The Da Vincian Principles
The seven Da Vincian principles as discussed in the Gelb text are very life changing and I fully intend to apply them in my personal and professional life. I have been applying some of them even before encountering them in the Gelb text, but after reading and internalizing them in the text, the writer gave me a deeper understanding on how to apply them and be a modern renaissance man. This is how I intend to inform my own life and work in the future using these principles.
In the first principle Curiosita, which simply means the natural impulse and desire to learn more (Gelb, 2004). Is something that I have always had since I was a kid and Intend to use it even more in the future. I have always kept a digital journal curious to write everything interesting that crosses my mind. I have been doing so for roughly eight years now and I still do write at least once every other week in my Google documents digital journal. Additionally, I intend to curiously reflect and contemplate as the book suggested, mostly in the evenings before I go to bed. On the other hand, I intend to never let the ‘child in me’ die. Most people stop curiously asking questions, as they grow older and get caught up in the quest to conform to the majority who do not curiously ask questions (Berger, 2016). Like I said in my last discussion, I did read a book by title; ‘A More Beautiful Question’ by Warren Berger that taught me how to maintain curiosity in my adult life just like a four year old child who asks over three hundred questions every twenty-four hours. Lastly, I intend to be always curious of other people’s perspective when it comes to decision making, for instance reading a book every week to gain new knowledge that will help me see things from the writer’s perspective and apply it in my life when making decisions.
The second principle Dimostarzione that simply means, a commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes (Gelb, 2004). I intend to inform my own life and work in the future using this principle by acknowledging my mistakes because as I said in my last discussion, I do not recognize the word ‘mistake’ because it depends from which perspective one is looking at the ‘mistake’. Everything that is not in line with conventional wisdom is a ‘mistake’ and if one is trying to go against the grain and be curious and ask questions, he or she is faced with pointing fingers accusing one to have made a mistake. I will simply learn how to recognize my ‘mistakes’ according to conventional wisdom and learn how to articulate my ‘against the grain’ perspective and my most fundamental belief and the reasons why I believe so (Gelb, 2004).
The third principle Sensazione that means sharpening the senses, consciously and which Da Vinci believed that sharpening the senses is the key to enriching one’s experience (Gelb, 2004). I intend to enrich the five senses as advised by the Gelb text which includes but not limited to Vision; I’m very sensitive to color harmonies and clashes. When I was training with the US Air Force, I did a depth perception test, which I passed with flying colors and after further tests, I was given a 15/20 vision and I was recommended to sniper school because of my excellent vision. I happen to pick up the colors of my friend’s eyes and I’m really good at describing a scene in details, plus I can picture things clearly in my mind’s eyes. Friends and family think I have childlike imagination (Gelb, 2004). When it comes to Hearing; I started out as a not so good listener, but in my two years of direct selling to strangers on the streets of Nairobi, I developed keen listening skills as much as I’m I like to talk. I’m sensitive to noise and I was taught how to stay still and listen in my military training. I listen to a lot of classical music and try to analyze the notes. The one thing I can’t do is sing. And Generally, I usually enjoy the silence (Gelb, 2004). Moreover, when it comes to Smell; I’m very sensitive to smell, it doesn’t matter if it’s the good aroma from a delicious home cooked meals, or a rotten stench in the dirty slums of Kibera in Nairobi. The smell tends to affect my emotions, good smells make me feel good and vice versa. I can recognize my fiancée from her perfume with my eyes closed (Gelb, 2004). And lastly, when I see fresh flowers, I like to smell them. And when it comes to Taste; I’m a foodie and I generally enjoy many different types of healthy cuisines from across the world. I love fresh food and until today, I have a very hard time eating leftover foods. Where I grew up, we never had fridges and all food had to be cooked and eaten right there and then. And finally, I try to avoid eating on the run and junk foods (Gelb, 2004). To add on, when it comes to Touch; after reading the book, ‘The 5 Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman, I learned that my love language is physical touch and affection (Chapman, 2010). I Love big great hugs, and listen with my hands. When I tough my fiancée, I can tell if she is tensed or relaxed (Gelb, 2004). I intend to get even better in my five senses in line with the Sensazione Da Vincian principle.
Likewise, the fourth principle, Sfumato which is a willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty (Gelb, 2004). The writer further explains that this principle guides one to be more at home with the unknown and make friends with paradox, to which I can say that it’s something that is still work in progress. Currently, and in line with the Gelb text, I tend not to be comfortable with ambiguity but I tend to trust my gut and intuition in ambiguous situations. Similarly, I play a lot of chess and do puzzles too as a hobby to strengthen my strategic skills when faced with ambiguous situations where I strategically make decisions to get out of (Gelb, 2004). In the future, I intend to be more comfortable practicing this principle both personally and professionally.
Moreover, the fifth principle Arte/Scienza, which means maintaining whole brain thinking through using both the creative and logical part of the brain (Gelb, 2004). This is the only principle that I tend to totally disagree with because, in my Psychology class, it was heavily debunked and considered a modern myth. There is no such thing as ‘right brain’ and ‘left brain’. Structurally and or physiologically, and according to the father of structuralism; Wilhelm Wundt, the frontal lobe, which is the forebrain, is considered the part that helps with logical thinking and is fully developed at age 25(Kardas, 2013). The brain functions collaboratively and simultaneously, and all parts are responsible for all brain functions in one-way or another (Kardas, 2013). I intend to continue using all my brain as I grow older and feed it with the right information.
Last but not least, the principle of Corporalita, which is the cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness, and poise (Gelb, 2004). In line with the Gelb text, this is something that I have been relentlessly pursuing and still working to reach my optimum. Currently, I’m aerobically fit and tend to do more aerobics exercises than strength (Gelb, 2004). In addition, I always know when my body is tensed up or relaxed and I’m very aware of how my attitude affects my physical state. With time, I’m working for my physic to get better because I’m now incorporating strength exercises in my workouts. Likewise, I recently became a plant-based organic eater and it’s now 10 months and my health has radically improved. I do not remember how processed foods taste like anymore. Today, I can confidently say I’m very knowledgeable about diet and nutrition and I’m at a very good state regarding this principle, not forgetting that I’m well coordinated and I love running marathons (Gelb, 2004).
Finally, the principle of Connessione, which means the recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things and phenomena, and or systems thinking (Gelb, 2004). In line with the Gelb text, I intend to appreciate more the interconnectedness of dreams, goals, values and my highest aspirations and how they can be connected in daily my living (Gelb, 2004). For instance, I really enjoy similes, analogies, and metaphors (Gelb, 2004); in fact, most of my intellectual arguments are presented in very metaphorical ways. Additionally, I seek a holistic approach to diet health and healing and I can say my life goals and priorities are formulated clearly and integrated with my values and sense of purpose (Gelb, 2004).
- Berger, W. (2016). A more beautiful question: The power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas. New York: Bloomsbury.
- Chapman, G. D., & Summers, A. (2010). The five love languages: How to express heartfelt commitment to your mate. Nashville, TN: LifeWay Press.
- Gelb, M. (2004). How to think like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven steps to genius every day. New York, NY: Delta Trade Paperbacks.
- Kardas, E. P. (2013). History of psychology: The making of a science. Place of publication not identified: Wadsworth.