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How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day Paperback – February 8, 2000
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Here's a personal growth guidebook that's won the admiration and recommendation of Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate of England. He calls this "a brilliant, practical guide to awakening and training our vast, unused resources of intelligence and ability." Author Michael Gelb, founder of High Performance Learning and consultant for companies including AT&T and National Public Radio, says that we all can unlock the "da Vincian" genius inside us. Gelb says there are seven critical principles that need to be followed for success, whether you're learning a new language, studying to be a gourmet chef, or just hoping to be more effective on the job:
- Curiosita: An insatiably curious approach to life.
- Dimonstratzione: A commitment to test knowledge through experience.
- Sensazione: The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to clarify experience.
- Sfumato: 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 ambidexterity, fitness, and poise.
- Connessione: A recognition and appreciation for the connectedness of all things and phenomena; "systems thinking."
Gelb discusses each of these principles in relation to what da Vinci accomplished, thereby giving this book a built-in history lesson. The illustrations from the master's work and time add a nice warmth to the work. As the president of NPR said after working with Gelb, this is a program recommended for "anyone who wants to experience a personal and professional Renaissance." --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Founder and president of the High Performance Learning Center, Gelb, in seminars and workshops and now in this book, offers "the Seven Da Vincian Principles" for learning how to approach life like a genius. He uses Leonardo's native Italian language to label these principles: "curiosita" (curiosity and continuous learning), "dimostrazione" (learning from experience), "sensazione" (sensory awareness), "sfumato" (accepting and embracing uncertainty), "arte/scienza" (balancing art and science, or "whole-brain" thinking), "corporalita" (physical fitness and ambidexterity) and "connessione" (seeing the interconnectedness of everything). Gelb provides discussion of each principle in relation to Leonardo's work, questions for reader "self-assessment," exercises and even notes for parents to apply the principles to child-rearing and teaching. His view reflects the current trend in working with "multiple intelligences" and creativity, and is similar to the approach outlined in Todd Siler's Think Like a Genius (1997). The Renaissance mood Gelb successfully invokes, however, adds a unique richness to this deeper, more expansive work. Illustrations. Editor, Tom Spain; agent, Muriel Nellis.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Gelb sets out seven Da Vincinian Principles and illustrates each with examples from da Vinci's life and work. He encourages the reader to assess oneself with regard to each of the principles and then presents an abundance of exercises to develop one's awareness of the principle and skill at using it.
I found myself, over the course of reading the book, using the principles as I observed the world around me throughout the day, listening to the sounds of nature, really watching birds in flight, wondering at the beautiful pumpkin from a friend's garden that I was peeling, seeding and chopping to make into soup. The latter exercise was further enhanced by pouring myself a glass of the chardonnay that went into the soup and truly tasting it and savouring it (my own version of an exercise found in the Sensazione chapter.) The last of the principles presented is Connessione. I understood this principle clearly as I reflected on the earth from which the grapes were grown, the grapes and all that nourished their growth, the many hands and minds and hearts that created the wine, packaged it, shipped and distributed it and the many consumers who were enjoying it.
Yes, I can say wholeheartedly that this book is worth buying, reading and keeping around as a guide filled with practical ideas and exercises (including a beginner's drawing course) for stimulating and encouraging one's self understanding and indiviual genius.
Da Vinci's passion to know kindled and sustained the fires of his genius. Gelb is obviously one touched by these fires and has thoughtfully extended a hand to the other passionate seekers to fuel the fires of their own genius.
There are several types of thinking and sense development exercises. I found especially the stream of conciousness exercises useful in improving the effectiveness of my thinking in tackling daily problems. No doubt Leonardo da Vinci was a genius who was a great thinker with a lot of wisdom, had a multidimensional and creative thinking approach with diverse interests and activities. He is very interesting to analyze and to derive lessons from. However, it seems to me that the author has presented many of the usual advice given by life coaches as the Leonardo da Vinci method of thinking. For example he explains very clearly Tony Buzan's mind maps and how to apply them. He mentions Tony Buzan's name as he explains them. He talks about the importance of and how to set long term goals, to find a purpose in life and to become aware of our values ; all very important and useful information. There is no doubt that the author has studied Leonardo carefully and knows a lot about him.However, I doubt that Leonardo da Vinci used any thinking methods similar to Tony Buzan's mind maps or the Smart method of setting goals in life. He was a careful observer and a great thinker yes, but the thinking methods presented in this book can not be claimed to say that this is how Leonardo was thinking too. They are important thinking tools that we read in various books and listen to in seminars of life coaches and leading authorities on effective thinking such as Tony Buzan and Edward de Bono but they can not be attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. The various thinking methods explained in the book are very effective and useful but I wish they had not been marketed as : " Leonardo used to think like this too ". It is not very convincing.