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

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Michael Gelb's How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci is an
inspiring and inventive guide that teaches readers how to develop their
full potential, using the principles of Da Vincian thought identified by
the author.
Beginning with a brief historical biography of Da
Vinci and an overview of the astounding advances made in the arts and
sciences during the Renaissance, Gelb illustrates the seven fundamental
elements of Da Vinci's thought process:
Questionare: A
questing, insatiably curious approach to life Dimostrazione: 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 interconnectedness of all things and phenomena.
"Systems" thinking.
Loaded with practical exercises,
quotes, sidebars, illustrations and material drawn directly from Da
Vinci's personal notebooks, How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci
is both a tribute to his great achievements and a call to carry on his
legacy in our everyday lives by utilizing our potential to the best of
our ability.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day:

5

Jan 27, 2013

Fascinating and inspiring book. Leonardo da Vinci was a mystery to me before I read this book, now I truly appreciate what he has given the world.

The book discusses 7 Principles:
Curiosita - Am I asking the right questions?
Dimostrazione - How can I improve my ability to learn from my mistakes and experiences?
Sensazione - What is my plan for sharpening my senses as I age?
Sfumato - How can I strengthen my ability to hold creative tension to embrace the major paradoxes of life?
Arte/Scienza - Fascinating and inspiring book. Leonardo da Vinci was a mystery to me before I read this book, now I truly appreciate what he has given the world.

The book discusses 7 Principles:
• Curiosita - Am I asking the right questions?
• Dimostrazione - How can I improve my ability to learn from my mistakes and experiences?
• Sensazione - What is my plan for sharpening my senses as I age?
• Sfumato - How can I strengthen my ability to hold creative tension to embrace the major paradoxes of life?
• Arte/Scienza - Am I balancing Arte and Scienza at home and at work?
• Corporalita - How can I nurture the balance of body and mind?
• Connessione - How do all the above elements fit together? How does everything connect to everything else?

Amazing stuff - right? ...more
1

Sep 05, 2009

A really good idea lost in poor, self-indulgent writing. I'm not sure who Gelb is in love with more, himself or daVinci. Let's see, the book is written in English, but let's name the principals in bastardized Italian to make it special.

Better yet - "His physics studies anticipated the modern disciplines of hydrostatics, optics, and mechanics." Wow - he studied physics 200 years before the science of physics and calculus were invented! As Dr. Cavanagh once wrote on one of my research papers - A really good idea lost in poor, self-indulgent writing. I'm not sure who Gelb is in love with more, himself or daVinci. Let's see, the book is written in English, but let's name the principals in bastardized Italian to make it special.

Better yet - "His physics studies anticipated the modern disciplines of hydrostatics, optics, and mechanics." Wow - he studied physics 200 years before the science of physics and calculus were invented! As Dr. Cavanagh once wrote on one of my research papers - anachronistic bullsh*t!

Leonardo daVinci was a genius, and we can learn from his methods of insatiable curiosity, testing knowledge through experience, refining the senses, embracing ambiguity, balancing science and art, cultivating grace and fitness, and recognizing the interconnectedness of all things. But you'll learn this more through a well-written biography than this book.

...more
2

Apr 27, 2012

This wasn't really a satisfying read for me. When it came to Leonardo's life and genius and the Renaissance, it didn't give me as much detail as I would have liked, which frustrated me, as bald statements were made without sufficient evidence to back them up (and the evidence and argument would have been fascinating to read about). Then when it got to the 7 principles Gelb proposes to make us think like Leonardo, they seemed to have the opposite problem - a ridiculous amount of detail and This wasn't really a satisfying read for me. When it came to Leonardo's life and genius and the Renaissance, it didn't give me as much detail as I would have liked, which frustrated me, as bald statements were made without sufficient evidence to back them up (and the evidence and argument would have been fascinating to read about). Then when it got to the 7 principles Gelb proposes to make us think like Leonardo, they seemed to have the opposite problem - a ridiculous amount of detail and prescription seemed to be expected of us- preceded by a self assessment of our strengths in each area which seemed doomed to failure because it was too vague to actually show why we may not be strong enough in each area. The ideas and exercises proposed to strengthen us seemed to me to be onerous in the extreme, and impractical and time consuming (not to mention deadly boring in the minutiae involved).
Obviously a well received book on the market, and reasonably popular in Goodreads too, so I hesitate to condemn it, but it wasn't for me. ...more
4

Aug 15, 2017

Some interesting history about da Vinci, which I enjoyed.

