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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

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  4,575 ratings  ·  412 reviews
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 exp
Paperback, 321 pages
Published February 8th 2000 by Dell (first published 1998)
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Teri Temme
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Mark Fallon
Sep 05, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
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.
da AL
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some interesting history about da Vinci, which I enjoyed.

Mixed with the author's suggested exercises for accessing those parts of our intelligence, which I didn't enjoy nearly as much. They were fine ideas, but I wanted to hear more da Vinci specifics.

Perhaps I'd have enjoyed more if I'd known better what to expect.

Audio book reader did an excellent job.
Jan 28, 2010 rated it did not like it
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.
Jan 05, 2009 rated it did not like it
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

May 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
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
Susan Branch
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Clay Mabbitt
Feb 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Elena Semenchuk
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly inspirational book, especially for those with numerous interests and incessant curiosity.
Looking for simplicity and minimalism in everything I have found a wonderful way to explore myself and be more creative in everyday life.
Norm Davis
Apr 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Akash Venkatachalam
Everyday we come across air, water, birds, flowers, planes, etc., but we hardly think about their artistic subtleties. Centuries ago, a maestro, was able to link all these subtle dots with his marvelous thinking style. His interest in everything was equaled by his spontaneous originality in response to everything that interested him. Unfortunately Leonardo Da Vinci could be the most underrated person in history.
In this book, Michael Gleb unveils that thinking style and also stimulates us to d
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
A lovely book which gives an insight into the mind of one of the greatest geniuses that ever lived. The seven steps are described brilliantly and many exercises are given on how to improve each aspect.

A great thing this book teaches is to always keep a journal to jot down any ideas that you come up with before you forget them!

A valuable book for anyone interested in self-growth and learning.
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Okay, this isn't so much about history as about being a Da Vinci fan and self-help and self-motivation. Which does work for me, as long as a keep in mind that it's not historically accurate.

But the reasons for his influence are easier to understand, and were perhaps best summed up by the art critic Bernard Berenson when he said of Leonardo: “Everything he touched turned to eternal beauty.” (c)
Sanjeev Kotnala
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it

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.

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
Feb 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lsu-book-club
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:
Ross Flynn
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m thinking this is likely one of the most important personal development books I’ve ever read, because it invites the reader to the heart of human functioning: self-defining and self-regulating. As a marriage & family therapist, I’m reminded daily that we are all very influenceable. It’s easy for us to lose track of ourselves and who we want to be when we are in close proximity with others. It’s easy for us to find ourselves being and doing what we intuit OTHERS want us to be & do, as distinct ...more
Brad Carl
Wow. Somebody really, really, REALLY likes Leo da Vinci. On the bright side, this book resembled a blog post turned into a book early on. But it absolutely is not. It has much more detail. And it goes on and on and on and on....

I did get some things out of it. It's just that it's A LOT to take in. And highly doubt anyone is going to take everything mentioned in this book to heart. It's just.....too much. I mean, wow.

I do, however, admire Gelb's enthusiasm and commitment to da Vinci and his proce
Gandalf Wizard15
Aug 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Good premise, lots of useless fluff, not much good content.

You can get this same quality of content by just going to reddit and searching in r/iwtl "IWTL how to be smarter" or reading a summary of it online.
Meriem  ismahane
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I Learnt a lot about the Genius Leonardo, a lot...

Dhanada Mishra
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent book that uses valuable lessons from Da Vinci's life and works into a self-help manual. Learned many new facets of the great man's life and at the same time found many useful tools to apply to everyday life. Highly recommend to anybody - be it a professional or a layperson looking to get ore out of life.
Jude Flurry
More self help-y than I was expecting. I could only use about 20% of his tips. There wasn't as much about Da Vinci as I thought there would be. But there was still some pretty useful things in there.
Mar 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Gary Braham
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci presents a simple framework for organizing thoughts. It is also a good mini-biography on its namesake and contains descriptions of how Da Vinci applied this framework in his life.

Where the book excels is in its detailed practicum on mind mapping. Unfortunately, there are six more steps that only seem highlighted and not delved into as thoroughly. Instead, we read about the author's own examples and preferences rather than independently developing our own.

The e
Nov 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: work-reads
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
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
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
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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, Roche and
YPO. He brings more than 35 years of experience as a professional speaker,
seminar le

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“يا أيتها الحتميات البديعة! ويا أيها الفعل الجبار ! أي عقل يستطيع أن يخترق طبيعتك ؟ وأي لغه قادرة على التعبير عن هذه الأعجوبة ؟لا شيء على الاطلاق ، منها يتحول الكلام البشري إلى تأمل للألوهية " ليوناردو حول أعجوبة العين البشرية ..” 14 likes
“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.” 13 likes
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