How. Think like. Leonardo da Vinci. DVD companion to the international best-selling book, with 48 page downloadable activity booklet

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1 DVD companion to the international best-selling book, with 48 page downloadable activity booklet How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci M i c h a e l J. G e l b

2 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 2 Welcome to How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci. This presentation is based on the best-selling book How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day, by Michael Gelb, founder and president of The High Performance Learning Center. This program provides new approaches to inspiring creativity, developing critical thinking skills, and generating new ideas. In the next two hours, Michael Gelb will share the seven principles and invite you to participate in understanding them and actively practicing them. While viewing the presentation, follow along and take notes in this participant guide. It cues you to key learning points and includes numerous activities and specified "homework" to enable your learning. Be prepared to have your customary ways of thinking challenged. Today's organizations desperately need people who have both analytical skills and bold imagination, who can create innovative products and new businesses. Michael Gelb's presentation - and the tools it contains - can help you and your organization achieve new levels of performance. Of course, Leonardo Da Vinci did not develop his genius overnight, nor did Michael Gelb learn how to understand that genius and apply his methods in just a couple of hours. Simply watching today's program will not transform you into an instant genius. It requires rigorous self-development and learning through practice. To facilitate this learning, activities for before, during and after the seminar have been designed to accompany the presentation. SCENE SELECTION PART ONE: Introduction to Leonardo The Seven Principles 1.Curiosità 2.Dimostrazione 3.Sensazione 4.Sfumato 5.PART TWO: Arte/Scienza 6.Corporalita 7.Connessione PART THREE - Question and Answer

3 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 3 What You Will Learn 4 Introduction 7 Notes: 8 Learning from Leonardo: 7 Steps to Genius Every Day 9 Activity 1: Assessing your Curiosità CURIOSITÀ: Approaching life with insatiable curiosity and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning 10 Activity 2: Curiosità Skill Builder 11 Activity 3: Dimostrazione Assessment and Skill Builder DIMOSTRAZIONE: Committing to test knowledge through experience, persistence and a willingness to learn from mistakes SENSAZIONE: Continually refining the senses, especially sight, as the means to enliven experience: Homework 1. SFUMATO: Embracing ambiguity, paradox and uncertainty Activity 4: Assessing Sfumato 17 Activity 5: Sfumato Skill Builder 20 Part Two: ARTE/SCIENZA: Balancing science and art, logic and imagination - 'whole-brain thinking' Activity 6: Arte/Scienza Assessment - Left-brain/right-brain 24 Activity 7: Arte/Scienza Skill Builder - Mind mapping: Homework CORPORALITA: Cultivating grace, ambidexterity, fitness and poise: Homework 3. CONNESSIONE: Recognizing and appreciating the interconnectedness of all things - 'systems thinking' Activity 8: Connessione Assessment 30 Activity 9: Connessione Skill Builder 31 Review 33 Post-Presentation Activities 34 Practice Your Mind Mapping Skills 41 RECOMMENDED READING 45

4 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 4 What You Will Learn: By participating in this seminar, you will be able to: Increase your creative capabilities every day Apply methods to balance critical and analytical thinking with imagination Expand your ability to generate new ideas Use mind maps to navigate through ambiguity and uncertainty Identify how to apply "systems thinking" to problem solving Nurture creativity and innovation in your organization Leonardo invented the parachute before anyone could fly. Imagine what that kind of thinking can do for you!

5 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 5 How To Get The Most Out Of This Seminar: Pre-Presentation Activities Prepare yourself for challenge. Some of the concepts presented in this seminar may ask you to stretch the scope of your thinking. Open yourself to new ideas. It is often helpful to relax both mind and body through simple breathing exercises. Begin by sitting erect with your back straight and your head centered above the torso. Let your arms dangle loosely. Rest your hands on your thighs or knees with your elbows close to your body. Close your eyes to avoid being distracted, and breathe in a deep breath slowly until your lungs are full. Then exhale completely and breathe in slowly again. Keep your attention on the flow of air entering and leaving your body. Repeat this for a minute or two. During this Program Participate! Learning is not a passive activity. You can absorb a lot by just looking and listening, but you'll learn a great deal more if you are actively involved. Take notes in the space provided in this participant guide. Engage in the learning activities. Throughout the seminar there will be opportunities to participate in activities designed to reinforce the learning. Although you will be pressed for time, be sure to at least begin each activity, and write down any questions that arise during the work. If you begin each activity it will be easier for you to return later to those that you could not complete.

