Creative Thinking With...

Creative Thinking
With Leonardo da Vinci

Discover how Leonardo Da Vinci can
help YOUR creative thinking skills

Creative Thinking with Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci has attracted a lot of fresh press with the popularity of Dan Brown's book, The Da Vinci Code, and more and more people are discovering the amazing creative intelligence that Da Vinci used. In Buzan's Book of Genius, Leonardo da Vinci tops the charts in a ranking of the greatest geniuses of all time. So who better to learn creative thinking from than this Genius of Geniuses?

To unleash your creative intelligence and start thinking like Leonardo da Vinci, you can emulate some of the things he did to be more creative:

Making Connections
The primary thing to remember with Da Vinci is his observation and belief that "everything connects". Making connections between disparate things is perhaps the number 1 creative thinking skill, so you should definitely make it a practice to think of ways that different things relate to each other, and how different things could be combined to make something completely different.

Multiple Intelligences
Leonardo Da Vinci was fascinated with all branches of learning and, in those times, there wasn't the same push to specialise. He didn't differentiate so much between subjects because he believed that they were all inter-related. The learning and discoveries made in one area affect your understanding and knowledge of another subject of study. This is the central idea of becoming a renaissance man or woman. True creative intelligence wil come with the development of all your intelligences.

Leonardo Da Vinci was a scientist, engineer, artist, instrument inventor, anatomist, philosopher, composer, he was highly popular as a story teller, joke teller, riddler, and was famous for excelling at whatever he applied himself to. He was also said to be immensely strong and physically fit. The code here is to work on developing all of your multiple intelligences so that you can become a fully rounded individual capable of fulfilling your creative potential.

Ways of Stimulating Your Mind's Creativity
Leonardo Da Vinci had specific techniques that he used to stimulate his intelligence and heightened creative thinking. He was ambidextrous and could write and paint with both hands at the same time. You can stimulate your mind by writing with your non-dominant hand for 10 mins a day. You could also learn to juggle (yes, Leonardo was great at juggling too!). He made copious notes which he wrote in mirror-writing (backwards letters written from right to left). Try and include some mirror writing in your daily practice -- it stretches your mind and challenges your awareness.

Another of Da Vinci's more famous techniques for inducing creative reverie was his practice of looking for recognisable patterns or images in the ashes of his fireplace. You may remember Jodie Foster's character in the film, Little Man Tate, practising this technique with her genius prodigy son. They were gazing at shadows on the ceiling. You can do the same thing with clouds, patterned wallpapers, bark on trees etc. Just stare at the clouds and see what pictures you can see in them -- faces, landscapes, animals and so on.

Leonardo da Vinci used notebooks to record his ideas, thoughts and observations. Notebooking is now recognised as a tremendous mind stimulant. It seems that by recording your prime thought and observations you affirm to your mind that they are valuable to you -- and this encourages it to do more. It also frees your mind to expand on ideas, because the origins and subsequent steps of the thought are written down and objectified. So make sure that you use notebooks and keep a journal.

We all know that Da Vinci was an amazing artist. He used his ability to draw as a thinking aid, doing little cartoons in his notebooks that illustrated something he was observing, or were the beginnings of a design idea that he had. It's easy to learn to draw sufficiently well that you can use it to aid and abet your creative thinking. I recommend you check out the Betty Edwards ' book, Drawing on the Right Side of Your Brain. Or do a cartooning couse; I like this great one by Lou Darvas.

Leonardo's Legacy
Leonardo Da Vinci left us a code of four principles to stimulate and encourage creative genius:

1. Study the science of art.

2. Study the art of science.

3. Develop all your senses especially your ability to see.

4. Study all the above in the light of the idea that everything connects, in some way, to everything else.

In this short article, you have learned some of Leonardo Da Vinci's simple techniques that you can use to stimulate your creative thinking. He has a lot more to offer and I encourage you to read more about him. For creative thinkers everywhere, Da Vinci is a hero and awe-inspiring role model. Perhaps he can help YOU crack the code for unrivalled brilliance and outstanding creativity too?