Tuesday, September 02, 2014

September's Book to Read

Don Kardux is back with another fascinating book report.  It makes me want to download this book immediately and spent the day reading it!

Here it is!

My good friend and one of my librarians, Kate S, recommended this wonderful book.

Michael Gelb has an interesting premise.

Amazon said it this way, “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.”

I won’t argue with the premise, but this book has opened some very interesting observations.

Part one sets the stage clarifying in 45 pages the “Dark Ages” through the “Renaissance” as well as anything I’ve read before.  He ends this part by revealing how Da Vinci was ahead of his time. Just the headings on page 45 shows how he predated the great thinkers of the world.

·         40 years before Copernicus
·         60 years before Galileo
·         200 years before Newton
·         400 years before Darwin

The meat of this book is in the remaining 264 pages.

Michael’s approach is to reveal Da Vinci’s ‘Seven principles of behavior’ and follows each with questions we can ask ourselves so that we might move closer to Da Vinci’s genius.

Here is his summary of the Seven Da Vincian Principles.

  • 1.     Curiosita-An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.

  • 2.   Dimostrazione- A commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes

  • 3.     Senazione- The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight,as the means to enliven experience.

  • 4.     Sfumato- (literally “Going Up In Smoke”)- 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 for the interconnectedness of all things and phenome.na. Systems thinking.

I often relate the quality of books I read to food. From ‘Cotton Candy” to “Steak and potatoes”. ‘Thinking like Leo’ is a feast lasting for several weeks.

The author’s summary at the end of his discussion concerning ‘Mind Mapping’ is illustrative of his approach.
“Look at your life mind map from the perspective of the Seven Da Vincian principles”
1.     Curiosita-         Am I asking the right questions?

2.    Dimostrazione- How can I improve my ability to learn from my mistakes and experiences? How can I develop and independence of thought?

3.     Senazione- What is my plan for sharpening my senses as I age?

4.     Sfumato- How can I strengthen my ability to hold creative tension to embrace the major paradoxes of life?

5.     Arte/Scienza- Am I balancing Arte and Scienza at home and at work?

6.     Corporalita – How can I nurture the balance of body and mind?

7.     Connessione-  How do all the above elements fit together? How does everything connect to everything else?

Thinking like Leo doesn’t have to be read in a linnear fashion. In other words if you want to start with ‘Senazione” you can however, reading ‘Part One’ first is a must.

This is one of the best examples of a ‘Come back to it’ book I can think of using.

Bon Appetite 

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