6 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 6 Post-Presentation Activities Complete any unfinished activities. These are important skill-builders that will help you internalize the Da Vinci principles. Do the "homework". You will find a wealth of post-presentation activities beginning on page 34. Because there is not enough time during the seminar to practice each of the Da Vinci principles, activities have been provided that will not only reinforce the learning, but will also help you apply what you have learned in your organization. Share what you have learned with other members of your organization. Read Michael Gelb's books, How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day (Delacorte Press, New York, 1998), and do The How To Think Like Leonardo da Vinci WORKBOOK (Dell Publishing, New York, 1999). Consider using the resources listed at the end of the participant's guide to learn more, and to develop one or more new skills that will expand your brain's capability. The "recommended reading" list begins on page 45.

7 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 7 Introduction For more than five centuries Western civilization has viewed with admiration and awe the life and works of a great genius of the Renaissance, Leonardo Da Vinci. The phrase "Renaissance man", which is used to describe anyone with a multitude of talents and skills, might have been coined to describe Leonardo Da Vinci. He was a painter whose masterpieces still influence artists today and delight all who see them. He was an astronomer, a musician, a scientist, an inventor, and a profound philosopher, who kept meticulous notes and sketches of all he thought and observed. How did he achieve all this? Da Vinci himself has recorded his methods and has described how to think, how to develop and use our inherent capabilities, how to integrate everything we learn into one harmonious whole. Five centuries later, as people search for new ways to improve the performance of their organizations, Da Vinci's ideas have re-emerged as the buzzwords of management theory. When we speak of: "continuous learning", "whole-brain thinking", "mind-body connection" "brainstorming", "systems thinking", "thriving on chaos", we are simply using new language to describe concepts set down long ago by Leonardo Da Vinci. In today's global marketplace, all organizations are searching for ways to revitalize themselves. Corporations, government entities and non-profits all need to find new methods of working, new ways to organize themselves, new products and services in a rapidly changing world. People in organizations are being called upon to develop competencies that will enlarge their own scope and will yield innovation and productivity for their organizations. For these people, Leonardo Da Vinci has a message: If you are willing to apply yourself, you can learn how to think like a genius!

8 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 8 Notes:

9 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 9 Learning from Leonardo: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day CURIOSITÀ: Approaching life with insatiable curiosity and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning DIMOSTRAZIONE: Committing to test knowledge through experience, persistence and a willingness to learn from mistakes SENSAZIONE: Continually refining the senses, especially sight, as the means to enliven experience SFUMATO: Embracing ambiguity, paradox and uncertainty ARTE/SCIENZA: Balancing science and art, logic and imagination - 'whole-brain thinking' CORPORALITA: Cultivating grace, ambidexterity, fitness, and poise CONNESSIONE: Recognizing and appreciating the interconnectedness of all things - 'systems thinking'

10 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 10 ACTIVITY 1: Assessing Your Curiosità Your desire to learn and develop your natural abilities is the fountain from which all Da Vincian practices will flow. Begin by contemplating the statements below. Your reflections will help you understand how well you are already using your curiosità, and where there is room for improvement. My friends would describe me as open minded & curious. I am always learning something new. I seek out new perspectives when facing an important decision. I take adequate time for reflection. I am a voracious reader. When I hear a new word, I always look it up. I solicit feedback from friends, relations & colleagues. I love learning. I am skilled at identifying and solving problems. I keep a journal to record insights and questions.

