The Bellwether January 1, 2024

Society often elevates figures who lived extraordinary lives to a mythical status. As a result, people from “average” or “normal” backgrounds might think achieving anything close to that greatness is unrealistic. However, the path of success is not magical or predestined. Most of the world’s great bellwethers have been women and men who reached their goals through tenacity and persistence, not just talent or sheer brilliance. One such example is Leonardo da Vinci. What principles did he apply to become a world-renown icon? How might you emulate his life to reach your maximum potential? Discover critical lessons that you can implement to attain magnificent success.

Still, da Vinci made sure to include all of his talents and skills when writing to potential patrons for sponsorship. These early “resumes” always mentioned his skills as a painter, and that was the assignment he most often received. The artist was not too proud to take the work and created the astounding portfolio we recognize today. And the conclusion to da Vinci’s desire to engineer weapons? Once he finally received the chance later in life, he found he could not stomach the realities of battle once he saw how his equipment was used. He recognized that work was better suited to other men, and he retreated to his artistic endeavors, where he continued to do outstanding work. Here, we can learn a vital lesson about being entrepreneurial and fitting whatever need the market

calls for. The common advice to “follow your heart” can sometimes be foolhardy and dangerous in business. Our emotions are not always the best guide toward a career path or enterprise. Instead, we should learn to focus our attention on whatever efforts can produce the most good, as da Vinci did. We all do well to specialize in an area that strikes a balance between performing a function that serves a societal need and brings personal fulfillment. This may require trial and error, but it is worth the effort.

Da Vinci is one of the most prominent “Renaissance men” in history. He excelled in multiple areas, such as science, engineering, architecture, sculpting, and, of course, painting. Clearly, the man had natural gifts. Still, it would be an oversimplification to say his triumphs all resulted from raw talent. He had to learn to concentrate his efforts in the right areas. Interestingly, da Vinci repeatedly pursued a career as an engineer and inventor of weapons for various cities in his native Italy. However, there were few conflicts at the time, so politicians and leaders did not require those services. (And this was despite the fact that his designs and blueprints were technological marvels.)

In addition to his aptitudes, da Vinci had to exert himself. He studied with the masters that preceded him and trained diligently. Here we are

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