How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: 13 Lessons

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Leonardo da Vinci" by Walter Isaacson. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here.

What can we learn from Leonardo da Vinci’s legacy? Do you want to know how to think like Leonardo da Vinci?

Leonardo da Vinci is considered one of the greatest artists of all time. Walter Isaacson’s biography of the painter, scientist, and engineer provides lessons that you can apply to be more like Leonardo.

Keep reading to learn how to think like Leonardo da Vinci.

Leonardo’s Lessons

While Leonardo’s particular genius was unique, you can replicate it by nurturing the same natural inclinations and leaning carefully into the same flaws. To learn how to think like Leonardo da Vinci, Isaacson extracts lessons from Leonardo that you can apply to be more like the Renaissance genius:

  1. Nurture an insatiable, child-like curiosity.
  2. Learn because it gives you pleasure, not because you need to.
  3. Pay attention to details.
  4. Let your imagination run free.
  5. Don’t be afraid of distractions or procrastination if they feed your creativity.
  6. Use critical thinking and experimentation to find the facts.
  7. Use visuals to understand complex ideas.
  8. Find the intersections between different subjects and areas.
  9. Seek perfection.
  10. Seek collaboration.
  11. Don’t let money dictate your passions.
  12. Write things down (even your to-do lists).
  13. Appreciate the mysteries you can’t delineate with sharp lines.

Shortform Suggestions to Help you Apply Leonardo’s Lessons

These books from the Shortform library offer more guidance to think like Leonardo da Vinci:

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: 13 Lessons

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Walter Isaacson's "Leonardo da Vinci" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Leonardo da Vinci summary:

  • A detailed look into the life, accomplishments, and struggles of Leonardo da Vinci
  • Lessons from his life and work that you can apply to your own life
  • What set Leonardo apart from other artists at the time

Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.