11 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 11 Notes - 1. Curiosita: Approaching life with insatiable curiosity and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning: ACTIVITY 2: Curiosità Skill Builder: "What, When, Who, How, Where, Why... and What if? Think of a real problem or question that you are concerned with in your work or within your organization. Write your question or problem statement below, and then fill in answers to "what, when, who, how, where, and why". Some cues have been provided to stimulate your thinking. Once the problem has been explored, set the problem aside for a while, and then, when you return to it, propose as many "what if scenarios as you can think of. Enlist the help of colleagues and associates. Record all scenarios, no matter how outrageous they seem at first. Then select one or more scenarios, and subject them to the six-question treatment. QUESTION/PROBLEM STATEMENT: What... is the problem? are the underlying issues? preconceptions, prejudices, or paradigms may be influencing my perception? will happen if I ignore it? problems may be caused by solving this problem? metaphors from nature can I use to illuminate it? When... did it start? does it happen? doesn't it happen? will the consequences of it be felt? must it be resolved?

12 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 12 Who... cares about it? is affected by it? created it? perpetuates it? can help solve it? How... does it happen? can I get more objective information? can I look at it from unfamiliar perspectives? can it be changed? will I know that it has been solved? Where... does it happen? did it begin? haven't I looked? else has this happened? Why... is it important? did it start? does it continue? (Ask Why... Why... Why... Why... Why... to get to the bottom of an issue.)

13 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 13 What have you learned about your question or problem from asking these questions? Summarize your insights below. What if... (Try this exercise with others in a group problem-solving session.)

14 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 14 Notes - 2. Dimostrazione: Committing to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes:

15 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 15 ACTIVITY 3: Dimostrazione: Assessment & Skill-Builder Rate yourself with these questions, answering "mostly yes" or "mostly no". For each question, jot down an instance in your experience when the answer was "yes" and an instance when the answer was "no": 1. Do I view mistakes as learning experiences? "Yes" example: "No" example: 2. Am I willing to acknowledge my mistakes? "Yes" example: "No" example: 3. Do I question 'conventional wisdom' and authority? "Yes" example: "No" example: 4. Do I persevere in the face of obstacles? "Yes" example: "No" example: Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No Now, select a problem and ask, "How would I handle it differently if I weren't afraid of making mistakes"?

16 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 16 Notes - 3. Sensazione: Continually refining the senses, especially sight, as the means to enliven experience: (For post-presentation activities on sensazione, please see pages 34-38)

17 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 17 ACTIVITY 4: Assessing Sfumato In this activity you will be assessing the degree to which you embrace ambiguity, paradox and uncertainty. In the following list, quickly rate yourself on a scale of 1-5, where 1 represents a need for certainty at all times, and 5 represents a well-developed capacity for ambiguity and comfort with uncertainty and paradox. Then, go back and write down an example from recent experience which illustrates your self-rating. Finally, add up your "score". A total less than 30 indicates a strong need to develop your ability to embrace ambiguity if you want to think like Leonardo Da Vinci. not at all somewhat yes! I am in touch with my intuition. Example: I thrive on change. Example: I see the humor in life every day. Example: I know when I feel anxious. Example: I spend sufficient time with myself. Example: I trust my gut. Example: I can hold contradictory ideas in my mind. Example: I delight in paradox and irony. Example: I believe that conflict often inspires creativity Example: SCORE:

18 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 18 Trust Your Gut Bring more to your everyday hunches and intuitions. Cultivating an accurate, reliable inner guidance system requires listening to your body. Comments such as My gut tells me otherwise, I just know it in my bones, I can feel it in the pit of my stomach, and I know it in my heart of hearts that it must be true reflect the body-centered nature of intuition. When you take time for solitude - walking in nature, driving in your car, or just lying in bed - remember to listen to your bones and check in with your heart of hearts. Try the following exquisitely simple exercise, one or two times everyday, for accessing the subtle nuances of your intuition: Enjoy a few deep breaths. Soften your belly. Be receptive.

19 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 19 Notes - 4. Sfumato: Embracing ambiguity, paradox and uncertainty...

