Leonardo da Vinci is described in Wikipedia as a polymath, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer which means that he discovered at least one notable thing in each of these fields or a at least contributed some great idea to one of the each fields. The question is, how one single person was able to make so many discoveries without any proper education in these fields?
If we were to compare him today with most of the talented engineers, graduates, Ph.d’s who received so much education in the university, still then, Leonardo will surpass all of them. This means that education alone cannot make the person like that although it may serve as an aide or additional benefit. It’s the quality within the person which makes him so capable.
There is no doubt that Leonardo would have been a very curious man. We have lost our curiosity and take things for granted and generally not curious about the things happening around us.
But, an important question to ask is, what was the motivation behind his curiosity?
You cannot be simply curious about everything around you and start questioning about it or you might get busy thinking about thousands of things simultaneously and go paranoid.
Leonardo had made sketches of flying birds with study of their angle of tilting and drawn sketches for flying machines and several other kinds of machines which shows that he was interested in making human life better and give more power in the hands of human beings. Maybe he thought that if birds can fly than why can’t humans fly with the help of some machine or artificial wings.
"Design for a Flying Machine" by Leonardo da Vinci - http://www.drawingsofleonardo.org. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
He also made made sketches of various parts of human body and animals which shows that he was also very curious about mechanism of human body and life in general.
His paintings might be his passion or something which gave him peace or maybe he used to express things in the paintings which was not able to say in not so open minded society or it is also possible that his paintings do contain some hidden messages as he used to write his notes in mirror image from right to left or all of the above. But his skill of painting definitely helped him to understand other things. This can be seen by looking at his drawings or sketches. Leonardo’s skill of drawing even helped him in supporting himself as he worked as military architect and engineer for Cesare Borgia, the son of Pope Alexander VI. Leonardo created a map of Cesare Borgia’s stronghold, a town plan of Imola in order to win his patronage. Maps were extremely rare at the time and it would have seemed like a new concept. Upon seeing it, Cesare hired Leonardo as his chief military engineer and architect.
"Leonardo da Vinci - Plan of Imola - Google Art Project" by Leonardo da Vinci - hgEpMgZ5mn6R4A at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
It is not impossible to become like Leonardo Da Vinci in today’s world but for that one cannot follow the herd, will need a lot of courage to follow his own path and may have to work on himself a lot. He has to be clear about his goals, must be ready to learn on the go, have patience, develop curious mind and powerful visualization ability so as he can see interconnections between various things that others can’t see. We have a lot of potential inside us. I leave you to wonder here.
Another good article to read more on the topic: http://www.andreabalt.com/7-ways-to-think-like-leonardo-da-vinci/