How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci by Michael Gelb is an inspirational guide about Da Vincian powers. This book captures attention because it reveals boundlessness of human potential. Critics compare this book with the experience of a professional and personal renaissance. Reading the preface, it becomes evident that Michael Gelb is impressed with Da Vinci's creativity and originality. How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci gives the exercises for self-development and self-realization of capabilities and gifts.
For Gelb as well as for the whole mankind, Leonardo Da Vinci remains a mysterious genius. "How can the scope and depth of Leonardo's genius be understood, and why does his influence seem to growing?", writes Michael Gelb (1998, 11). This rhetoric question proves that Leonardo Da Vinci remains a mysterious, extremely talented, genial, and legendary artist even at the present time. To my mind, he was a genius because he found the ways of revealing his talent and was concentrated on his development, learning, training, and finding something new.
Introduction of How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci is devoted to the personality of Da Vinci as genius, and Michael Gelb uses the theory of multiple intelligences in order to prove that it is characteristic for Da Vinci. "...even if nature gives them little or no help, may at least approach the supernatural works that participate in his divinity," remembers Michael Gelb Vasari's description of Leonardo (Gelb, 1998, 12). Gelb reveals principles of Da Vincian geniality such as curiosity; commitment to knowledge; refinement of senses; and balance between logic, imagination, science, and art. Besides, Leonardo Da Vinci was not afraid of experimenting and trying something new. His curiosity dominated under his laziness and fear that are the main restraining forces for any personality. It means that one should not accuse God and nature of the lack of talent and capabilities, but to reveal these capabilities through desire for knowledge.
From How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci, it is evident that Leonardo is an independent thinker who overcomes a sense of helplessness, fragmentation, and cynicism with the help of his curiosity and passion for knowledge. Da Vinci is a Renaissance hero that feels comfortable in art and science, balanced and well-rounded. "Renowned for his physical grace, beauty, and talents as a storyteller, humorist, conjurer, and musician...," writes Michael Gelb about Leonardo Da Vinci (1998,14). His life is intricate, full of adventures and difficulties, but these life issues make his personality more interesting and unforgettable.
Having read How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci, I revealed many interesting facts about Da Vinci. The most astonishing thing is that the more one reads about Leonardo Da Vinci, the more mysterious he remains. This book proves that Italian genius is an archetype of human potential and intelligence. To think like Leonardo Da Vinci means to believe in one's forces and develop potential in different branches from art to science.
His creativity, self-confidence, and curiosity are astonishing. The seven principles of "thinking like Leonardo" are the basement for self-development and self-education. Another interesting thing that I learnt from this book is the importance of being inspired. Every person has some gifts and capacities, but the problem is whether he/she reveals and develops them or these capabilities sleep in him/her forever.
A hundred questions is a good idea for development of potential and therefore, it is important to ask what one have done during a day and what one should do in the future. Top ten questions impressed me because they reveal the entity of life, well-being, happiness, and harmony of soul and heart with a reason.
Self-analysis, self-criticism, and discovering something new will be the results of questioning that will help to understand one's advantages and disadvantages. A hundred questions is a good exercises that will benefit not only intellectual health of the personality but also its psychological and moral well-being. From How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci, it is evident that one cannot be a genius when one do not live in the harmony with one's feelings, emotions, and desires.
With the help of hundred questions I would like to clarify whether the profession I have chosen is suitable for me, what is my top priority family or career, how I can become more patient and hard-working, what the purpose of my life is, what the secrets of my happiness are, and how I can benefit society. I think that I will have more than hundred questions as now my life is full of choices, satisfaction, and disappointments and therefore, I should define my top priorities.
My list of questions contains many themes: life, education, love, happiness, money, family, feelings, entertainment, leisure, meaning of life, philosophical meaning of well-being, and relationships. Composing the list of questions, I have understood that every new question becomes more philosophical and deeper. It was self-analysis, and it seemed that every further question was the answer to the previous one.
I determined that I had the problem with defining my life purpose. However, I understand that this problem cannot be solved immediately and thus, I want to try myself in writing and learning foreign language. I hope that I will fulfill these dreams this year.
In childhood, every person had a significant event that helped to shape the way she/he is today. It could be the cardinal changes in the family life, peculiarities of lifestyle, health problems, happy moments, etc.
Without doubt, people bear the imprint of these significant events since the childhood and always remember them as the most pleasant minutes of life. I noticed that between my parents, there was something more than marriage and children that unite them. There was more than even love between them, and I cannot understand the magic power of their attitude to each other. However, after making a list of questions, I revealed that I want a family similar to that in which I was brought up; I need love as it gives the meaning to learning, education, family, life, and relationships.
How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci, its questions and assignments helped me to understand that to achieve the goal of our life we should constantly acquire new knowledge and experience. Another important thing is that we should do what we enjoy, only then it will lead to success. Success demands a lot of efforts and people spare no efforts when they love what they do. Love, devotion to the work, and inspiration help to be completely absorbed in the work forgetting about fatigue and some unpleasant moments, which every profession has (Gelb, 2004,130).
Certainly, one should draw clear tasks and goals and overcome all obstacles. We should be those whom we want to be and choose the way to be free and independent. It is the first and the most important problem for the man to find out what kind of work to do and it is not surprising that during the whole life, people change their occupations.
I plan to use the information from How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci to become more intelligent, reasonable, creative, and responsible, improve my skills at art and literature, and achieve my life priorities. Leonardo Da Vinci is the example of success. His way to success resembles a thorny path, climbing the mountains, or wandering in dessert, and his great desire to achieve his life priorities was an oasis in the desert of disappointments, obstacles, and faults.