20 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 20 ACTIVITY 5: Sfumato: Skill Building Here are two activities aimed at strengthening your Sfumato skills. Select one of them to get started on during the seminar, and plan to come back afterward to complete the other. Activity 1: Cultivate Confusion Endurance: The Sfumato principle asks us to sharpen our senses in the face of paradox and embrace creative tension. It is useful to explore the paradoxes in our everyday lives. For example: List at least three of your personal weaknesses. Then list three or more of your personal strengths. Strengths Weaknesses How are these qualities related? Goals and process. Write down an important goal you accomplished. Describe the process you followed. How do goal and process relate?

21 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 21 Have you ever achieved success without experiencing fulfillment? In your personal experience does the end justify the means? Why, or why not? You can continue this exercise indefinitely by examining other paradox pairs in your life: Joy and sorrow, good and evil, change and constancy, humility and pride, etc. Activity 2: Making space for incubation: When do you get your best ideas? Think of a moment of creative breakthrough. Trace the process. Were you alone? What kind of input preceded the breakthrough? Did you have to take a break? How long a break? Do you have a strong faith in your creative process? Give examples of success.

22 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 22 In Part One of our program, we looked at: Human potential The genius of Leonardo Da Vinci We then explored the first four of seven steps to genius every day: CURIOSITÀ: Approaching life with insatiable curiosity and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning DIMOSTRAZIONE: Committing to test knowledge through experience, persistence and a willingness to learn from mistakes SENSAZIONE: Continually refining the senses, especially sight, as the means to enliven experience SFUMATO Embracing ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty In Part Two, we will continue learning from Leonardo by taking a closer look at the last three of the seven steps: ARTE/SCIENZA Balancing science and art, logic and imagination - 'whole-brain thinking' CORPORALITA Cultivating grace, ambidexterity, fitness and poise CONNESSIONE Recognizing and appreciating the interconnectedness of all things - 'systems thinking'

23 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 23 Notes - 5. Arte/Scienza: Balancing science and art, logic and imagination: 'whole-brain thinking':

24 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 24 ACTIVITY 6: Arte/Scienza Assessment (Left-brain/Right-brain) This self-assessment is designed to help you get a rough idea as to whether you tend to be "left-brained" or "right-brained". Circle a value from 1 to 5 for each statement, where 5 is "very much so" and 1 is "not at all". not at all very I like details I am almost always on time I am skilled at math I rely on logic I write clearly Friends describe me as articulate Analysis is one of my strengths I am organized and disciplined l Iike lists I start a book at page 1 and read in order The preceding list describes a classic "left-brained" person.

25 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 25 See how you do on this next list: not at all very I am highly imaginative I am good at brainstorming I often say or do the unexpected I love to doodle In school, I was better at geometry than algebra I read a book by skipping around I look at the big picture, leave the details to others I often lose track of time I rely on intuition Most people have a proclivity toward one hemisphere or the other of the brain. Was that your result? Of course, all people have a "left-brain" and a "right-brain". Looking at your own answers, you can see that you have some characteristics of each. But having a proclivity toward one hemisphere points at the opportunity to bring the brain in balance - balancing Arte and Scienza - by developing the less prominent capabilities of the brain.

26 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 26 Mind Mapping (Mind mapping was originated by Michael Gelb's friend and colleague Tony Buzan. Buzan, author of The Mind Map Book, was inspired to create Mind Mapping partly through his studies of the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci!) The Rules 1. Begin your mind map with a symbol or a picture (representing your topic) at the center of your page. Starting at the center opens your mind to a full 360 degrees of association. Pictures and symbols are much easier to remember than words. Drawing a picture or symbol stimulates your right hemisphere and strengthens your ability to think creatively about your subject. 2. Use key words. Key words are the information-rich "nuggets" of recall and creative association. Choosing key words exercises your analytical "left brain" and helps you find the essence of your subject. 3. Connect the key words with lines radiating from your central image. By linking words with lines ("branches"), you'll show clearly how one key word relates to another. 4. Print your key words. Printing is easier to read and remember than writing. 5. Print one key word per line. By doing this, you free yourself to discover the maximum number of creative associations for each key word. The discipline of one word per line also trains you to focus on the most appropriate key word, enhancing the precision of your thought and minimizing clutter. 6. Print your key words on the lines and make the length of the word the same as the line it is on. This maximizes clarity of association and encourages economy of space. 7. Use colors, pictures, dimension, and codes for greater association and emphasis

27 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 27 Mind Mapping: Highlight important points and illustrate relationships between different branches of your mind map. You might, for instance, prioritize your main points through color-coding, highlighting in yellow the most important points, using blue for secondary points, and so forth. Pictures and images, preferably in vivid color, should be used wherever possible; they stimulate your creative association and greatly enhance your memory.

