Leonardo DaVinci

Leonardo DaVinci was probably one of the greatest minds to come down the pike. I really don’t care for the word genius but I think it is apt. Maybe a better way to put it is that I think we all have great minds. He just knew how to use his a lot better than most.
I have talked before about a book by Michael Gelb, “How to Think Like Leonardo”. I will admit to plagiarism beforehand. I highly recommend it and will make a feeble attempt to describe a few of the “Principles of Thought” that make up DaVinci‘s genius.
Leonardo was a guy that ran full bore all the time. He was constantly thinking, questioning and absorbing. He would look at problems or disputes from three entirely different angles, often spending days or weeks on each side.
He developed detailed drawings many centuries ago of helicopters and submarines. He was at the same time a procrastinator and perfectionist which actually aren’t mutually exclusive. He was in great physical shape and a vegan. Trust me. I am not going that far.
Some Principles



Curiositae is his unending pursuit of how things work. He would look at both science and nature to see what made them tick. He never took anybody’s word on anything. It wasn’t arrogance but a real desire to internalize something once it was understood. Some things he could never figure out. That didn’t matter. The fun was in the pursuit.

Sensazione is the desire to use all the senses. This heightened awareness actually got his and should get our minds ticking. I listen to classical music when I write. In repacking my bags, I have repainted my office. I love the smell of flowers, garlic. Many times in the summer I like to see how many different shades of green there are in the landscape. Right now, unfortunately it is all white.

They took a group of students who had to learn a complex procedure. It took place over a month. They split in to two groups. One was in a modern classroom with neutral colors and adequate but bland lighting.

The others were in a class painted vibrant colors. There were flowers and classical music. There were textures and carpeting. I don’t have to tell you the results. Not only did the latter learn more quickly but had a retention rate that far surpassed the “ordinary” group. Maybe that’s where we should spend our money on education

Sfumato is the last one of the seven I will mention. It is really thinking at its utmost. It takes a problem without an obvious solution. Paradoxes, enigmas and ambiguities are the bedrock of this way of thinking. You treasure their complexity and rejoice in even a small piece of solving.

He would cringe at our current form of education. He would argue that there are no right answers to tests. Not to be a pain in the ass but to say that if we accept everything as fact, there will never be creativity or a totally unique way of looking at things.

This all really begs the question of heightened consciousness. Being aware of where we are in time and of those around you. We can view ourselves as part of a world or one of several billion pieces of random drift. Call it living life to its fullest. Not spending any day on automatic. Realizing that time and life is indeed precious.

To me these are really cool thoughts. If I am aware of my world, I can’t in any sense of good conscience be bad to you. I have got to realize that I have to take care of my surroundings. I can’t be self absorbed. There is an innate beauty in every person and thing around us. I think in our hectic world we are really losing that.

As I travel I have made a habit over the years of asking in Starbucks and restaurants how many people say please and thank you. The results have been notoriously bad. The worst was in of all places, Vail. It is not just a demonstration of courtesy but recognizing that there is another human being on the end of your “gimmee a latte !”.

It really takes a step towards religion. Do unto others. Realize how lucky we are. In this highly scientific world we tend towards narcissism. We can fabricate body parts. We can create life in a test tube. All in the name of science. I think that is dangerous ground. We get to the point of believing we are God no matter who your god is. I ain’t going there.

I guess you can probably figure out why I like Leonardo so much. It really has inspired me to “ponder”. He forces me to think….to be alive.

It is a dangerous thing to espouse my theories for fear of proselytizing. I hope I am not doing so. I am just telling you each time a little more about me. I just hope it gets you to think. Just writing to all of you gets me pumped. Thank you so much for that.

As always

Ted The Great


The U.S. ranks #1 in the world in obesity, teen birth rate and personal spending as percentage of GDP….. USA!USA!USA!

We spend 4.08% of GDP on defense. Russia..3.74%, Korea…2.58% , China..1.98%, Germany…1.35%, Japan…0.97%

3 thoughts on “Leonardo DaVinci

  1. http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/10/the-creativity-crisis.html#

    Your thoughts today reminded me of a great article from this summer about the lack of creativity in modern American education. My favorite part was when a professor of education from China laughed at a US Education official and said, ‘You’re racing toward our old model. But we’re racing toward your model, as fast as we can.’ Now it is all about testing, testing, testing. Art, p.e., music, science, problem-solving, second-languages are all being cut for the sack of high test scores. How do we teach our kids to be life-long learners?

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