By Randy Snyder

Leonardo’s lessons were those of a genius! Although Da Vinci was most renowned for his oil painting of the “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper”, he was a quintessential inventor of finished and many unfinished inventions because of his tremendous intellect and unbounded curiosity about the known and unknown.

Da Vinci’s life lessons, applied to our personal everyday lives, may make our lives and living more meaningful and expand our horizons.

Be curious, relentlessly, always! Every day we come across countless things and matters that pique our interest, but are not understood and yet we opt to not understand how, what, why, where or when. Curiosity about everything around us is something that each of us should do every waking hour, just as Leonardo did.

  1. Seeking knowledge for its own sake. Not all knowledge needs to be useful or even practical. Here again curiosity allows us to expand and explore more horizons.
  2. Retaining childlike sense of wonder. Stop puzzling about everyday phenomena. Never outgrow our childhood years. Why is the sky really blue?
  3. Nurture your acute ability to observe things. Observe and emulate things in your mind. Why is the fire color changing from blue to red?
  4. Details, details, details. Begin with details and never go to the next step until the first detail is fixed in memory.
  5. Use your God given imagination without boundaries. Conjure up the fantastical and unusual.
  6. Keep copious notes. Don’t stop notetaking no matter how many it takes to formulate an end result.
  7. Get abstract. So what if you wander off in tangents? Pursuing multiple objects that catch your eye, or attention enriches the mind filling it with more and new connections.
  8. Respect facts. Accept the inevitable. Factual information must be indulged. New information must be cogitated to change our minds without resisting the facts.
  9. Procrastinate.   Procrastination isn’t always bad. I never needed advice to procrastinate gathering every possible fact and relevant ideas allowing them to simmer – oft times accomplishing the most when we work the least.
  10. Thinking visually. See things with your own personal vision by using your own visual perception. You never lose appreciation for the beauty of nature’s laws.
  11. Avoid thinking in “silos”. An open mind is essential for a logical and satisfactory end result. Think of a puzzle whereby it takes many pieces to fit to reach the final picture.
  12. Your reach can exceed your grip. If a problem can’t be solved, at least learn why.
  13. Indulge fantasia. Blur the lines between science, art, reality, and fantasy allowing your imagination to run rampant.
  14. Collaborate. You don’t know what you don’t know. Seeking out expertise from those who know what you don’t helps to reach finality. Geniuses like Da Vinci did just that, so why not us?
  15. Create for yourself, not just patrons. Do things you want to do for as long as you want, for yourself or who you want to, the same as Leonardo did, painting one of a proletariat, silk merchant’s wife named Mona, though never requested by the silk merchant to do so.
  16. Celebrate. Share your pride, “showing your stuff” achieves the self-satisfaction that is important to your wellbeing. No matter how big or small, Da Vinci thrived on celebrating!
  17. Make lists. Make your list, like Da Vinci’s, filled with curiosity and strange things and ideas.
  18. Forget technology and take notes on paper and save them. Paper is indelible if kept organized and will be a testimony for others years from now.
  19. Investigate the mysterious. Da Vinci was relentless in chasing things that had no relationship to the utility of life, but only pursued those things out of pure curiosity.

These lessons of life that motivated this interesting and amazing man are worth putting, even if only a few, into effect in our lives and may culminate into big or more subtle changes worth considering!


References: Saturday Evening Post 5/18 “Lessons from Leonardo“ Google: Leonardo Da Vinci