Cover image for How to think like Leonardo Da Vinci : seven steps to genius every day
How to think like Leonardo Da Vinci : seven steps to genius every day
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Delacorte Press, c1998.
Physical Description:
xiv, 322 p. : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Subject Term:


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 153.35 GEL 1 1
Book 153.35 GEL 1 1
Book 153.35 GEL 1 1

On Order



Michael Gelb'sHow to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinciis 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 illustrates the seven fundamental elements of Da Vinci's thought process: Questionare:A questing, insatiably curious approach to lifeDimostrazione:A commitment to test knowledge through experienceSensazione:The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to clarify experienceSfumato:A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox and uncertaintyArte/Scienza:The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination. "Whole-brain" thinkingCorporalita:The cultivation of ambidexterity, fitness and poiseConnessione:A recognition and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things and phenomena. "Systems" thinking. Loaded with practical exercises, quotes, sidebars, illustrations and material drawn directly from Da Vinci's personal notebooks,How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinciis both a tribute to his great achievements and a call to carry on his legacy in our everyday lives by utilizing our potential to the best of our ability.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Founder and president of the High Performance Learning Center, Gelb, in seminars and workshops and now in this book, offers "the Seven Da Vincian Principles" for learning how to approach life like a genius. He uses Leonardo's native Italian language to label these principles: "curiosita" (curiosity and continuous learning), "dimostrazione" (learning from experience), "sensazione" (sensory awareness), "sfumato" (accepting and embracing uncertainty), "arte/scienza" (balancing art and science, or "whole-brain" thinking), "corporalita" (physical fitness and ambidexterity) and "connessione" (seeing the interconnectedness of everything). Gelb provides discussion of each principle in relation to Leonardo's work, questions for reader "self-assessment," exercises and even notes for parents to apply the principles to child-rearing and teaching. His view reflects the current trend in working with "multiple intelligences" and creativity, and is similar to the approach outlined in Todd Siler's Think Like a Genius (1997). The Renaissance mood Gelb successfully invokes, however, adds a unique richness to this deeper, more expansive work. Illustrations. Editor, Tom Spain; agent, Muriel Nellis. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

No matter how diligently we apply ourselves, the truth is few of us will achieve Leonard da Vinci's intellectual level. Yet it's also true that in many ways the brain is much like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger your brain becomes. What Gelb does here, then, is to instruct us on the many ways we can flex, and improve, our intellects. Following a brief biography of da Vinci, Gelb, founder of High Performance Learning, lays out seven broad steps for working our brains with a variety of exercises applicable to each step. Throughout, Gelb weaves in examples from da Vinci's life, especially drawing from the great man's notebooks. The cumulative effect is quite impressive: a celebration of da Vinci's many achievements, matched with a convincing analysis of how readers can improve their mental prowess. A unique addition to self-help holdings. --Brian McCombie

Library Journal Review

Gelb, president of the High Performance Learning Center in Great Falls, VA, urges readers to push forward toward their full intellectual potential by incorporating advice and examples from one of history's undisputed geniuses, Leonardo da Vinci. In this hands-on workbook, Gelb includes questionnaires that test the reader's senses and perspectives, a biographical sketch of Leonardo, plentiful line drawings, and exercises designed to stimulate and expand the reader's quest to learn more. Gelb adheres to Leonardo's belief that it is best to test knowledge through experience, that the senses can be tapped as a source of information and fulfillment, and that ambiguity is not a flaw. The seven DaVincian principles discussed can refine the use of intellect and teach the reader the unchanged art of thinking clearly and fulfilling one's potential. The result will appeal especially to curious adult readers and upper-level high school students preparing to excel in today's competitive world. For all self-help collections.¬ĎCatherine T. Charvat, John Marshall Lib., Alexandria, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Preface: "Born of the Sun"p. xi
Part 1 Introduction: Your Brain Is Much Better than You Thinkp. 2
Learning from Leonardop. 6
A Practical Approach to Geniusp. 7
The Renaissance, Then and Nowp. 12
The Life of Leonardo da Vincip. 20
Major Accomplishmentsp. 40
Part 2 The Seven Da Vincian Principlesp. 47
Curiositap. 48
Dimostrazionep. 76
Sensazionep. 94
Sfumatop. 142
Arte/Scienzap. 164
Corporalitap. 192
Connessionep. 220
Conclusion: Leonardo's Legacyp. 258
Part 3 The Beginner's Da Vinci Drawing Coursep. 262
Il Cavallo: Rebirth of a Dreamp. 306
Leonardo da Vinci Chronology Life and Timesp. 309
Recommended Readingp. 310
Resourcesp. 316
List of Illustrationsp. 319