7 Steps To Being A Creative Genius
I created this video after reading Michael Gelb’s book on Leonardo Da Vinci: HOW TO THINK LIKE LEONARDO DA VINCI: SEVEN STEPS TO GENIUS EVERYDAY
It is a fantastic book that has heaps of awesome personal development exercises. It has lots of creative exercises for you to work your way through to improve your thinking and creativity. It also includes a section on drawing like Da Vinci that I didn’t mention in the video.
I appreciate you watching and hope it stimulates your creative thinking and gives you new ideas!
7 steps on how to become a creative genius. So, I’ve got this information from, How to think like Leonardo da Vinci. This is a fantastic book.
To save you time I am going to give you the 7 steps and a little bit of my thoughts around it. Also integrating modern psychology into it because I believe that even though Leonardo da Vinci was from the renaissance period I believe we can learn a lot from his example but also understand that our modern science confirms, like the antidote of looking at his life. He really was a creative genius, so.
The first thing, number one, number one, is curiosity. The first thing that really made him a creative genius and makes people today creative and genius is their curiosity. People who are creative are intensely curious about learning multiple different things. They love to learn. They love to understand more and more about different things. Now, when I go to the bookstore I end up staying there for like 4 hours. That’s a long time in the bookstore.
Now, when I go to the bookstore I end up staying there for like 4 hours. That’s a long time in the bookstore. [Laughs] Sometimes I haven’t even had enough money to even buy a book at that time, so I just be like, you know, I just bought a book like every 4th time I went there. You know what I mean?
So anyway, curiosity is key. You continuously want to learn different things. You’re curious to know, what is that? What is thinking? What is… How do people behave? You know? And there’s different types of curiosity. My friend Lisa is really curious about people in particular, while I am curious about ideas, philosophies, principles, things like that, right … or history. She’s really curious about how people behave. So she knows, she’s a genius in that area. So whatever you are curious about you’ll become rapidly better at. Your understanding of that area will grow so much and that’s because you are so curious about it.
Now I know a lot of it is innate, but I also believe just starting, just starting to do different things can make you curious about more. You know, curiosity breeds curiosity. the more you know the more you want to find out.
So anyway, number two is Demonstration. What this book outlined is it called it Demonstration. What it really is, I guess it would be our modern version of empirical evidence. So in Leonardo’s time, he basically tested common knowledge. He put it to the test, he couldn’t just believe the common knowledge. And I think that that is really important.
So I guess we could use science, our best empirical science that we have today. Where they test empirically different things from the different fields of science we have. But beyond that, we can test it through our experience as well and that is kind of what the book talks about. Testing different things by experience, and I guess I’ve heard this done, for example, in marketing with the bloggers today.
A lot of bloggers, there is all these different common things that people say to do. But I’ve been following Michael Hyatt recently and he says a lot of things that common bloggers say what to do that aren’t just always true. You know? Or they might be half true but they’re not completely accurate.
You’ve done double split testing on which e-mails work and which different things work. So that’s a marketing example. But you can test anything from your experience. But you know obviously keep in mind that your experience might not be the same if it was replicated in a different environment. But the principle is that you test things, you don’t just accept everything out there. Right. And as a human, as a personal individual who has that characteristic.
You know like Leonardo. Just picture him, picture da Vinci walking around with the mindset of, I’m going to test that, I’m going to do that and put it to the test and see if it is right. I’m going to analyze that. That really is someone who is a genius. Through repeatedly doing that, they are going to continue to expand their mind and discover things that the average person is not discovering because they are just cruising along. Not even testing anything, you know? They don’t even know what they believe.
Anyway, so number three is, use your five physical senses. Leonardo da Vinci was really in tune with his five physical senses. Especially his eyesight, he loved to look at different things and see how they move, see how different things interacted, facial expressions. That’s why he’s such a good artist. It’s also the appreciation, the majesty that comes with what you can see. It gives you that stimulation. And their’s also modern psychology techniques that focus on getting in tune, calming you down, so that through using your five different senses, so for example, one might be you know, you just sit there quietly and you hear a sound. A sound that’s repetitive and you just concentrate on that sound. You close your eyes and you concentrate on that sound and you do that for a while. And that tunes you to your hearing. Right. And you might do the same but with your vision. You just look at one thing and you just concentrate on it. Or you do it with your touch. You grab something and you just concentrate on how that feels in your hand, the texture, or maybe it’s your feet. You know what I mean? Same as when you taste things.
And you might think, oh it’s stupid. But it’s not really, these outputs, these inputs, are the things that really give us our experience. So the more that we are in tune with our different senses, the more we can interlock into our environment and really pick up on information that can help us be more creative and understand and think about different ideas and principles or whatever you want to think about or discover.
So the idea there is also that. Think about this, advertising right. I’ve studied, I’ve done my masters in advertising. It was creative advertising so we always thought about creative ideas right. But the whole idea about advertising is, the best advertisements, use a multiplicity of stimuli that attract various different senses. So if it’s an immersive experience. People don’t think about an immersive experience as advertising, but that’s what we learned about is really immersing people in like an experience right. And that engages more than just the eyes or the ears, it’s engaging the physical touch right. And if there is taste testing or something like that involved, it’s involving your taste, your smell, all different areas right. And the more senses that you can kind of lock in at that point of time, on your key branding or message, the more likely you could pull that person to buy or do something like that. So that’s why, even when you go to seminars, say these personal development seminars. They get you to jump up and down and sing and dance and clap. What are you doing? High fiving. You know you’re doing all different things. Say this to your partner, say this out loud. You’re using your body you’re engaging your body, they’re using the presentation, they’re using their eyes, they’re using their ears, they’re using their touch.
