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You are currently viewing How to think like Leonardo da Vinci (review) by Michael Gelb

7 steps to genius, every day!

In “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci,” Michael Gelb takes us on an enchanting journey into the mind of one of history’s greatest geniuses. With a captivating blend of biography, self-help, and practical exercises, Gelb offers readers a unique opportunity to unlock their own creative potential. At the heart of this exploration lies a powerful tool called mind mapping—an indispensable technique that Leonardo himself used to ignite his imagination and foster innovative thinking. Amazing that this amazing technique was used so long ago by such a great mind!

Key Features

  1. The Essence of Leonardo: Gelb masterfully delves into the life and mind of Leonardo da Vinci, revealing the core principles that defined his creativity and brilliance.

Leonardo da Vinci’s brilliance continues to captivate and inspire generations. His multidimensional genius encompassed fields such as art, science, engineering, and philosophy, making him a true Renaissance man. Michael Gelb skillfully peels back the layers of Leonardo’s life, uncovering the fundamental principles that shaped his remarkable creativity. By examining Leonardo’s insatiable curiosity, relentless observation skills, and the interconnectedness of his knowledge, Gelb provides readers with a profound understanding of the maestro’s mind. Resulting in Gelb’s 7 Davincian principles.

  1. Mind Mapping: Unleashing Creativity: Gelb highlights mind mapping as a key strategy throughout the book, illustrating how it can liberate our thought processes and enhance our problem-solving skills.

Within the pages of this book, Gelb emphasizes the invaluable role of mind mapping as a gateway to unleashing our own creative potential. Mind mapping is a dynamic technique that allows us to visually capture and organize our thoughts, ideas, and connections. Inspired by Leonardo’s own practice of creating intricate visual maps, Gelb shows how mind mapping can become a powerful catalyst for innovative thinking. Through a series of practical exercises, readers are encouraged to engage with their own ideas, explore diverse associations, and transcend traditional linear thinking patterns. By employing mind mapping techniques, we embark on a journey of self-discovery and tap into the boundless realm of our imagination.


  1. Gelb explores various themes that shaped Leonardo’s thinking, including curiosity, observation, and the interconnectedness of knowledge.

Gelb masterfully weaves together an exploration of Leonardo’s life and ideas, delving into the themes that defined his extraordinary thinking. With an engaging narrative, he invites readers to step into the world of this visionary and uncover the principles that fueled his insatiable curiosity. From Leonardo’s relentless observation of nature’s intricacies to his profound belief in the interconnectedness of disciplines, Gelb unveils the intellectual tapestry that shaped the Renaissance master.

  1. Gelb’s book provides a comprehensive view of Leonardo’s methodologies, offering practical exercises and techniques for readers to apply in their own lives.

“How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci” offers a comprehensive roadmap for readers seeking to tap into their own creative reservoirs. Gelb goes beyond a mere exploration of Leonardo’s life, providing readers with practical exercises and techniques inspired by the master himself. Through hands-on activities, readers are encouraged to engage their senses, develop their powers of observation, and cultivate a holistic understanding of the world around them. Gelb’s meticulous research and thoughtful guidance create an immersive experience that transcends the boundaries of traditional self-help literature.

  1. Gelb highlights mind mapping as a potent tool to capture and organize ideas, stimulate associations, and foster holistic thinking.

Mind mapping emerges as a prominent thread throughout Gelb’s narrative, allowing readers to witness its transformative power firsthand. With Leonardo as our muse, Gelb demonstrates how mind mapping can serve as a gateway to innovative thinking. By visually representing our ideas and associations, mind maps enable us to unlock new insights and develop a more holistic understanding of complex concepts. Gelb’s practical exercises guide us through the process of creating our own mind maps, empowering us to engage our imagination, think more expansively, and approach problems from fresh perspectives.

Pros and Cons of How to think like Leonardo da Vinci


  • Engaging Narrative: Gelb’s storytelling ability brings Leonardo’s life and ideas to life, captivating readers from start to finish.
  • Practical Exercises: The book includes interactive exercises that encourage readers to actively engage with the content and apply it to their lives.
  • Mind Mapping Techniques: Gelb effectively demonstrates how mind mapping can be a transformative tool for creative thinking.


  • Limited Critique: The book focuses predominantly on Leonardo’s positive aspects, leaving little room for critical analysis or potential limitations.

Final verdict

“How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci” is a captivating and insightful book that immerses readers in the boundless creativity of Leonardo’s mind. Through Gelb’s engaging narrative and practical exercises, readers are inspired to unlock their own inner genius. The emphasis on mind mapping as a catalyst for innovative thinking adds a powerful dimension to the book, providing readers with a valuable tool to fuel their imagination and explore new horizons.

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

Should you buy How to think like Leonardo da Vinci?

Yes, definitely! Especially if you are interested in the way Leonardo da Vinci still impacts our daily life. And, of course, if you are interested in mind mapping.

Buy on Amazon (aff.): How to think like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael Gelb

Buy the workbook (aff.): How to think like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael Gelb workbook

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