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How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day [Paperback]

Michael J. Gelb
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Mar 2000
Genius is made, not born. And human beings are gifted with an almost unlimited potential for learning and creativity. Now you can uncover your own hidden abilities, sharpen your senses, and liberate your unique intelligence—by following the example of the greatest genius of all time, Leonardo da Vinci.

Acclaimed author Michael J. Gelb, who has helped thousands of people expand their minds to accomplish more than they ever thought possible, shows you how. Drawing on Da Vinci's notebooks, inventions, and legendary works of art, Gelb introduces Seven Da Vincian Principles—the essential elements of genius—from curiosità, the insatiably curious approach to life to connessione, the appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things. With Da Vinci as your inspiration, you will discover an exhilarating new way of thinking. And step-by-step, through exercises and provocative lessons, you will harness the power—and awesome wonder—of your own genius, mastering such life-changing abilities as:

•Problem solving
•Creative thinking
•Enjoying the world around you
•Goal setting and life balance
•Harmonizing body and mind

Drawing on Da Vinci's notebooks, inventions, and legendary works of art, acclaimed author Michael J. Gelb, introduces seven Da Vincian principles, the essential elements of genius, from curiosita, the insatiably curious approach to life, to connessione, the appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things. With Da Vinci as their inspiration, readers will discover an exhilarating new way of thinking.

Step-by-step, through exercises and provocative lessons, anyone can harness the power and awesome wonder of their own genius, mastering such life-changing skills as problem solving, creative thinking, self-expression, goal setting and life balance, and harmonizing body and mind.

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dell Publishing Company; Reissue edition (1 Mar 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440508274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440508274
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 17.5 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

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 programme recommended for "anyone who wants to experience a personal and professional renaissance". --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Painter, sculptor, scientist, architect and visionary – Leonardo Da Vinci's genius knew no bounds. From creating masterpieces such as the 'Mona Lisa' to carrying out pioneering work in comparative anatomy, aviation design, modern botanical science, optics and mechanics, Leonardo Da Vinci was the ultimate Renaissance man. What was his secret?

According to accelerated learning expert Michael Gelb, the essence of Da Vinci's genius was his continuous quest for learning and his ability to learn from mistakes. In keeping with the Renaissance spirit, Da Vinci challenged fundamental assumptions and preconceptions and tested his beliefs with experience. It is that spirit which will inspire you to read his book.

In this truly inspiring handbook, Da Vinci's life and work serve as a practical guide on how we can achieve our full potential. In examining the seven essential aspects of Da Vinci's thought process, Michael Gelb shows us how to develop the same traits of whole brain thinking, creative problem solving and continuous learning. By developing our own insatiable quest for information and experience, we can learn to enhance our aptitude in every area of our lives. Numerous exercises, anecdotes and more than 45 illustrations help readers to master these techniques and create personal and professional renaissance of their very own.

Michael Gelb is an internationally acclaimed leader in the fields of creative thinking and accelerated learning. His company High Performance Learning conducts seminars for numerous blue-chip companies as well as many small businesses. He is the author of 'Thinking for a Change, Mind Mapping, Samurai Chess' and 'Body Learning' and is co-author with Tony Buzan of 'Lessons from the Art of Juggling'.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
This book is very hard for me to grade. It contains some of the best and worst material I have ever seen, all in the same book. That combination is unprecedented in my experience.
If the book were solely built around the exercises, I would say that it deserved more than five stars.
If the book were soley built around the analysis and history of Leonardo da Vinci as a thinker, I would grade it at two stars.
The exercises are so terrific that I urge you to read the book. I also urge you to see the text leading up to the exercises as merely an introduction to the excercises.
If you want to learn about Leonardo da Vinci as a thinker, I suggest you go elsewhere for that guidance. I do encourage you read the Leonardo notebooks directly. They are fascinating. While you are doing so, try to imagine yourself with the limited scientific knowledge of the day. One of the things that you will learn is the power of conceptualizing what is needed that is missing. This helps to set the goal that energizes those who then meet the goal. Leonardo had enormous influence in this way with his pioneering work on helicopters, submarines, parachutes, and many mechanical devices.
Research on creativity and innovation has shown that it is valuable to increase one's curiosity, testing of ideas, observation skills, openness to new ideas and ambiguity, whole-brained thinking, balance in life activities, and seeing systems connections. This book espouses those concepts as well. In fact, it felt to me like the author was more influenced by the creativity and innovation literature than by Leonardo. If the book had drawn on more of this kind of research, rather than just trying to oversimpify Leonardo da Vinci, it would have been a better book.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
One of those books which you start reading, and then wish you were somewhere you could experiment..It brings you ideas on how to expand your creative thinking, ways to experience new sensations in food, art, and life, and all with some fascinating facts about one of the worlds most famous inventors (and artists of course). Did you know that he was the first inventor of the helicopter? He spent his life asking questions (one of his techniques for mind expansion), and Michael Gelb captures the essence of the man and his mind in this easy to read and understand book. If you want an unusual gift for a special friend (you can experiment together), I guarantee you and they will not be disappointed.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
A book that deserves a special place in our journey in discovering and living our potential. Great on facts, extremely well presented...it leaves the readers with a feeling that creativity is a birthright...and that being so is a matter of us living life in a certain way...which the book details. The exercises at the end, esp for a beginner learning to draw, are also unique.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fun and stimulating 12 Oct 2002
I can never resist buying self-help books, but I'm usually disappointed with the results. In other words, after reading several self-help books I'm still the same mundane person I always was. However, "How to think like Leonardo da Vinci" really has made a difference in my life. It has opened my eyes to a whole new exciting world of music, nature, art....I could go and on.
Written in a friendly, easily accessible style, which is never patronizing, "How to think like LDV" will have you really listening to music; juggling in the morning; devising your own motto and just getting more fun out of life in no time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal! 28 Aug 2003
Michael Gelb gets you to challenge your way of thinking and open your mind to bringing creativity into every aspect of your life. Exciting and exploritory exercises move your forward into using parts of the brain you didn't even know you had. An absolute MUST for anyone serious about living more creatively.
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