Anyway, that’s just one example of how powerful it can be to use senses. Now you can use it for manipulation or you can use it in this case to be a genius. To study it, to really be in tune with it. You know what I mean? So it’s really taking control over it. Not just automatically letting things trigger off. But deliberately using your senses.
Anyway, I think I’ve said enough about that.
The fourth one is being comfortable with paradox. Be comfortable with paradoxes. And comfortable with ambiguity. A lot of people aren’t comfortable with things like that. I’d say most people aren’t. But creative people are comfortable because there is no problem in having two contradictory things and seeing them kind of work together because in a sense it’s grey, they’re not really contradictory, they might even be complementary. So that’s really… it’s a way of thinking that enables you to learn and understand more, instead of judging it and just writing it off. So it’s like… withholding the judgement, allowing you to perceive, total perception, and hold two different things in your mind at the same time and being able to say to yourself, hey, this is you know, not contradictory, these two perspectives enable me to understand so much more about the world. You know, between these two perspectives I’m able to have a bigger lens, than me just going, no it’s this one! It’s this one! And so I’ve done my best in trying to explain that, I hope you understand it. I might do some more about that in the future because that’s an idea that really resonates with me and a lot of creative people get judged or they’re misunderstood by other people for thinking like that. People don’t understand, people who aren’t creative don’t understand, that type of thinking. So it would be good for me to delve deeper into that in another video.
Number five the balance between art and science. So for Leonardo da Vinci this was extremely important if you think about how he analyzed things in like a scientific way, the anatomy, and broke those, how different animals moved and then that informed his art. So he really was this unique blend, he invented all these things, but he was also known for being a great painter. You know what I mean, so these two things he really embodied together. And you can see how that his genius of both sides informed one another. And even today this should be, I think today we’ve lost this type of thinking, we’ve gone so rationalistic that we’ve just left the arts by the wayside. You know what I mean? I guess in some genres, in some areas of society there is more celebration of the arts than others but I really encourage a renaissance in the arts again. You know what I mean?
And even inform it on science. One of the most recent animations that I really love. Is… oh what’s it called… I can’t remember right now… but it was… this one where this psychologist he… you know it’s the one with Joy, Anger, it just slips my mind right now… but … oh… Inside Out…that’s what it’s called. It was a really good film because it’s actually based on the psychology of emotions and how emotions work and you can see her personality shut down. The girl in the story. I highly recommend anyone to watch that. That’s an example of a modern day, science informing art. And they needed the art to really create the story line so that children could like it, parents could like it, and it could still educate both children and parents at the same time and you really have to be, have that creative mind to do something like that. I love that film.
Number six, fitness and poise. Leonardo da Vinci was really into you know, poise, like he was really into like, the muscular, the way things move, you know what I mean? He really loved movement and he embodied that in himself, he kept himself fit and he conditioned his own body. He wrote about how, when the blood doesn’t flow very well it’s because the body hardens up. So he really believed in you know being fit and exercising and he was muscular. You know and so, It’s so important as well, even today they’ve recognized with general intelligence there’s what’s called fluid intelligence and then there is crystallized intelligence so they’ve kind of, there is some research claiming that they are different. And fluid intelligence is your ability to, without prior knowledge, to learn something, you know. To use your abilities to learn something and so they say that regular exercise can maintain your fluid intelligence because in your late 20’s your fluid intelligence starts to decline or stabilize. Right. And by the time you are 30 you’re not really going to increase in fluid intelligence, if anything you’re going to go backwards. But to maintain it there is research showing that weight training and exercising can help you maintain your fluid intelligence. With this book it’s not really talking about that but, I believe in Leonardo da Vinci’s primitive way, he knew that, he intuitive knew there was a link between his body and his intelligence. He even, even with movement, moving his body, and he was also ambidextrous. I think I’m saying that right, he used both hands to write, he practiced writing with both hands. I think that says something there, if you can use more of your body, it’s more of a mind thing, a mental thing. Because you know if your brain is damaged you might not be able to use different parts of your body, and so being able to train different parts of your body really does help your mind.
Number seven. This is my favorite one because I really think that this is really what makes someone like a super genius creative. And it’s that, having an appreciation for the interconnectedness of everything. Or it can be called systems thinking. So the renaissance man was really, back in Leonardo da Vinci’s time there’s this concept of the renaissance of man and it’s really about learning lots of different areas and allowing those different areas to inform each other and it’s something we have really lost in our modern age of specialization. Hyper-hyper-specialization. And I really believe that this systems thinking is the answer to a lot of our problems and it’s well known in psychology that a lot of creative people, creative people have this systems type thinking, this divergent type thinking where they can think of lots of different things and they can connect them all together. They can see the connections between seemingly unrelated fields and concepts or ideas or infinite whatever. Right. So I think that this type of thinking really is the type of thinking that helps us identify solutions to problems that no one else has came up with before. Because they haven’t accumulated the knowledge in these different areas and put them together. And everything that happens it makes the fields better, it changes things up. It’s technology, what does technology do to film for example, what does technology do to the music industry for example. You see they’re real life examples you can see right now, with the internet and stuff like that. But for example what does psychology do to education, and like, we’ve seen some of that, but we need to take that further.
So anyway guys, I think I’ve said enough about that. If you want to get the book there’s a link in the description. And this teaches a lot more than what I’ve taught you today. There’s lots of examples in there. He teaches you about mind mapping so you can mind map your different ideas. I might do a video about that in the future so please subscribe if you like the content. And I’ll be looking out for you.