Michael J. Gelb, a professional speaker and author wrote a wonderful book: How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, in which he details 7 habits we can cultivate in ourselves to become more creative. I’m going to devote a blog post to each one of these traits over the next week or so, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Curiosity is the first trait Gelb ascribes to Leonardo, after walking in his footsteps in Italy and reading his notes. He urges us to recapture the sense of wonder of our youth: “Most of us learned, once we got to school, that it was answers that mattered more than questions.” Insatiable curiosity was probably discouraged in our school years.
da Vinci kept journals full of questions and stream of conscience observations about his every day life. Gelb suggests you keep a journal too and one of your first entries is to list 100 questions you have about life.
A sense of wonder and “why not” are valuable tools when it comes to being a creative person. So is learning a “dream hobby”. Gelb says he asked thousands of people what they could do if they could learn anything at all and he usually gets answers like, “learn to play a musical instrument, learn another language, learn to act etc.
People who identify and passionately pursue these hobbies, says Gelb, live a richer, more fulfilling life. When you decide to “learn Italian” or “play guitar” later in life, you are doing a lot more than doing something you’ve always meant to get around to, you are opening up new parts of your brain, you are closer to realizing your potential as a human.
And, isn’t that what Middle Aged Crazy is all about?
“Question authority” is the thought of the day, and, like da Vinci, questioning the status quo is a great way to innovate and create. What have you always wondered? What are you curious about? What is your soul calling you to learn?