I’m reading (listening) to a book on Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. I might make a book review of it later but I wanted to make a separate post about a theme that runs through this book. Da Vinci was a chronic procrastinator. He did amazing work that he was interested in, but the moment he lost interest he stopped (sometimes mid painting). He left behind hoards of studies that could have changed medicine and city structures but never did because he found editing and publishing too bothersome. He wanted to learn, not share, and in theory there is nothing wrong with this. Your time is your time, no matter how you want to use it or share it. I’m not arguing that he didn’t have the right to keep his findings to himself. I’m saying it’s a shame he did.
Da Vinci found out how our heart valves worked in his unpublished studies. Nobody gave mind to his theory until new researchers rediscovered what he did in 1960. Nineteen-sixty. He was that ahead of his time, that genius, but he didn’t share because of the work load it would take.
Lucky for him we have found all his notebooks and know of his genius, but I’m betting for a lot of great minds this isn’t true. I’m guessing that there are a lot of great minds like him, who love the thrill of learning but don’t love the work that goes into sharing, and I’m guessing that their work has been lost over the years. It’s even more of a threat now that most work is done digitally. How many floppy-disks full of information have simply been thrown in landfills at this point?
We all have our gifts, and some of us are much more gifted than others. Da Vinci’s mind was in a different class, but that doesn’t mean that there are not others like him and it doesn’t mean that minds of a little lesser class still have a ton of undiscovered genius.
Not everyone should publish a book. Not everyone should get lectures. Not everyone needs a blog. But if you feel like you have something to give the world, something to share, what is holding you back?
Is it really something that can’t be overcome? Is your idea really something to be dismissed?
The world is full of crazy ideas, it’s full of ideas that have been said one way but could benefit someone to be said differently. There is always more to offer. There is always more to give. So please, don’t keep your genius locked in a box. Don’t keep your genius to yourself.
That might mean something big, but it also might mean a few long conversations with good friends. The genius we all have to offer comes at different levels, but it is needed, so please, share it.