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7 lessons on creativity from Leonardo da Vinci

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It’s hard to beat Leonardo da Vinci when it comes to keeping the creative juices flowing, so it’s a good thing none of us have to compete with the man, the myth, the legend who produced a flying machine and one of the world’s greatest pieces of art, among many, many other things.

What we can do is learn from his example, as Michael Gelb, author of How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day,did by reading through da Vinci’s voluminous notebooks.

Thankfully, Inc.’s Christina Desmarais did the dirty work of summarizing and saves all of us some valuable time with these seven tips gleaned from their work.

Curiosity

By nature children are curious, but as we grow up much of our inquisitiveness ebbs.

“Almost all children in their natural state ask lots of questions. That’s how they learn so much in the first five years of life. But then we send them to school where they learn that answers are more important than questions,” Gelb says.

Geniuses like da Vinci, however, maintain a passionate curiosity throughout life.

“When you work with an organization you can often tell, especially when you come in from the outside as I do as a consultant, whether the spirit of curiosity is really alive, whether people actually have a questing open mind or whether they’re a bunch of stuffy know-it-alls.”

Independent Thinking

Diversity is critical for creativity and innovation, which is why it’s important to seek out points of view different from your own.

“The problem is the more senior someone becomes the more likely they’re going to believe their own publicity and surround themselves with people who always agree with them. So the more senior you become, the more concerted effort you must make to seek out different opinions. Then you have a chance to think independently,” Gelb says.

Full story at Inc.

Jumpstart your creativity.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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