Mixed with the author's suggested exercises for accessing those parts of our intelligence, which I didn't enjoy nearly as much. They were fine ideas, but I wanted to hear more da Vinci specifics.

Perhaps I'd have enjoyed more if I'd known better what to expect.

Audio book reader did an excellent job.
2

Feb 16, 2009

A lot of interesting ideas and exercises to build creativity, lateral thinking, and a balanced lifestyle, but really most of the time abusing the DaVinci metaphor to hawk the standard late 90's New Age yuppie fare and make it seem authentic, ancient and proven by giving it a fancy parchment wrapping. In that sense, not unlike noepaganism, but with a Renaissance theme. Gelb's parroting of many common falsehoods about the Middle Ages turned me off early in the introduction.
1

Jan 28, 2010

This book was an utter disappointment. The author seemed blinded by his love of Leonardo da Vinci and it impaired him from actually writing a decent book.
Gelb took principles that could be associated with Leonardo da Vinci, briefly listed common self-help tips under the appropriate categories and dropped da Vinci's name often, as if that made the ideas original. It felt like he was using a celebrity to sell a product.
At the end of the book, there's a bonus: A Beginner's Da Vinci Drawing Course. This book was an utter disappointment. The author seemed blinded by his love of Leonardo da Vinci and it impaired him from actually writing a decent book.
Gelb took principles that could be associated with Leonardo da Vinci, briefly listed common self-help tips under the appropriate categories and dropped da Vinci's name often, as if that made the ideas original. It felt like he was using a celebrity to sell a product.
At the end of the book, there's a bonus: A Beginner's Da Vinci Drawing Course. It was cute. Aside from the constant reminder and pictures that ensured da Vinci himself did indeed draw, half of the exercises seemed put in place simply to induce the illusion of productivity. ...more
1

Jan 05, 2009

I can't believe a school would require a grad student to read this book.

I skipped part 1 and went to part 2 to get to the meat of the book.
After reading 5 chapters I found there wasn't any.

This might be a good book for 5th graders,
or people who are mentally challenged,
but please, adults should be at a higher level than this.

Just page after page of simplistic advice to learn from your mistakes and make word lists... blahhh

5

Jun 18, 2013

Everyone has a little genius in them, this book is for the care and feeding of that genius with seven principles set out by Leonardo da Vinci. I read this years ago, and I loved it. It made me look at my creative self from a different point of view. I enjoyed the exercises in the book -- especially "Mind Mapping." It did not make me into a genius, but it did help to heighten my awareness of every day experiences. I very much enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone wanting to open themselves Everyone has a little genius in them, this book is for the care and feeding of that genius with seven principles set out by Leonardo da Vinci. I read this years ago, and I loved it. It made me look at my creative self from a different point of view. I enjoyed the exercises in the book -- especially "Mind Mapping." It did not make me into a genius, but it did help to heighten my awareness of every day experiences. I very much enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone wanting to open themselves to a more creative life. ...more
5

Aug 05, 2017

Highly inspirational book, especially for those with numerous interests and incessant curiosity.
Looking for simplicity and minimalism in everything I have found a wonderful way to explore myself and be more creative in everyday life.
4

Feb 03, 2010

I read this when I was on a business trip and had the time to do a lot of the exercises in my hotel room. I got a real kick out of it. Leonardo was a life hacker before we had a word for it. Now that I'm thinking about it, I need to go pull it back off the book shelf.
1

Apr 15, 2012

I've moved this book to my discarded-unfinished shelf. While the review was incredibly simple, in part due to my hundreds of books like this that I've read, but in all honesty, I didn't complete reading the book.

