Learning from Leonardo


Excerpt from the Leonardo DaVinci biography by Walter Isaacson

1. Be curious, relentlessly curious.

2. Seek knowledge for its own sake.

3. Retain a childlike sense of wonder.

4. Observe.  I would add actively test as well. L used the scientific method / inductive logic, 100 years prior to Francis Bacon, commonly known as the father of induction. 

5. Start with the details. - reminds me of Aristotle approach to critical thinking. Using both specific and general problem definition taxonomy. 

6. See things unseen.

7. Go down rabbit holes.

8. Get distracted.

9. Respect Facts - including being adaptable  to change assumptions/ conclusions when new facts become available. 

10. Be willing to live in a problem, allowing mind and nature to reveal the solution. (Isaacson called this Procrastination. If one makes a planned delay, not sure this is procrastination, perhaps “Purposeful  Procrastination “.  Also, see Ted Talk, “The Surprising Habits Of Original Thinkers,” by Adam Grant. Chris O used to encourage living in the problem. 

11. Let the perfect be the enemy of the good. - this is the contrary to Voltaire’s famous quote. (I don't love this one, learning comes from implementation and updating as learnings are realized.)

12. Think visually.

13. Avoid silos.

14. Let your reach exceed your grasp.

15. Indulge fantasy. Also, engage imagination as the highest rung on the causality ladder. The counter factual is the building blocks of creativity.  

16. Create for yourself, not just for patrons.

17. Collaborate. 

18. Make lists.

19. Take notes, on paper.

20. Be open to mystery.

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