Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Leonardo da Vinci Guide To Being A Renaissance Man

A great post from Dumb Little Man.

The Leonardo da Vinci Guide To Being A Renaissance Man

Leonardo da Vinci excelled in every facet of the arts and sciences and was undoubtedly one of the most brilliant men in history. The question, then, is whether Leonardo's natural brilliance allowed him to easily absorb all this knowledge, or whether his curiosity and engrossment in this vast array of knowledge lead him to become brilliant.

When looking at a person such as Leonardo da Vinci, one can't help but to be impressed and almost envious of this man's ability to be so good at just about anything that he put his mind to. Some people remain jealous, others quickly dismiss him as an anomaly, while a few ask themselves what it would take to become half as smart and competent as this man.

Luckily for us, Leonardo da Vinci did a lot of writing. By analyzing his life work, we can get a feel for the type of mentality this man had. By internalizing his paradigms and assimilating his character traits into our own, we can be well on our way to being a worldly man, or perhaps a renaissance man.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
For some reason, people tend to make things very complicated. Moving forward with this concept in mind, we start seeing all the places in our lives and in our thought processes where a straight line can actually be the shortest path between two points.

When we stop taking the roundabout way and focus our curiosity on the fundamentals, we're able to build a solid foundation of truths that can be applied to any area of our lives. Imagine if you stop accepting nonsense as truth and stop assuming that the conventional wisdom spewed at you by society is true. What you are left with is you and you'll essentially force yourself to conduct personal research to find out what is really so.

By stacking all incoming facts on top of a foundation of truth, you will be creating an interconnecting web of tangible truths. These are things you can test and prove to be true with certainty. Imagine living a life, where you've replaced all doubt with extreme certainty.
"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”
When an extremely knowledgeable man tells you that knowing is not enough, you should probably listen. Forget what you learned from movies such as The Secret that tell you that it's enough to want and to dream. Take the missing step -- take action.

How many times do you see a highly educated person doing really stupid things to their body such as eating themselves into obesity, smoking, or excessively drinking? They know they should stop, but they aren't doing the action of stopping.

Likewise when that light bulb lights up in your head and you get that brilliant idea, it's time to make a decision. Will you do nothing about it or will you take action?
“There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see.”
A person enters a mental progression from childhood into adulthood. This progression is similar to how a person starts a new field at entry level and progresses to mastery. If you're going to progress, or not progress, it is largely a personal choice.

When you start learning something, you want to ask "how can I do this?" You'll eventually find out the answer, but then you progress. Next you throw in your thoughts but seek out validation from an expert and say something along the lines of, "this is how I think it should be done, what do you think about my solution."

These two questions should never really be outgrown. However, you must also learn the art of critical thinking, problem solving, and strategizing, so that one day you can say, "this is in fact how it should be done." If you're always stuck in "how can I do this?" mode and you're always being fed the answer, you're never giving your mind a chance to expand.
Read the whole article.

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