How to think like Leonardi Da Vinci:

The book begins by explaining a bit about the 7 intelligences which I was previously aware of from taking an excellent How to study course. Mr. Gelb offers these concepts of intelligence in Italian... just my thing... I want to learn new languages I've moved this book to my discarded-unfinished shelf. While the review was incredibly simple, in part due to my hundreds of books like this that I've read, but in all honesty, I didn't complete reading the book.

How to think like Leonardi Da Vinci:

The book begins by explaining a bit about the 7 intelligences which I was previously aware of from taking an excellent “How to study” course. Mr. Gelb offers these concepts of intelligence in Italian... just my thing... I want to learn new languages while trying to learn something quite different from this book. Sarcasm, sorry. Somewhere in the vast database that is my mind is the biography of Leonardi Da Vinci, obtained who knows how, be it book, film, or college course. Much of the book, in bits and pieces, are naturally rather evident to me from this previous knowledge of Da Vinci's biography. However, one thing that did spark my “Wow, I didn't know that” amusement was the info about Machiavelli, The Borgia pope, and Da Vinci's inter-relationships during the book's biography section. Too bad it isn't a history book.

In fairness however, the author does start the book telling us that much will be familiar to us because many of the ideas included in the book are common sense. I'm not sure he actually visits common sense, more like he offers you exercises that you might develop common sense. Since most folks have common sense the exercises and book are a bit redundant.

The self help writings begin by pointing out that Leonardi was infinitely curious and suggests our own curiosity is a good start in thinking like Da Vinci. Fair enough.

From here Gelb ventures into exercises and questions unending. I suspect if you do as suggested all along the way that you are led you will become very busy if not more like Da Vinci.

At parts I suspect Gelb is getting a bit pretentious. Without knowing, I'm thinking he sits in some nook deep in New York near dozens of museums, galleries, and concert halls taking in all that is offered and making up a nice personal experience with all he takes in, more for self than anything else. I think there is a real difference with the real Da Vinci who was always striving to be more useful to others. If, and, or when Da Vinci likely partook of any or all of these same type exercises I suspect it was always with a higher purpose in mind.

I can't really be kind with the rest of this book so I'll settle with this: It is a self help book that really is a set of exercises unending and diary keeping. If you want to be guided grueling inch by inch into your inner being. If your desire was actually some kind of self help (thinking better) this really isn't a total waste if everything were applied. Have a look at this book. My suspicion would be that you may think something like Da Vinci but you probably won't have his inexhaustible desire to be helpful to others in the end.
...more
5

May 13, 2010

With the wealth of information and principles for action presented by Michael Gelb in this book one wonders where to start? It provides an "inspirational" approach to improving your mind and your life. I have always been fascinated by fictional superheroes and I also enjoy reading about the lives of geniuses of the past in all fields of endeavor. This book uses a close study of the life and achievements of Leonardo da Vinci to identify principles that each of us can apply in our life to improve With the wealth of information and principles for action presented by Michael Gelb in this book one wonders where to start? It provides an "inspirational" approach to improving your mind and your life. I have always been fascinated by fictional superheroes and I also enjoy reading about the lives of geniuses of the past in all fields of endeavor. This book uses a close study of the life and achievements of Leonardo da Vinci to identify principles that each of us can apply in our life to improve and reach a level of genius beyond that we might have thought possible.
The book is divided into three parts: Part One includes a concise biography and list of Leonardo's accomplishments; while Part Two focuses on the "Seven Da Vincian Principles" that include curiosity, a focus on the senses, use of ambiguity and development of whole-brain thinking. While the principles are not unique to Leonardo, this presentation is particularly effective and helpful. Part Three discusses the art of drawing and perspective which is at the heart of Leonardo's art. The inclusion of a chronology of Leonardo's life, which spanned the last half of the fifteenth century into the first decades of the sixteenth, and a topical bibliography of recommended reading increases the value of this truly inspirational book. ...more
5