28 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 28 ACTIVITY 7: Arte/Scienza Skill Builder Mind mapping activates both Arte and Scienza - your whole brain. Mind maps let you organize your material logically and even sequentially, while encouraging imagination and spontaneity. Mind maps record in detail where you've been, while suggesting a multitude of potential next steps. Practice this important skill. Begin by creating a mind map in the space below of what you have learned so far in this seminar: Write down a problem at work you would like to solve: Plan to mind map this problem and brainstorm solutions later. Share the mind mapping technique with colleagues and associates and enlist their help in using a mind map to define and solve this problem. You will find a valuable mind-mapping post-presentation activity on page 41.

29 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 29 Notes - 6. Corporalita: Cultivating grace, ambidexterity, fitness and poise: (For post-presentation activities on corporalita, please see pages 42-43) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Notes - 7. Connessione: Recognizing and appreciating the inter-connectedness of all things 'systems thinking':

30 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 30 ACTIVITY 8: Connessione Assessment The ability to see the interconnectedness of things, to appreciate how separate things and phenomena relate to the whole is often called "systems thinking". Do you think of yourself as a 'systems thinker'? Answer these questions on a scale of 1-5, where 1 is "never" or "not at all" and 5 is "always" or "completely". never always I enjoy analogies and metaphors I frequently make connections other people miss I can articulate systems dynamics - patterns, connections, and networks - in the workplace I seek a 'holistic' approach to health My life goals and work are integrated with my values I study the details to grasp the 'whole' At times I feel connected with all creation Why would you want to improve your Connessione?

31 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 31 ACTIVITY 9: Connessione Skill Builder Metaphors and analogies are useful ways to make connections that are not otherwise apparent. You can practice making connections by using the body metaphor to explore the dynamics of your organization, department or work unit: Which organization are you exploring? Who is the head? Who is the heart? What is the stage of our development? Is the head in harmony with the body? What is the quality of nourishment? How is our circulation? What is our backbone? Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing? Are we ambidextrous? What is the state of our health? Chronic maladies? Growing pains? Life threatening disease? What are we doing to be more fit? Where do I fit in?

32 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 32 Notes:

33 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 33 Review You have unlimited potential to liberate your creativity and ignite innovation in your organization. We learned that some of the most modern ideas about creativity and high performance were actually formulated centuries ago by a great genius, Leonardo Da Vinci. The "seven steps to genius every day" are: CURIOSITÀ: Approaching life with insatiable curiosity and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning DIMOSTRAZIONE: Committing to test knowledge through experience, persistence and a willingness to learn from mistakes SENSAZIONE: Continually refining the senses, especially sight, as the means to enliven experience SFUMATO: Embracing ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty ARTE/SCIENZA: Balancing science and art, logic and imagination - 'whole-brain thinking' CORPORALITA: Cultivating grace, ambidexterity, fitness and poise CONNESSIONE: Recognizing and appreciating the interconnectedness of all things - 'systems thinking' In his presentation, Michael Gelb explained the method for using these seven principles. A wealth of exercises has been provided for your use both during the presentation and afterward, offering opportunities to learn and develop the skills embodied in this method. Anyone can learn how to think like a genius. With this knowledge and these tools at your disposal, you and your organization can begin a new period of increased creativity and innovation.

