The Genius of
Leonardo da Vinci

Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D

A British author, Tony Buzan who is acclaimed to possess the highest creative I. Q. ever assessed, regards Leonardo da Vinci as the greatest genious of all times.  In the goundbreaking bestseller of England, "Buzan's Book of Genious,"  Tony Buzan describes an objective method they used to rate the world's hundred leading geniouses of all times.  Using this system, Leonardo of five hundred years ago stands as the winner, the genius of all geniuses.  He was a world class anatomist, acrhitect, artist, botanist, city planner, costume and stage designer, cher, humorist, emgomeer, hunoirst, engineer, equestrian, philosopher, and phuysicist.  Does it seem to you that we are only speaking of one person?  

 Beside being such a brain powerhouse, he had strength that was legendary.  People in and out of Florence came to see this man with "god-like physiique,"  who walked and worked with unearthly poise and grace.  His physical strength was legendary.  In an earlier article, I had described "ten prime intelligences,"  which were, the verbal, numerical, spatial, self-understanding, interpersonal, physical, spiritual, sensory, and creative intelligence.  Through his works, Leonardo left enough evidence to confirm that he poseeseed all the ten intelligences at their highest level, known to human kind.  

 It doesn't seem fair for one person to have everything, does it?  I think it's disgusting!  But we can forgive him because there is an aweful lot he can teach us today to make a difference in our own lives.  Michael Gelb, an American authority on mindmapping and other mindpower techniques of Buzan has identified seven "keys" of Leonardo's genius by which you can unleash your untapped resources.  

 The first key is, "Questionnaire,"  the thirst for knowledge and curiosity.  Leonardo was inquisitive about everytihing around him.  Throughout his life he remained enthusiastically curious and inquisitive like a little child.  In his notebook, he once wrote, "I roam the countryside searching for answers to things I didn't understand--why shells existed on the tops of mountain along with the imprints of corals and plants and seeweed usually found in the sea.   Why the thunder lasts longer than the lightening which causes it.  Also why+ immediately on its creation, lightning becomes visible to the eye while thunder requirs time to travel, how the various circles of water form around the spot which has been struck by a stone, and why a bird sustains itself in the air.  These questions and other strange phenomena engage my thought throughout my life."  

 Similarly Newton's sense of wonder and insatiable curiosity about why the apple falls on the ground and about the colors of rainbow lead to the discoveries that changed the world.  Newton actually described himself as a child who roams and collects pebbles on a sea beach, and once in a while the ocean brings to the shore a piece that the child has been looking for.  

 How can you use this key to work for yourself?  Take active interest in the world around yourself.  Observe what is happening in your field, your community, and in the nation.   Read extensively books and journals about your business or career and related subjects.  Record your questions, observations, insights, and reflections on what you observe and read.  Leonardo himself took painstaking notes and drew diagrams and pictures of almost everything he did.  That's how we know so much about his remarkable life.

The second key is, "Demonstracione," that is, rely on your own experience.  For Leonardo, truth was the fruit of direct experience.  An entry in his journal speaks volumes for the value of personal experience, "To me it seems that those sciences are vain and full of error which are born not of experience, mother of all certainty, firsthand experience which in its origin or means or ends has passed through one of the five senses."  Heed your own experience.  

 According to a survey of senior executives, a failure to heed their own experience was the prime cause of their worst decisions.  Too often business executives allow their better judgment--based on experience--to be overruled by so called experts.  The survey of senior executives was conducted by Weston Agor and published in, "The Logic of Intuitive Decision Making,"   

 The third key to unlock the potential is, "Sensatsione,"  use your senses.  If you do not use the five senses, you don't really experience an event.  When you don't experience an event, you can't learn much from your experience.  Leonardo regularly cultivated and refined his senses.  Leonardo reflected in his journal that the average human being looks without seening, hears without listening, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, moves without physical awareness, inhales wihtout awareness of odor or fragrance, and talks without thinking.   

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Copyright 1996, Mind Publications 



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