Jul 11, 2015

Everyday we come across air, water, birds, flowers, planes, etc., but we hardly think about their artistic subtleties. Centuries ago, a maestro, was able to link all these subtle dots with his marvelous thinking style. His interest in everything was equaled by his spontaneous originality in response to everything that interested him. Unfortunately Leonardo Da Vinci could be the most underrated person in history.
In this book, Michael Gleb unveils that thinking style and also stimulates us to Everyday we come across air, water, birds, flowers, planes, etc., but we hardly think about their artistic subtleties. Centuries ago, a maestro, was able to link all these subtle dots with his marvelous thinking style. His interest in everything was equaled by his spontaneous originality in response to everything that interested him. Unfortunately Leonardo Da Vinci could be the most underrated person in history.
In this book, Michael Gleb unveils that thinking style and also stimulates us to do so. After reading this book, you get different perspectives for life. After all freedom to think is human legacy. 'Think like Da Vinci' is one of the best self-help book i have ever read and i strongly recommend this book... :) ...more
5

Mar 29, 2012

A lovely book which gives an insight into the mind of one of the greatest geniuses that ever lived. The seven steps are described brilliantly and many exercises are given on how to improve each aspect.

A great thing this book teaches is to always keep a journal to jot down any ideas that you come up with before you forget them!

A valuable book for anyone interested in self-growth and learning.
5

Jul 22, 2019

Okay, this isn't so much about history as about being a Da Vinci fan and self-help and self-motivation. Which does work for me, as long as a keep in mind that it's not historically accurate.

Q:
But the reasons for his influence are easier to understand, and were perhaps best summed up by the art critic Bernard Berenson when he said of Leonardo: Everything he touched turned to eternal beauty. (c) Okay, this isn't so much about history as about being a Da Vinci fan and self-help and self-motivation. Which does work for me, as long as a keep in mind that it's not historically accurate.

Q:
But the reasons for his influence are easier to understand, and were perhaps best summed up by the art critic Bernard Berenson when he said of Leonardo: “Everything he touched turned to eternal beauty.” (c) ...more
4

Jun 10, 2013

THINK LIKE DA VINCI

A simple yet a bit complicated is this book. In the book THINK LIKE DA VINCI Michael J. Gelb promises to take you through 7 Easy Steps to Boosting Your Everyday Genius. The steps are not that simple for an average man like me. They seem really obvious once you read them. I do believe that practicing them is definite to have great impact in your life.

This book gets a RECOMMENDED READING tag from me. Though we could have liked to have better quality and colour pictures.

Credited THINK LIKE DA VINCI

A simple yet a bit complicated is this book. In the book ‘THINK LIKE DA VINCI’ Michael J. Gelb promises to take you through 7 Easy Steps to Boosting Your Everyday Genius. The steps are not that simple for an average man like me. They seem really obvious once you read them. I do believe that practicing them is definite to have great impact in your life.

This book gets a RECOMMENDED READING tag from me. Though we could have liked to have better quality and colour pictures.

Credited as one of the top thinker and genius of the world documented history, ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ is no stranger to us. We all have read about him in school and in various books, heard being talked about in various seminars and seen documentaries on his work.

Michael Gelb has a simple proposition. Model yourself on the way the Genius DA VINCI used to think and sure you would start thinking like him. God if that was so simple. Reading is one thing. Debating and discussing another. It’s practicing and making them a habit where most of us fail and will continue to fail. I recommend reading- as if you would even take a bit of the advice and gain a bit of the process- reading the book will be worth it.


