The Bellwether January 1, 2024

Further, many imagine da Vinci and other Old Masters sketching and painting their works alone in a workshop. On the contrary, the artists of his time did not draw all aspects of their pieces with their own hands. Instead, these artisans were more akin to architects. They would sketch and design the concept that pupils and assistants would complete. Similarly, we all must learn to work in committees and groups that help us achieve more than possible on our own. But you must never forget that the work does not get there without a visionary as a leader. In this way, da Vinci embraced the Success Law of the Architect. You, too, can learn how to become a trailblazer that can take the lead and guide others to great works that fulfill the grand designs you have in mind. Da Vinci holds the rare distinction of being not only a bellwether of his own era but also one for centuries that followed. His amazing inventions and scientific deductions only now are finding their fulfillment in the technological era. Though we may not be able to have the level of individual distinction that da Vinci had, we can imitate his curiosity and passion for progress. In doing so, we can maximize our own potential and that of others to stand as modern bellwethers.

reminded that talent is never a substitute for hard work.

Greatness does not result from intelligence or skill. Surely, we can all name intellectuals who became monumental disappointments and many more who only led mediocre lives. Likewise, da Vinci’s brilliance was not the sole reason for how great he became. He continuously put in the necessary work required to excel. Much of the reason he sustained his workload was due to his insatiable curiosity. Da Vinci’s inquisitiveness and thirst for knowledge is a prime demonstration of the Principle of Perseverance. This criterion for success teaches us how to connect our professions with our passions. Even when da Vinci was not doing the work that he thought he wanted to do, he related his vocation to his passion for understanding the natural world and creating inventions and artwork that highlighted and magnified that beauty. Such enthusiasm allowed da Vinci to work tirelessly for his whole life. Another vital note: While curiosity is a fantastic motivator, it may not always be enough. An essential characteristic that researchers find in children that are ultimately successful in life is not their talent level or their intelligence quotient. More often than not, a person’s grit – that is, their stick-to-itiveness, resolve, and steadfastness – is a deciding factor in success. All of us must identify a personal passion, but we must create a program to nurture that passion

and cultivate it. Once again, we can all refer to gifted individuals who once had a zest for life, only to devolve into the same vicious cycle that many modern professionals fall into.

Feed your passion to boost your endurance and perseverance.

Another fallacy about geniuses such as da Vinci is that all of their work is done in siloes. As previously referenced, the great master had to fine-tune his talent with training that occurred alongside other skilled artists. With guidance, he eventually surpassed his teachers, but he required training and collaboration. Even after attaining fantastic success, da Vinci was known for passing time at a court in Milan where he could fraternize with people of all sorts. This exchange of ideas led to the inspiration for some of his greatest works, including The Vitruvian Man .

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