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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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

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.

Knowing How To 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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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. 
  • System two, on the other hand, is a slow process of thinking based on critical examination of evidence. Konnikova refers to these as System Watson and System Holmes.

To move from a System Watson- to a System Holmes-governed thinking takes mindfulness plus motivation.

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Polymaths
Polymaths

Polymaths, geniuses with diverse skillsets and varied interests, are the source of some of history's greatest contributions.

Giants like Aristotle, Galileo, and Leonardo da Vinci were...

The Approach Of A Polymath

A polymath sees the world with a unique perspective, making connections that are not apparent to others.

Early polymaths had the advantage of a wide-open field, and went deep in their disciplines, yielding branches and sub-branches of specializations. Deep down, these different branches lead to the same trunk and roots.


Polymaths Vs Specialists

Polymaths differ from specialists, as they are on to a highway that is getting wider, and specialists are parked in a spot that is getting deeper.

Polymaths have the advantage of learning new fields of study, and forming new connections, while specialists start having a narrow vision by going deep, learning less. The learning ability of the polymath is the required skill-set of the future.

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Pamela Slim
“We are made to create. We feel useful when we create. We release our ‘stuckness’ when we create. We reinvent our liv..."
Pamela Slim
Creativity is complex

It means producing something novel or original, evaluating, solving problems, whether on paper, on stage, in a laboratory or even in the shower.

Knowing how to think

Geniuses know “how” to think, instead of “what” to think.

People who are more creative can simultaneously engage brain networks that don’t typically work together.

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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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The real master has no tools

He/She has a endless power to improvise with what is to hand.

The more fields of knowledge he/she covers, the greater his/her resources for improvisation.

Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis de Tocqueville

"Nothing tends to materialise man, and to deprive his work of the faintest trace of mind, more than extreme division of labour."

Invention fights specialization

To come up with new ideas, you need to know things outside your field.

The further afield your knowledge extends, the greater potential you have for innovation.

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Do a yearly review

Ask yourself:

  • What went well for me last year?
  • What accomplishments did I have?
  • How did I improve my life?
  • How did I improve my relationsh...
Finish what you started

Which of your projects, errands and general to-do items do you still have left from the previous year that you may be able to complete in less than 2 hours? Do them now to enable you to give yourself a fresh start.

Be realistic

Dreaming is great, but if you want to accomplish some improvements, you need to make your dream more realistic.

Break your dream down into milestones: if you want to work from home, what steps do you need to take? Break those steps down further into actionable steps and start working towards making your dream a reality.

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Philosophy
Philosophy

A philosophy is the guiding compass of life.

Great philosophers were top scientists throughout history, and even the concept of science is based on the philosophy of em...

Solipsism

If we look at our dreams and the brain’s capacity to hallucinate, we can see that nothing outside our existence may be real.

Everything could be an illusion, a long dream, and we could be the only person that existed in a world of ‘Maya’. This is what solipsism is all about.

Idealism

The philosophy of idealism states that reality is something that exists on a mental level, and many or most of our outer experiences could just be imagination.

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Virtual Concerts
Virtual Concerts

Fortnite, an online multiplayer game with millions of players across the world, debuted a virtual concert, complete with tour dates, by Travis Scott during this lockdown period, when multiplayer ga...

New Virtual Experience

The innovative ‘astronomical’ virtual concert set a record with 12.3 million players logging in to experience his old and new music. The previous record was the Marshmello show (10 million attendees) on the same platform.

Players were treated to a roller-coaster-like musical ride complete with elements only possible in a virtual environment, setting new benchmarks of an immersive event

Our culture of work

Our culture claims that work is unavoidable and natural. The idea that the world can be freed from work, wholly or in part, has been suppressed for as long as capitalism has existed.

Exploring the abolition of work
  • In 1885, socialist William Morris proposed that in the factories of the future, employees should work only four hours a day.
  • In 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that advances in technology would lead to an age of leisure where people might work 15 hours a week.
  • Since the early 2010s, these ideas have been developed further, creating a growing critique of work as an ideology, and exploring alternatives to work.
  • Post-work offers enormous promises: In a life of much less work, life would be calmer, more equal, more communal, more pleasurable, more thoughtful, more politically engaged, more fulfilled.
Work ideology

The work ideology is not natural nor very old.

  • Before the modern era, all cultures thought of work as a means to an end, not an end in itself.
  • Once the modern work ethic was established, working patterns started to shift. Between 1800 and 1900, the average working week shrank from 80 hours to 60 hours, and in the 1970s to roughly 40 hours.
  • In 1979, Bernard Lefkowitz related in his book that people who had given up their jobs reported feelings of "wholeness." During the same period, because wages were high enough, it became possible for most people to work less.
  • During the 80s, work ideology was reimposed by aggressively pro-business governments who were motivated by a desire for social control.
  • By the early 21st century, the work culture seems inescapable.

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