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This Author: Michael J. Gelb
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How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael J. Gelb

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci

Seven Steps to Genius Every Day

by Michael J. Gelb

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Title Details

Abridged Edition
Running Time
2 Hrs. 30 Min.
User Rating
  3.7  Stars Based on 6 ratings


You don't have to be a genius to think like one. Each of us uses only a fraction of our brainpower, explains Michael J. Gelb, who has helped thousands of men and women learn to put more of their minds to work - and play - than they ever thought possible.

Now the acclaimed author of Lessons from the Art of Juggling and Thinking for a Change reveals how any one of us can fulfill our own untapped potential by following the example of the greatest genius of all time, Leonardo da Vinci. Drawing on Leonardo's notebooks, inventions, and legendary works of art, Gelb introduces the Seven da Vincian Principles - seven essential elements of genius, named in da Vinci's native Italian, that any of us can develop on our own. From the notebook's celebration of an insatiably curious approach to life (curiositá) to the willingness to embrace uncertainty and paradox (sfumato) embodied in Mona Lisa's smile, these principles will seem at once intuitively familiar and surprisingly powerful. Offering an abundance of interactive, entertaining exercises to help you master each principle, Gelb also helps you see how you can use them at work, at home, and everywhere else.

Following Leonardo's lead, you'll learn powerful new strategies for tackling challenges both timely and timeless, introducing problem solving; creative thinking; self-expression; enjoying the world around you; goal setting and life balancing; and harmonizing body and mind.

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Reviews & Ratings
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Reviewer LOLJPB
 February 17, 2006
General Content: Michael J. Gelb’s book How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci is perhaps one of the best books on genius and creativity currently available. da Vinci was a true genius and this audiobook does an excellent job of giving both a history of this brilliant man as well as providing practical exercises for the listener in order to indeed begin “thinking like da Vinci”. A good section of the audiobook is devoted to describing da Vinci’s seven principles ranging from curiosity (“curiosita”) to connection (“connessione”).

The highlights of this title are the exercises that Gelb offers. In one, the listener is encouraged to write down 100 questions about his or her life. The initial questions tend to flow quickly but as the exercises progresses it becomes more difficult to come up with additional questions. Gelb offers that this is the time in which hidden themes about life appear that might not readily be noticed by the conscious mind.

The only negative comment about this book also relates to these same exercises. Since you’re likely going to want to try them this will likely mean going back to the place in the cassette where the exercise was located and this is a bit tedious. This is a case in which reading the book might be superior to listening to it. Better yet, buy the book too and it’ll serve as a great companion after you’ve listened to the book once or twice.

Audio-specific Content: I listened to the abridged (2 ½ hours on two cassettes) version of this book. It was read by the author who did a fine job. As mentioned above, the book’s biggest weakness was that replicating the exercises might end up being tedious for the listener. It would have been if they had included a small handout with the audiobook giving written instructions for the exercises that were mentioned.

More Details

  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: H004245
Available On
Audio CD