Cracking the da Vinci (Creativity) Code

Plus, better conversations & lessons from a detective

“A perfectly tuned conversation is a vision of sanity, a reassurance that you’re the right sort of person and that all is right with the world.” –Deborah Tannen


  • Stuck in a creative rut? Maybe Leonardo da Vinci can help. In a recent article published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, researchers studied the psychology behind da Vinci’s creative process. They identified key stages of creativity, from vision and curiosity to trial and error to what they call "schema elaboration,” which involves breaking down parts of the project and thinking about how those parts fit with the greater whole.  “The creative process we described is based on general psychological mechanisms common to all humans,” the researchers concluded. “None of us is Leonardo da Vinci, but all of us are a little like him.” Something to keep in mind if, like da Vinci, you're ever inspired to invent a new type of helicopter.

  • Trust your gut! Listen to your intuition! You’ve undoubtedly heard these aphorisms. But our gut is not always the best decision-maker, and often enough, our first impressions aren’t accurate. To make better decisions and judgment calls, think more like a detective.

  • You have eyes in the front of your head. That’s obvious. But have you thought about how this shapes the way you “see” things around you? Are you even aware you are seeing only a selective slice of the world? Listen to learn more.


April 26: Do you find yourself struggling to communicate with your mom? Ever feel like you and your spouse are speaking different languages? Learn how to communicate better at work, at home and in your social life.

May 3:  Have you ever heard someone described as a left-brain or right-brain person? To what extent are these descriptions actually based in science? For centuries, people have puzzled over why the human brain has two hemispheres. Why would you split a supercomputer in two? This week, the mystery of the divided brain and what it tells us about how to live a fuller life.


A puzzle for you…

In a pond, there is a patch of lily pads. Each day, the lily pads double in size. If it takes the lily pads 48 days to cover the whole pond, how many days does it take to cover half the pond?

Find out in next week’s newsletter.



Happy National Poetry Month! April Is a Dog’s Dream.

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