more at http://creative.sulekha.com/think-lik... ...more
3

Mar 04, 2009

I found this author through a free itunes podcast. It was an easy read, and I did so in several hours. Gelb's writing and podcast are eloquent, concise, and interesting. His message is also achievable and believable - well mostly - which unlike some of the folks whom are in the motivational/self help book/speaking business. Many are egotistical and so far out in left field that it is diffiuclt and illogical to relate to them.
His message is that we can look to da Vinci and his amazing gifts for I found this author through a free itunes podcast. It was an easy read, and I did so in several hours. Gelb's writing and podcast are eloquent, concise, and interesting. His message is also achievable and believable - well mostly - which unlike some of the folks whom are in the motivational/self help book/speaking business. Many are egotistical and so far out in left field that it is diffiuclt and illogical to relate to them.
His message is that we can look to da Vinci and his amazing gifts for ways to increase our creativity and intelligence and he gives us some direct ways. One is a method that he uses everyday. It is - from my memory - sort of a written/drawn diagram where one uses free flowing thoughts to elaborate on a subject. It can be collective or individual, where everyone in a group or family can add thier thoughts. This is not new, however, I believe he expands on his method in another book.
I recommend this to anyone whom is interested in the creative process, da Vinci, or self growth whether in business or personally. ...more
4

Feb 25, 2010

Leonardo started a lot of projects that he never finished -- but the ones he did finish are amazing. The author, after examining Leo's life, saw that there were seven habits or characteristics that seemed to guide da Vinci and make him the Renaissance man that he was. The purpose of this book is not to make us feel inadequate by comparing ourselves to the Maestro, but to give us a path to follow, so that we may emulate him in our lives as much as possible.

The one drawback that our bookclub sees: Leonardo started a lot of projects that he never finished -- but the ones he did finish are amazing. The author, after examining Leo's life, saw that there were seven habits or characteristics that seemed to guide da Vinci and make him the Renaissance man that he was. The purpose of this book is not to make us feel inadequate by comparing ourselves to the Maestro, but to give us a path to follow, so that we may emulate him in our lives as much as possible.

The one drawback that our bookclub sees: we don't have wealthy patrons putting us up and giving us free rein to explore what we want.

by reading this book I have discovered that I have a lot to improve on, but also that I've already been living according to some da Vincian principles. Yay me!
...more
5

Mar 11, 2020

Im thinking this is likely one of the most important personal development books Ive ever read, because it invites the reader to the heart of human functioning: self-defining and self-regulating. As a marriage & family therapist, Im reminded daily that we are all very influenceable. Its easy for us to lose track of ourselves and who we want to be when we are in close proximity with others. Its easy for us to find ourselves being and doing what we intuit OTHERS want us to be & do, as I’m thinking this is likely one of the most important personal development books I’ve ever read, because it invites the reader to the heart of human functioning: self-defining and self-regulating. As a marriage & family therapist, I’m reminded daily that we are all very influenceable. It’s easy for us to lose track of ourselves and who we want to be when we are in close proximity with others. It’s easy for us to find ourselves being and doing what we intuit OTHERS want us to be & do, as distinct from being and doing who WE want us to be. In family systems, Self can lose track of Self in the face of Other. This book does an amazing job of providing questions and exercises to invite us to differentiate Self from Other. ...more
3

Oct 06, 2019

Wow. Somebody really, really, REALLY likes Leo da Vinci. On the bright side, this book resembled a blog post turned into a book early on. But it absolutely is not. It has much more detail. And it goes on and on and on and on....

I did get some things out of it. It's just that it's A LOT to take in. And highly doubt anyone is going to take everything mentioned in this book to heart. It's just.....too much. I mean, wow.

I do, however, admire Gelb's enthusiasm and commitment to da Vinci and his Wow. Somebody really, really, REALLY likes Leo da Vinci. On the bright side, this book resembled a blog post turned into a book early on. But it absolutely is not. It has much more detail. And it goes on and on and on and on....

I did get some things out of it. It's just that it's A LOT to take in. And highly doubt anyone is going to take everything mentioned in this book to heart. It's just.....too much. I mean, wow.

I do, however, admire Gelb's enthusiasm and commitment to da Vinci and his processes.

Interesting stuff. Enlightening. Actionable. It's just that you'd need a lifetime to do anything with it. The younger and greener you are when you read this, the better. ...more
1

Aug 26, 2018

Good premise, lots of useless fluff, not much good content.

