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

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  2,380 ratings  ·  242 reviews
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 ill
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Published April 4th 2006 by Random House Audio (first published August 17th 1998)
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Mark Fallon
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 - an
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Jennifer
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 prescr ...more
Teri Temme
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/Scienz
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Mark
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.
Clay Mabbitt
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.
Norm Davis
Apr 13, 2015 Norm Davis rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pretentious New England socialites with too much time on their hands.
Recommended to Norm by: 63
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
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Rachael
I recently took a first pass through this book (saving the exercises for a later date). Already it taught me how to look at things differently. It encouraged me to really see and think and feel the experiences I have every day. I struggle with wanting control and wanting answers: This book made me realize that it's OK to have more questions than answers, that it's OK to relinquish control and let things happen as they may. Not only does the author offer ways to implement Da Vinci principles in o ...more
Joshua
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.
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Susan Branch
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 ...more
Tareq Ghanem
لونارد دافيتشي عبقرية فذه في تاريخ البشرية، وهو الصفحة اﻷولي في تأرخ عصر النهضة، أختاره توني بوزان اشهر عالم للمخ واﻷعصاب والتنميه البشريه ليكون اعظم شخصيه عبقرية استطاعت ان توظف ملكات اﻷنسان العقلية ﻷعلي مستوايتها، هذا الكتاب ليس سيرة ذاتيه ليوناردو دافيتشي ولكنه سيره ذهنيه عقليه لهذا العبقري بحث خلالها ميكل جلب الاليات الذهنيه ال تي أستخدامها ليوناردو حتي استطاع ان يرسم لوحات خالدة ويخترع اختراعات مبتكرة ومتعددة لم يتم تنفيذها الا بعد مئات السنين، وأستطاع ان يتوصل ﻷستنتاجات سبقت كل علماء عصره ...more
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
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 w
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Anoud
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 d
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Sanjeev Kotnala
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.

Credit
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Gary Braham
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
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James
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 ...more
Anthony Roberts
I first purchased this book in 1999 while on a trip to San Francisco. Now, every year around my birthday, I re-read it cover to cover always gaining new insights.

So many books today are determined to tell you what or how to think, few deal with the approach to thinking.

Mr. Gelb's love for DaVinci and the belief that everyone can improve their mind using Leonardo as a model makes for a book that I recommend enthusiastically.
Ann
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:
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David
OK, who wouldn't want to learn how to think like da Vinci?

While the title seemed a bit preposterous, I thought I'd give it whirl - especially since I noticed it on one of my friend's reading list.

As it turns out, this book falls more into the self-help realm - which I wasn't looking for. That said, creating a bridge between da Vinci and "how to live a happier life" works.

It's also pretty easy for folks like myself in the creative services world to find some professional guidance too.

The book bas
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Karen
I picked up this guide to being more creative because some friends were planning to work through it this summer. I did one exercise from the first set (and I didn't follow the rules—I'm already that creative, see?) and read through the whole book and am not that excited about doing more. Naming the seven principles in Italian felt forced and I often couldn't keep myself from saying them in my head in a cartoony accent, and some of the exercises seemed quite tedious with no particular point to th ...more
Rebekah Sheppard
Best as an executive summary, way too many weeds and seeds especially in the last half of the book.

Within each section there are questions to contemplate to stimulate these aspects in your life. One such questions-box that stood out was in the curiosita section as it directs one's mission and purpose in life and brings the seven principles to a greater whole:

Ten power questions:
When am I most naturally myself; what people, places & activities allow me to feel most fully myself?
What is one
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Air Knight
The book, like every self help best seller sells an ambitious goal. Emulate what made Leonardo Da Vinci so great and become a new renaissance man. It does so by throwing a biography and facts about Da Vinci's achievements, recalling why is he considered one of the greatest men to ever live and identifying seven steps or principles in Leonardo's unique style: Acquiring curiosity to learn, learning through experience, training the five senses, embracing the unknowns and paradoxes of life, Reaching ...more
Abhishek
Everyone has an idol, a person whom he envisages to be like one day. If at any point you have seen Leonardo Da Vinci as a potential candidate for your idol, you might wanna read this book.

First off, this is not a normal non-fiction, which contains the stories. It is more of like a workbook, which contains the actual actionable pointers. Which is the USP of this book. If followed properly, it has the ability to realize larger chunk of benefits out of your mind & body.

The author, has clearly
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Karima
I swore off reading self-improvement books years ago and much of this book reminded me of why. (i.e.: too many acronyms)
HOWEVER, I did feel encouraged by the author's outlook and suggestions. Though mainly written for the corporate world, many usable techniques for daily living enhancement (the most basic of which include memory sharpening, a need of mine.)
Can't help liking a guy who encourages one to look at live with reverence and sensuality.
James
Jan 05, 2009 James rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children
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

Schill Beth
Although I didn't do any of the journaling or other exercises, I did find the book intriguing. I liked the first part that spoke to the history of da Vinci. I didn't know much about his early life and I was surprised by some of his inventions. I loved that he had unfinished work at the end of his life. The sign of a true genius at work! The seven principles truly were da Vincian and inspiring.
Colleen Wainwright
Lots of good stuff packed in here, and a great, glancing overview of one of Western civ's prominent geniuses. A little catchy-clever around the edges for me, and a little heavy on the prescriptives (which is weird, since dude created a workbook version after this. I don't know what else there'd be to add, exercises-wise. I found the ones in there fatiguing, rather than intriguing or inspiring.)
Amr Ezzat
I tried my best to get the most out of this book and my feedback is mostly positive. personally I see that anything related to Leonardo is somehow connected to ambiguity, and that is what makes it attractive.

The "sensazione" part was important because it reminded me of how a person chooses to improve anything he is working on by simply continuing to refine his own senses so that awareness could increase and subsequently enrich the experience he is having.

The "Arte/Scienza" balance was also quite
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Allison
Some parts of this were helpful/inspiring, but for the most part, it was just another run of the mill self-help book. I'm pretty sure that Leonardo da Vinci didn't spend time contemplating how his toes felt in carpets or making mental maps.
Paul
May 05, 2012 Paul is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
A well written " Users Guide " to improving your cognitive powers. The Author discusses techniques for remodeling cognitive outlook. He provides suggestions for ways to expand your view on life and the world.
Hsn Seven
If I want to be someone in this world, Absolutely LEONARDO DA VINCI , working as he used to work makes you more and more creative and takes you to human perfection.
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Michael J. Gelb, is the world’s leading authority on the application of genius thinking to personal and organizational development. He is a pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, accelerated learning, and innovative leadership. Gelb leads seminars for organizations such as DuPont, Merck, Microsoft, Nike, Raytheon and YPO. He brings more than 30 years of experience as a professional speaker, s ...more
More about Michael J. Gelb...
The How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci Workbook: Your Personal Companion to How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci Discover Your Genius: How to Think Like History's Ten Most Revolutionary Minds Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age Da Vinci Decoded: Discovering the Spiritual Secrets of Leonardo's Seven Principles

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“The Seven Da Vincian Principles are: Curiosità—An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning. Dimostrazione—A commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. Sensazione—The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to enliven experience. Sfumato (literally “Going up in Smoke”)—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. Corporalità—The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness, and poise. Connessione—A recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things and phenomena. Systems thinking.” 3 likes
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