Thinker Profiles: DaVinci

Da Vinci Quotes

Thinker Profiles is a series where I choose a legendary figure from ancient or modern history and present a few of their most thoughtful quotes.

This time we’ll spotlight some words of wisdom from Leonardo da Vinci, scholar, artist, engineer, and sculptor.

We’ll start with three quotes that express his feelings about inactivity:

  • It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
  • I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.
  • Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation… even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.

Here are some of Da Vinci’s thoughts on thinking:

  • There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see.
  • The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.
  • The senses are of the earth, the reason stands apart from them in contemplation.

And now, we’ll keep it simple and end with the following quote, because:

  • Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

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