You can get this same quality of content by just going to reddit and searching in r/iwtl "IWTL how to be smarter" or reading a summary of it online.
4

Nov 28, 2018

An excellent book that uses valuable lessons from Da Vinci's life and works into a self-help manual. Learned many new facets of the great man's life and at the same time found many useful tools to apply to everyday life. Highly recommend to anybody - be it a professional or a layperson looking to get ore out of life.
3

Jun 03, 2019

More self help-y than I was expecting. I could only use about 20% of his tips. There wasn't as much about Da Vinci as I thought there would be. But there was still some pretty useful things in there.
3

Mar 09, 2009

Wow, that was SOMETHING!!
That was one of most interesting books I've ever read!! It's exactly the kind of books that engages you in an endless tough thinking session if you knew how to make the most of it. Simply, a brilliant book written by, about and for brilliant people.

How to think like Leonardo da vinci, is an excellent self-improvement book helps you to find and capitalize your unique creative potentials. The author uses a perfect example to boost his readers' eagerness and interests to Wow, that was SOMETHING!!
That was one of most interesting books I've ever read!! It's exactly the kind of books that engages you in an endless tough thinking session if you knew how to make the most of it. Simply, a brilliant book written by, about and for brilliant people.

How to think like Leonardo da vinci, is an excellent self-improvement book helps you to find and capitalize your unique creative potentials. The author uses a perfect example to boost his readers' eagerness and interests to discover what they once believed it never exists. The inspirational example here is Leonardo da vinci. A little tiny annoying question must be knocking on your head door right now… why specifically Leonardo?? Like any other renaissance man, Leonardo excelled in various fields. Nonetheless, he stood out in almost ALL the fields. His genius penetrated areas like; logical, mathematical, verbal, linguistic, spatial, mechanical, musical, interpersonal and social fields. And the list goes on.

The author begins with a brief look into Leonard's life and his main achievements in the first part of the book. Then he introduces the seven principles that contributed to da vinic's genius; Curiosita, Dimostrazione, Sensazione, Sfumato, Arte/Scienza, Corporalita and Connessione. Each one of these seven principles is discussed separately in a complete chapter; How da vinci perceived this principle, how it affected his mindset and how you and I can benefit from and practice such a principle plus a self-assessment quiz.

Since brilliance sweeps me away, I found most of the principles discussed are extremely interesting, the ones that focus on engaging the mind in more serious thinking and observations and improving the whole-brain thinking system. However, my interest had gone with the wind when some of the principles turn to discuss concepts like living the divine within and spirituality-related issues!! And that's in fact why I didn't rate the book 5 outta 5. In addition to that, I couldn't get Sfumato. How come embracing ambiguity and paradox can sharpen your thinking and life experience or whatever!! It didn't make sense to me.

Anyway, despite all the notions I didn't like, I still recommend reading the book. In a way or another, you'll benefit A LOT!

...more
4

Apr 26, 2013

This was an interesting book. I picked it up after a college professor recommended it to me. I have a similar style to DaVinci, in that I enjoy a wide variety of pursuits that are both right and left brained. Obviously I'm no DaVinci, but he is a mentor that I could follow. The author obviously loves DaVinci as well, the book is swelling with praise for him.

The advice is good, and broken up into small sections that are easy to folllow. Its not really a book you would read like other ones This was an interesting book. I picked it up after a college professor recommended it to me. I have a similar style to DaVinci, in that I enjoy a wide variety of pursuits that are both right and left brained. Obviously I'm no DaVinci, but he is a mentor that I could follow. The author obviously loves DaVinci as well, the book is swelling with praise for him.

The advice is good, and broken up into small sections that are easy to folllow. Its not really a book you would read like other ones though. Progressing straight through the book won't take a very long time if you don't stop to think about what you are reading, and give yourself time to test out the ideas for yourself. Since the purpose of the book is enlightnement, its not something you read with the goal of getting to the end. You learn as you go. I read to quickly. The backlog of books that I am hoping to read didn't allow me to fully pause, and consider each idea being presented. So I would like to come back to it at some point, because there were some really good ideas in there. ...more

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