Leonardo Da Vinci is one of those historical people who do not need much introduction. Everyone seems to know him as the painter of the world-famous Mona Lisa. What most don’t know is that this Italian born in 1452 was what they call a polymath, which basically means he was a person with a wide variety of skills, knowledge and wisdom.
Da Vinci was a painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, map maker, historian, writer, engineer and much much more.
As IQ tests were not available during the 15th Century, we don’t know his intelligence quotient. However, experts estimate that his IQ may have been 220. To put this in perspective, the average person’s IQ is between 90-110 and anything above 130 is thought to be extremely intelligent. With that high of an IQ, it’s no wonder that this man achieved so much during his lifetime.
He was also very much ahead of his times, and some of his inventions include flying machines, adding machines, and even a device to concentrate solar power!
Da Vinci left a foundation of so many great innovations for us, but he also left us with some great life lessons.
Keep it simple
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Keep your ideas simple. The more you complicate an idea, the less likely it is that you will continue with it. Simplicity is a trait that the best of minds have adopted. In fact in the Apple offices, there is a sign that says, “Simplicity, Simplicity, SIMPLICITY”. Simplicity is sophistication, simplicity is beauty, and simplicity is scalable. Start simple and build on your original idea as you go along. Do not be your own enemy.
Always keep learning
“Learning never exhausts the mind.”
Just as the body needs exercise to remain healthy, so does the brain. And the best way to exercise the brain is to continue the learning process. Learn a new language, pick up a new subject, learn how to create something new. All types of learning are good for the brain.
Live your life fully
“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.”
Don’t wait for things to happen before you allow yourself to be happy. It is okay to have goals, but these goals and dreams should not be a condition to your happiness and contentment. Allow yourself to be happy. Treat yourself once in a while. Take a break when you need it. Live your life to its fullest. Enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.”
Sometimes we can be our worst critics. Do not allow your own opinions to get you down. When in doubt, check yourself, and what you are internally saying to yourself. Your opinions may be shaped by what you feel people may think of you. But don’t give up even before you begin. Learn to the change the tone and language of your inner voice to a positive and supportive one.
“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.”
Do not be afraid to challenge the decision of your superior, your boss, or even your president. Your silence can be your consent, and if you are unhappy with their decisions then you only have yourself to blame for not speaking your mind when you had the chance.
Don’t just talk about your ideas, put them into action
“All knowledge which ends in words will die as quickly as it came to life, with the exception of the written word: which is its mechanical part.”
Ideas are great! But they are just ideas if not put into action. So, put your ideas down in writing. Once they are there, you commit to take action on them.
Get up and Do
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”
It goes without saying that in order to achieve anything in life, one must take action. Successful people never sit back and talk about what they want to do. They go ahead and do it, without being told, asked, mandated or commissioned. Be proactive, take action.
Use your time wisely
“Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it.”