Not just an artist, he is also a scientist.
Not just a scientist, he is also an inventor.
Not just an inventor, he is also an architect.
He is the world greatest Renaissance Man, Leonardo Da Vinci.
For some of you, the paintings of The Mona Lisa and the Last Supper might be the work of Leonardo that you are most familiar with. However, more than that, Leonardo was a futuristic inventor who came up with many brilliant ideas, which applications are hundreds of years ahead of their time. From calculators to helicopters, hydrodynamics to solar power; all the blueprints of the work of the machine parts, were drawn on his precious sketchbook. Not just stopping there, he also gave a contribution to the advancement of the medical field, with his detail experiment in the anatomy of the human body.
Is that all?
No, in addition, Leonardo also had a good sense of music, as he could play string musical instruments well. If it's not genius, I don’t know what kind of nickname is suitable for this man. But what made him this great? Did he born genius or made? Well, I guess, on one side he is indeed gifted, yet, on another side, his method of learning also what made him as wonderful as what the world knows him today.
In his book called “How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day”, Michael Gelb, formulated 7 principles of Leonardo’s approach to learning, which we can adapt in the daily basis, in order to inspire and guide us toward the realization of our own full potential.
Never Ending Curiosity
For most of the time, adults have killed the natural curiosity within us, when we were young, with this answer:
“you are asking too much. Can you stay quiet for a moment?”
Maybe they just do it out of exhaustion, however, they don’t realize that by doing so, they have taken part in killing our sense of curiosity. Which is really a big shame. Because only by maintaining curiosity throughout our life, we will never stop to ask questions which will enlarge our perspective and help us to gain new knowledge of the world and what’s inside it.
Just like Leonardo who relentlessly believe that the knowledge of all things is possible, don’t let anything stop ourselves from finding the answers to our questions. In addition, always remember, when we, in turn, become the adults, don’t become those adults who kill the curiosity of the younger generation.
Sharpen the Senses
Leonardo believes that through having sharp senses, we will get to experience and learn something new from day to day. That’s why he was sad to know that the average people “looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, moves without physical awareness, inhales without awareness of odor or fragrance, and talks without thinking.” As a result, those people just live their life according to routine and never get to see interesting things which might lead to new discovery and learning.
Frequently allocate a quiet moment to observe the surrounding is a good start. We will be able to see small details which we might never see before. Don’t talk too much and try to listen more. By doing so, we will open the door for new perspective and perception.
Leonardo never let himself be swayed by what most of the people around him think or believe, instead he constantly challenged them with his relentless research and experiment. Moreover, he didn’t stop to evaluate his own work, even when other people said it was perfect already. As a result, he got to experience self-improvement and succeed in creating even better works from day to day. Therefore, continuous self-evaluation and constructive criticism from other people are the keys to independent thinking.
Uncertainty is unavoidable, especially when we move into a new phase of our life, for example when we go to college or start working for the first time. That’s why don’t spend too much effort, worrying over it; because without uncertainty, we will get too comfortable with our lives and just stuck there, without being able to improve and develop the skills and talents within us.
So when uncertainty exists, take it as a chance to train and equip ourselves. By doing so, we can stay ahead of the others. Leonardo has proved the benefit of embracing uncertainty when he succeeds in coming up with many invention ideas that were centuries ahead of his time.
“Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”, is the message which Leonardo left for all of us. Everything and everyone is interconnected beyond our limited perception and narrow-minded logic. That’s why, try to see the bigger or the whole picture when making a plan or strategy for something, so we won’t leave anything important behind. Using SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound) measurement is one of the methods which can help us to imagine the whole picture.
Whole Brain Thinking
Many people like to emphasize that they are either good with their left brain (logical, analytical) or their right brain (imaginative, creative). However, to be like Leonardo, we need to be good at both. We have been given a complete, not a half, brain; so in order to optimize our full capacity, we must function both sides well. Leonardo said, “To develop a complete mind: Study the science of art; study the art of science.”
Mind mapping, a way of organizing ideas that integrates logic and imagination and helps people generate more ideas in less time, is the practice which Gelb proposes. Learn to pour our ideas and strategies into drawing, and see how magically new and more creative ideas will appear.
Artists or inventors are often associated with poor health habits. However, that doesn’t apply for Leonardo. He made sure to go away and have a little relaxation every now and then, for he knows that fresh body and mind will help to stay creative, productive, and focus. Doing some sports, like swimming, fencing, and walking, are examples of activities which we can do to keep our body healthy. Other than that, going on a vacation regularly will help to relax our tired mind.
Those methods of learning of Leonardo da Vinci is what Vooya aims for its participants to experience, by joining Vooya’s program. Vooya provides an experiential study tour which focuses on hands-on learning experience. With its four classifications of the curriculum: STEM (Experimental Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), Social Science, Physical and Personal education, and Arts; Vooya tries to implement a way of holistic learning that encompasses various forms of intelligence. The participants won’t only get to refresh their body and mind, but they will get to sharpen their senses and gain new knowledge and perspective which might answer some of the curiosity that they have.
- Innovation by Leonardo da Vinci. (2014, April 09). Retrieved July 27, 2017, from http://thinkers50.com/blog/innovation-leonardo-da-vinci/
- Home. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2017, from https://www.mos.org/leonardo/node/1
- 7 Steps to Think like Leonardo da Vinci: The Guide to Everyday Genius. (2016, June 16). Retrieved July 27, 2017, from http://www.andreabalt.com/7-ways-to-think-like-leonardo-da-vinci/
- DesMarais, C. (2013, August 16). 7 Things Leonardo da Vinci Can Teach You About Creativity. Retrieved July 27, 2017, from https://www.inc.com/christina-desmarais/7-things-leonardo-da-vinci-can-teach-you-about-creativity.html
- History.com Staff. (2009). Leonardo da Vinci. Retrieved July 27, 2017, from http://www.history.com/topics/leonardo-da-vinci