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The How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci Workbook:
Leonardo da Vinci is the perfect antidote to a dumbed-down world. Perfect for anyone with similar aspirations for self-actualization, the exercises in The How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci Workbook are designed to provide a lifetime of cerebral expansion, using the seven parameters laid out in How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: curiosity; developing knowledge though experience; sensual refinement; a willingness to embrace ambiguity and paradox; linking the scientific and creative sides of the brain; physical poise and fitness; and understanding the connectedness of all life.
For example, to develop curiosity, one of the exercises has you ask people you respect to assess your strengths and weaknesses and to offer ways in which you could improve. Uncomfortable? Probably, for both parties. But if you're not curious about how others perceive you, you've closed off entire corridors leading toward self-knowledge and self-improvement. In the section on knowledge and experience, Gelb has you write down each new word you come across, along with its definition, and practice using it as often as you can. Da Vinci, he says, recorded 9,000 words this way. As Gelb notes in his introduction, this isn't a book that can be fully used up in a week or even a year; it could take 10 years to perform all these exercises. It would take months just to listen to the 10 greatest pieces of classical music he lists in the section on sensual refinement, and then listen to them played by different orchestras and conductors to distinguish subtle differences in interpretation. And, certainly, the simmeringly sensual recipes listed in that same section could lead to some very cozy evenings over the course of a lifetime. --Lou Schuler [via]