareness, inhales without awareness of odor or fragrance, and talks without thinking.”

In order to truly appreciate life and take in the beauty around us, we need to develop and refine our senses, especially that of sight.

Leonardo Da Vinci

"Common sense is that which judges the things given to it by other senses."

Sfumato – Be Comfortable With Ambiguity

Sfumato translates to “going up in smoke.” Leonardo applied this principle in his paintings by creating hazy, ambiguous scenes with gossamer-thin layers of paint.

Learn to confront the unknown (and unknowable) and embrace mystery, paradox, and uncertainty to let them fuel your creative genius. In an ever-changing world, having poise in the face of paradox is key to being effective and also retaining your sanity

Arte/Scienza – Develop a balance between Logical and Creative Thinking

One of Da Vinci’s most unique qualities was to see the art in science and science in the arts. You can learn to connect the right and left brains through a powerful exercise called mind mapping. Leonardo suggested going “straight into nature” to find understanding and clarity. Everything in nature is made up of networks of sinuous, branched, and nonlinear paths.

Mind mapping is a way to link ideas and information naturally without immediate need for sequential organization.

Corporalita – Develop Poise: the Balance of Body & Mind

Da Vinci was strong, handsome, and graceful in addition to his artistic and scientific genius. He placed emphasis on eating well (he was a vegetarian) and being physically active.

  • Develop a fitness program.
  • Work on standing more often and maintaining good upright posture.
  • Cultivate ambidexterity to further balance your body and even leverage the two sides of the brain more effectively. Try writing and drawing with both hands simultaneously. Learn to juggle.
Connessione – Maintain a Big Picture Perspective

Leonardo had a deep appreciation for the connectedness of things—drawing correlations between hair and flowing water, the human body and the earth, and the oneness of nature. He found order in chaos, and had a profound appreciation for the mysteries of life and nature.

The interconnectedness of things is most evident during extreme times, e.g. financial crises, epidemics, weddings, etc.


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