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How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day Paperback – Feb 8 2000

3.9 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reissue edition (Feb. 8 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440508274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440508274
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 898 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Paperback
Copied from page 8, the heart of the book is the Seven Da Vincian Principles drawn by the author, which are:-
1. Curisoita - An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.
2. Dimostrazione - A committment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes.
3. Sensazione - The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to experience.
4. Sfumato - A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.
5. Arte/Scienza - The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination. "Whole-brain" thinking.
6. Corporalita - The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness and poise.
7. Connessione - A recognition of and appreciation fro the interconnectedness of all things and phenomena. System thinking.
Familiar? Notwithstanding the brief introduction of da Vinci's life, abundant photos of his artpieces and sayings highlighted, this book is very similar to those in the sea of self help books with extensive use of mind maps and self assessment questions. For art lovers and with the "Da Vinci Code" storm, the Da Vinci label is for sure a plus. On the down side, I am afraid many self help book lovers and new quasi/psuedo Da Vinci fans may get disappointed by the remote and a little bit lukewarm Da Vinci substance the book carries, though the chapter "The Beginner's Da Vinci Drawing Course" is really unique.
So I give it a three star, that you can predetermine your love or hatred of it, which depends much on your experience with self help books and the temperature of your Da Vinci fever.
p.s.
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Format: Paperback
I used to think of Michael Gelb as a Tony Buzan lite. They are both fascinated by enhancing cognitive faculties every which way they can through such tools as mindmapping. It happens Buzan always was first.
My opinion changed with this book. Michael Gelb established himself as a coleader in the field of enhancing one's whole brain faculties. In this book, he touches on so many different perspectives and techniques to develop your thinking abilities that I have to think of him as a real innovator.
Woops, I forgot the maestro himself, Leonardo Da Vinci, did it all a half millenium ago.
This fact does not detract from the book or Michael Gelb at all. Michael Gelb's fascination with Leonardo's superior faculties in everything is really contagious. Did you know that Leonardo was a world class entertainer, cook, and musician. He played a number of musical instruments very proficiently. He was apparently quite the athlete as a younger man. Through Michael Gelb's description, Leonardo seemed rather unreal, at least compared to any contemporary human being. Nevertheless, Leonardo comes accross so vividly. Thus, from both a cultural and historical standpoint, this portrayal of Leonardo is very interesting.
Another interesting aspect of the book, is a well developed drawing course in the second half of the book. I did these exercises. They were fun to do, and I discovered I could draw reasonably well. This was a fun surprise. You probably will surprise yourself too, unless you know already that you are an excellent artist.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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