34 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 34 Post-Presentation Activities Beginning on the next page, you will find a series of activities that will augment the work you did during the seminar. Before starting these, be sure to go back and complete the activities you began during the seminar. You will note that some of those also have post-presentation components. POST-PRESENTATION ACTIVITY: Assessing Sensazione Think of the time in the past year when you felt most alive. Chances are that you can conjure up all the images and sensations associated with that event, because at such times your senses tend to be heightened and focused. By refining your Sensazione, you will be able to bring the sensory aliveness of your peak experiences to your life every day. In the pages that follow you will find some suggestions for activities and exercises designed to develop your Sensazione. As before, it is helpful to assess the current state of your Sensazione. Begin by ticking off the checklists to help identify where your senses are most developed and which senses need more work. For more detailed activities like these, please see The How To Think Like Leonardo da Vinci WORKBOOK.

35 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 35 Self-Assessment: Vision VISION: LOOKING AND SEEING When different colors and hues are side by side, I am sensitive as to whether they harmonize or clash. I know the color of all my friends' eyes. I look out into the far horizon and up to the sky at least once a day. I am good at describing a scene in detail. I like doodling and drawing. Friends would describe me as alert. I am sensitive to subtle changes in lighting. I can picture things clearly in my mind's eye. LISTENING AND HEARING: Every sound and every silence provides an opportunity to deepen auditory attunement; but city sounds can be overwhelming and cause us to dull our sensitivity. Surrounded by noises from televisions, airplanes, subways and automobiles, most of us "tune out" for self-protection. Try the following exercises to "tune up" your auditory sense. Self-Assessment: Hearing Friends describe me as a good listener. I am sensitive to noise. I can tell when someone is singing off-key. I can sing on key. I listen to jazz or classical music regularly. I can distinguish the melody from the bass line in a piece of music. I know what all the controls on my stereo system are for and can hear the difference when I adjust them. I enjoy silence. I am attuned to subtle changes in a speaker's voice tone, volume, and inflection.

36 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 36 TOUCHING AND FEELING Your brain receives information from more than 500,000 touch detectors and 200,000 temperature sensors. Yet Leonardo lamented that most people "touch without feeling." The secret of sensitive "feeling" touch is an attitude of receptivity, learning to "listen" deeply with your hands and whole body. Self-Assessment: Touch I am aware of the "feel" of the surfaces that surround me daily, i.e., the chairs, sofas, and car seats I sit on. I am sensitive to the quality of fabric that I wear. I like to touch and be touched. Friends say I give great hugs. I know how to listen with my hands. When I touch someone, I can tell if they are tense or relaxed.

37 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 37 AROMATIC AWARENESS Every day, all day, we are confronted with a smorgasbord of smells. Our five million olfactory cells can sniff out one molecule of an odor-causing substance in one part per trillion of air. And we take about 23,000 breaths per day, processing about 440 cubic feet of scent-laden air, But most people have a very limited vocabulary for describing aromatic experience: "It stinks," or "That smells good," are the most common references. Aim to increase your discrimination and appreciation for smell by expanding your olfactory vocabulary. Perfumers categorize smells as floral (roses), minty (peppermint), musky (musk), ethereal (pears), resinous (camphor), foul (rotten eggs), and acrid (vinegar). Use these terms and make up your own descriptors as you explore the following exercises. Self-Assessment: Smell I have a favorite scent (What is it? Why do I like it? What does it remind me of?) Smells affect my emotions strongly, for better or worse. I can recognize friends by their scent. I know how to use aromas to influence my mood. I can reliably judge the quality of food or wine by its aroma. When I see fresh flowers, I usually take a few moments to breathe in their aroma.

38 How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci 38 GOOD TASTE For most of us, the opportunity to taste presents itself at least three times a day. But in the rush of our lives, it is often difficult to pay attention. It is all too easy to "grab a bite on the run," and to consume an entire meal without really tasting anything. Instead, pause for a few moments before every meal. Reflect on the origins of the meal you are about to enjoy. Aim to be 100 percent present as you taste the first bite of your food. Self-Assessment: Taste I can taste the "freshness" of fresh foods. I enjoy many different types of cuisine. I seek out unusual taste experiences. I can discern the flavor contributions of different herbs and spices in a complex dish. I am a good cook. I eat consciously, aware of the taste of my food. I avoid junk food. I avoid eating on the run. I enjoy participating in taste tests and wine tastings.

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