How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: 7 Steps to Genius Every Day - by Michael J. Gelb

my notes:

When you are painting you should take a flat mirror and often look at your work within it, and it will then be seen in reverse, and will appear to be by the hand of some other master, and you will be better able to judge of its faults than in any other way.

To remain constantly at work will cause you to lose the power of judgement.

During strolls, LDV encountered merchants selling caged birds. He would pay the requisite price then open the door of the cage, releasing the prisoners to the endless blue sky.

Make a list of 100 questions that are important to you.
Do the whole list in one sitting.
Read through and highlight themes
Pick 10 that seem significant and rank them in importance.

Shift the initial emphasis away from focusing on ‘the right answer’ and toward asking ‘is this the right question?’

The inventor of the pull-tab for the aluminum can was inspired by asking ‘what, in nature, opens easily?’ A picture of a banana popped into his mind.

Consider any product or service you might offer and ask, what if I : shrunk it, enlarged it, made it lighter or heavier, changed its shape, reversed it, tightened or loosened it, added or subtracted something from it, interchanged parts, stayed open 24 hours a day, guaranteed it, changed its name, made it recyclable, stronger, weaker, softer, harder, portable, immovable, doubled the price, or paid customers to take it?

Ask someone important: what are my weaknesses, blind spots and areas for improvement? What are my strengths and best qualities? What can I do to be more effective, helpful or sensitive?

“No-one should imitate the manner of another, for he would then deserve to be called a grandson of nature, not her son.”

“Experience never errs.” “Every Obstacle is destroyed through rigor.”

How did I form this idea? How firmly do I believe it? Why do I maintain it? What would make me change my belief? Which of my beliefs inspire the strongest emotions?

Try making the strongest possible argument against your belief.

When you tell yourself how you feel, not just how you are, you are more likely to feel what you say.

Accurate feedback grounds your child in reality and communicates your respect for his ability to learn.

Know who your Anti-Role Models are.

“the eye encompasses the beauty of the whole world.”

“Music may be called the sister of painting, for she is dependent upon hearing, the sense which comes second…painting excels and ranks higher than music, because it does not fade away as soon as it is born.”

Fine wine is art you can drink.

When he spotted a deformed or freakish character on the street, LDV would often spend the entire day following that person to record the details. On occasion he held a dinner party for the most grotesque-looking people in town. Re regaled them with joke after joke until their features became evermore contorted through the effect of laughter. Then when the party ended, he stayed up all night sketching their faces.

The knot was LDV’s playful expression of the paradox and mystery that emerged as his knowledge deepened.

Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 on your tolerance for ambiguity. What behaviors Ould you change to move up one point on the scale?

Neuroscientists estimate that your unconscious database outweighs the conscious on an order exceeding ten million to one. A part of you is much smarter than you are.

For LDV, art and science were indivisible.

“Be sure to know the structure of all you wish to depict.”

Outlining uses only half your mind, and half a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Branching doodles and keywords for note-taking.

Sketch your whole body.
Color in red the places you fell most tension and stress.
Use black for areas your energy seems blocked.
Color green the areas that fell most alive.

LDV was renowned for his effortless, upright poise and grace. The citizens of Florence turned out in numbers just to watch him walk down the street.

You may discover that writing with your non dominant hand will offer you a different way of thinking about things, a way that helps you access your intuition.

The secret of creativity is combining and connecting disparate elements to form new patterns.

“everything comes from everything, is made out of everything, and returns into everything.”

The word HEALTH comes from the Old English word hāl, meaning ‘whole.’