Sunday, January 30, 2011

Plan B

"You can't fit a square peg into a round hole."  Handsome Husband

Last week I started a line of inquiry into Michael Gelb’s national best seller, “How to think Like Leonardo Da Vinci, Seven steps to Genius Every Day”. I had truly hoped that reading this book with Mavis and with you would open our collective minds to the mysteries of creative thought and endeavor.

Abandon Ship.

Like wearing 6-inch heels to the prom, this book was a bad fit. I fell in love with the idea, but the reality didn’t match up.

No offense, Mr. Gelb. You did what you needed to do to sell your book. The truth is, however, that this is not about Leonardo Da Vinci, or steps to genius. But then, if you had titled it “How to Think Like Bernie Schwartz, Seven Steps to Paying Attention”, no one, including Bernie Schwartz, would be paying attention.

What Gelb does do is remind us that there’s a pretty amazing world out there, and that we may be unaware of that because we have narrowed our focus to those ideas that are habitual, or perhaps have a foundation that needs to be re-examined. He has developed some interesting exercises that are designed to prompt us to open our minds, not only to new experiences, but also to the understanding of how we got to where we are. I like that. It’s a good thing to examine the roots of our opinions and thoughts, especially as our world gets smaller and smaller and we mix and mingle with others from histories much different than our own.

I’m glad I own the book, and I’ll peruse it now and then remind myself to pause and wonder about those things I may be passing by. I can dash around full of myself with the best of them, passing up opportunities to learn new things in my desire to get somewhere faster. In fact, just the other morning as I was scurrying to an early morning meeting I heard the ghost of Leonardo whispering to me to slow down and absorb the exquisite quiet of the morning air. I did, and my day was better for it.

I will also go to the library and check out a book about Leonardo and figure out for myself who this man was, and why we don’t see more of his type around. And I’ll give myself a pass on becoming a genius. It’s probably overrated anyway.

You’re excused too.


Karine said...

I admit, I am happy to have you post this. I was feeling more than a little intimidated!!!! ;)

I'd like to be a genius, but I think madwoman is more accurate. and I'm okay with that. You're much closer to genius than I. xo

Patty said...

Ah, Karine, no geniuses here, either. Shall we form a Madwomen of the World Troupe? No geniuses allowed!