Simple Steps to Help you Think Like a Genius by Michael Crosson
Inspired by the bestselling book “How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci” by Michael J. Gelb
“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.” – Anonymous
“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
I have an eight-year-old daughter. Like most eight-year-olds, she is at an innocent age of discovery. Often times I find myself telling her “Don’t do that because…” or “Not that way; you should do this.” All the time, trying to provide experienced instruction; trying to help her learn how to do things “The Right Way.”
More often than not, she will ignore my direction and push forward with whatever she was doing. This usually leads to me getting a dustpan & brush to clean up the situation.
Recently, I applied a little bit of “Curiosità” (curiosity) to this situation. Why did she do what I told her not to do? Was she being disobedient? Did she not understand the outcome I explained? Does she have a special hearing problem that prevents her from hearing my voice specifically?
I’ve come to the conclusion that she is employing one of Da Vinci’s life principles: Demonstration.
When I warned her not to balance the four cat food bowls (yes…we have four cats) one-on-top-of-the-other, brimming with food, because they may fall…
…she wanted to see them fall. She wanted to see what would happen.
And how did I know they would fall? Perhaps a similar situation in my youth? Did I learn something from it?
Thus is the power of Demonstration.
You can read a thousand cookbooks, but it won’t make you a master chef. By practicing, applying and verifying principles, we open up an important aspect of learning and knowledge.
In our day-to-day office life there are countless opportunities to harness the power of Demonstration. If you want a large group of people to understand and new product, doesn’t it help to show how that product works? Perhaps give a PowerPoint presentation that demonstrates how it will be used? Create a video of someone actually using the product? Allow the people in the room to actually try the product?
These simple tactics impart real-life information on how something works. They help to expand information and answer questions.
If you are going to create a new piece of software would you go directly to final delivery of the product?
Of course not.
You would need to create a proof-of-concept; make sure that your direction is correct. Employ a working model so that the technology can be verified. You would then need multiple rounds of testing and revisions to make sure that your software operates in the correct fashion. Only after all of these steps are completed, will you have the confidence to know that your software works correctly.
This is nothing more than a continuing process of demonstration. Imaging, creating, breaking and re-building; crucial steps needed to confirm and clarify our understanding.
So the next time you catch your kid trying to jump off the garage roof using an umbrella as a parachute; don’t worry.
They are thinking like Da Vinci!
Just make sure you bring out a pile of mattresses for them to land on.