One of my goals for writing this blog is to better educate ourselves on how to think, whether about our careers, relationships, finances or personal growth. I
believe one of the best ways we can achieve this goal is not to reinvent the wheel, but to improve upon it by learning from the masters.
Leonardo da Vinci believed that to gain fresh insight into a problem one needed to restructure the problem so that it could be viewed in many different ways, from many different angles. He called this thinking, saper vedere, or “knowing how to see.”
Oftentimes when faced with a problem we focus on the first perspective that comes to mind. Naturally the solutions that follow will likely be based on the side of the problem that we’re looking from. Our attempt to make sense of a problem is based on what we’ve so far been accustomed to thinking. With this single way
of looking at the problem we close off other possible points of view sometimes to our detriment.
But what if we could suspend our first impression of the problem and doggedly go in search of many other ways to view the issue, as many as time and urgency
will allow. Take for example, the issue of getting an airplane to defy the laws of gravity, and not only stay in the air, but speed through the air. To solve this problem, the Wright brother had to find a rather unusual way to look at their problem. They looked at the way buzzards kept their balance in flight and used that as their inspiration for how to maneuver and stabilize an airplane in flight.
It’s fascinating how inspiration can come from anywhere sometimes even between objects which appear to be very different. Proof that when seeing a problem from
many different angles, novel solutions can come about.
Until next time, let’s not claim the first perspective that comes to mind when looking at a problem. Let’s take some time to see as if seeing through a kaleidoscope with may different angles.