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What I have learned from Leonardi Di Vinci biography by Walter Isaacson

First of all, Walter is an amazing writer and really does a great job of highlighting the unique attributes and touches upon the creative and brilliant mindset of Leonardi Di Vinci. The ten biggest lessons from one of my favorite books of all time are the following.

  1. Being a polymath and being passionate and curious about life will go a long way. Leonardo questioned every convention way of thinking, the way cities are built, is it efficient enough? Is this the right type of material for optimal painting conditions, will these walls protect our city, what does a Woodpecker tongue look like? He questioned everything about nature, astronomy, physics, math, and military advancements.
  2. Attention to detail. His ability to look beyond the surface and really dip deep down in everything that he does is so amazing. From observing wings of birds to seeing how they fly, to documenting everything in notepads every day to learn more about the complexity of life, organisms, and machinery to improve the livelihood of his community. He had recorded over 13,000 pages of notes and drawing with intricate details of everything revolving around the fetus of a womb to creating flying machines. He was way ahead of his time and was sometimes misunderstood because of his unconventional ways of thinking.
  3. His love for culture, he is interested in all aspects of dealing with people with his paintings, inventions by being a play showman for the royalty. His ability to use his imagination to create whatever he wanted. He created beautiful masks, props, and contributed with his physical artistic costumes and stories.
  4. Do not let others tell you what to do. He was always true to himself. Despite being interested in military engineering and not having a reputation for it. He still kept drawings and eventually got the position of being a military engineer.
  5. Mentoring others. He was a strong mentor and had many students to spread his knowledge/ wisdom to make the world a much more interesting place.
  6. Have an engineering mindset, he always wanted to figure out how things work and drew elaborate engineering diagrams to pick apart items to be able to explain it more simply.
  7. Combining art, science, engineering, anatomy, and physiology. What makes Leonardo so unique is the ability to combine many different disciplines to help him be much more detailed in his paintings for example. He was able to make such realistic representations of people, scenery, and played with the idea of shadows to create a much more realistic picture with so much depth, soul, and emotions. Using geometry, mathematics, and the power of playing with light/dark imagery.
  8. The power of imagination, whatever he dreamed he would create. He would spend hours everyday inventing new contraptions from 3d machines to infrastructure improvements for cities.
  9. Surrounding yourself with greatness, he surrounded himself with men of power some of the most powerful men around that time gravitated towards him and was able to be diplomatic even during the war because of his valuable partnerships. Because he was so treasured he was wanted by all of the royalty from different countries and was able to move to cities to be around others like himself.
  10. Use the power of fame and reputation to your advantage. He understood the power of the masses which had thousands of people come watch him create his masterpieces to create buzz and knew his worth.

The key summary takeaways are that when you are generally a good person and have good intentions. Things will work out for you. He was born out of wedlock and pursued many interests. Some would say that is was all over the place and there was a lot of projects he did not complete. But he was always true to himself and did everything 100% knowing that he could be proud once he completed a project. There is so much power in questioning the status quo. He was able to create so much and even towards the end of his life he never stopped and still kept creating and living out his dream.

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