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Da Vinci's To Do List: Inside the Mind of a Genius

The Renaissance Man

The Renaissance Man

Leonardo Da Vinci had a seemingly endless assemblage of concepts and ideas, all of which were unrelated, and scattered.

The 'Renaissance Man' followed his curiosity and not his specialization.

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Da Vinci's To Do List: Inside the Mind of a Genius

Da Vinci's To Do List: Inside the Mind of a Genius

https://medium.com/master-generalist/da-vincis-to-do-list-inside-the-mind-of-a-genius-cfbcf8bbbd0b

medium.com

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Key Ideas

The Renaissance Man

Leonardo Da Vinci had a seemingly endless assemblage of concepts and ideas, all of which were unrelated, and scattered.

The 'Renaissance Man' followed his curiosity and not his specialization.

Utilize Experts

Leonardo Da Vinci didn't do everything on his own, making good use of experts and other people who could do the work more efficiently.

He acknowledged that he didn't know everything and utilized the knowledge and experience of other great minds.

Don't Focus on One Thing

Leonardo Da Vinci explored a wide range of subjects.

A mind interested in many things unlocks certain creative aspects and forms connections that otherwise would remain dormant.

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First Principle
First Principle

Is a foundational truth that is "known by nature". It is not an assumption or deduction based on another theory or supposition but it’s also not an absolute truth but rather an observed one, meanin...

First Principle Thinking In Practice

The CEO might re-envision the way his company tackles development, by bringing in other departments that don't normally get to participate in this work, and creating incentives for original thinking from anyone in the company.

On a personal level, you may make yourself more open to other people's perspectives and find value on discussions that you may not have previously had. 

4 Steps For First Principle Thinking
  1. Identify the problem you want to solve.
  2. List all the reasons you can't solve this problem.
  3. List all obvious solutions that apply but don't solve the problem adequately.
  4. Ask yourself: "If I could create a solution based on my desires, what would that solution be?"

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Think like Sherlock Holmes

“What Sherlock Holmes offers isn’t just a way of solving a crime. It is an entire way of thinking."

"Holmes provides... an education in improving our faculty of mindful thought...

Engagement
As children, we are remarkably aware to the world around us. This attention wanes over time as we allow more pressing responsibilities to attend to and demands on our minds to address. And as the demands on our attention increase so, too, does our actual attention decrease.

 As it does so, we become less and less able to know or notice our own thought habits and more and more allow our minds to dictate our judgments and decisions, instead of the other way around.

Pitfalls of the Untrained Brain

Daniel Kahneman believes there are two systems for organizing and filtering knowledge: 

  • System one is real-time. This system makes judgments and decisions before our mental apparatus can consciously catch up. 
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To move from a System Watson- to a System Holmes-governed thinking takes mindfulness plus motivation.

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Cross pollination

In a business or creative setting, a monoculture has its own risks, as we habitually turn to the same sources, people and habits for new ideas. Over time, these ideas can take on a similar, predict...

Make a date with yourself

Go on a weekly "artist date", where you feed your inspiration by looking at something artistically nourishing and stimulating.

For example, If you are a writer, you might go for a walk in an arboretum on Monday mornings.

Read about creative lives

Biographies and how-to guides from other fields can be wonderful sources of inspiration.

What might you gain from reading about and emulating the morning routine of a favorite athlete?

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