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How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. This inspiring and inventive guide teaches readers how to develop their full potential by following the example of the greatest genius of all time, Leonardo da Vinci. Acclaimed author Michael J. Gelb,...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

If You're not Thinking Critically, you're Not THINKING!

So what is Gelb trying to tell us about thinking anyway? And does critically thinking creatively really matter when there are so many other alternative ways to get answers in todays non-critically thinking culture? When we've got the internet, books, consultants, and some of the worlds greatest thinkers that have ever lived ---all living at the same time--- how can we benefit from digging up a dead man by the name of Leonardo da Vinci anyway? Well there is an appropriate ancient proverb found in the Hebrew text that says "though he be dead yet he still speaketh". So is Gelb's book really necessary and does it add to the wealth of knowledge that you already know about Leonardo? Truthfully why do we need to think like Leonardo anyway? Will it improve our understanding for the next great mind blowing adventure we take? You'll find all your answers and so much more in Michael J. Gelb's, National Bestseller. He writes a wonderful introspective book on how Leonardo da Vinci was able to master his amazing perspectives and at the same time summon up all of the Curosita' you could ever imagine. What a da Vincian approach to da Vinci's multi-sided perspectives. I've learned more about vision than I've ever been aware of. So if you want to explore why Leonardo thought the way he did you need to get Gelb's book. Well it's time to think and what better way to think clearly than to think critically. I've been sharing some amazing values with a class of very bright Glenwood school students and I'm expecting greater things to happen this new year just because it can! Your Servant, Deremiah

Lessons from the greatest Maven

Michael Gelb has spent a lifetime studying Leonardo. This book distills the key principles that Leonardo lived by and shows how we too may take our own journey of self-discovery toward excellence. In my book, The Human Fabric, Leonardo is cited as an example of an incredible Maven (and importantly, not a Relater or Evangelist). Discovering our core energy/talent is indeed the starting point. Once we discover it, we must relentlessly deepen it. Leonardo is the finest example we have of the deepening process for Mavens. In his book, Gelb describes Leonardo's seven principles. It's notable that three of the principles: Sfumato, Arte/Scienza and Connessione, all deal with bringing together opposites and seeing connections between things that don't initially seem to be related. We see this quality replicated in other great Mavens like Einstein, who was able to bring light, matter and energy together in his famous equation. Relaters and Evangelists do the same, but with people and causes, respectively, rather than knowledge. Apply just one of Leonardo's seven principles and you will be astonished by the result!

A different form of self-help

I really hate self-help books. I really do. Most of them spend 20 pages telling you how to help yourself and 250 talking about how wonderful it is to read the book you're reading.But this book is different. I came upon this book very casually, not really looking for anything in particular. When I saw it, I knew that I had to have it. I have always loved da Vinci's art and his intellect - from the first time seeing the Mona Lisa in Paris as a teenager up to my latest trip to Florence a few months ago. But when I bought this book, it didn't occur to me that it might be in the genre of self-help because I was so fascinated with the subject, but that didn't matter once I started reading.I really believe this book does give us a picture of how to think like da Vinci. The key is don't go into it expecting a lot, and you'll be pleased. Unlike some may perceive on buying this book, I never believed it to do so, and it never says, "You'll be a genius if you read this book." Mr. Gelb just describes da Vinci's methods of thinking, and credits da Vinci everywhere with multiple quotes. From start to finish, I don't think the author once tried to go off subject of how 'his (the author's) methods' were superior or any of the other self-help (...)- it's all credited to da Vinci. It's written fairly simply with daily exercises to produce the desired effects.One thing that I find very beneficial in this book is that it gives a few paragraphs on how to help teach your children to think more broadly with each section. Having a child that is labled as 'difficult,' it helped me to understand him better, and to encourage his naturally intelligent behaviors such as curiosity when everyone has been trying to repress it...this to me is invaluable. By changing my thinking it really gave me a greater appreciation for a 3 year-old!I only have one criticism of this book, where I truly believe the author inputs his own preferences exclusively - and that's mostly to do with the Sensazione exercises section in particular. Whether it's telling you to prefer Jazz over other music, or classical, I think his own opinions come through. But simultaneously I must add that his opinions are given as 'starting points' so to speak.I have truly enjoyed this book. Although I haven't started the exercises (he suggests reading it thoroughly first) I feel that I have learned a great deal. It is also important to note that there is a companion workbook, which probably isn't necessary, but I'm going to buy it because I found this one to be a great book on improving insights and personal qualities.

Fuel the fires of your genius!

Michael Gelb has written an insightful and challanging book. Not being a da Vinci scholar, but one always impressed by da Vinci's ideas and especially his drawings and paintings, this book increased my knowledge of this genius and challanged me to think that I could benefit greatly by thinking like Leonardo.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.
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