An Unlikely Turbo Thinker

When one hears the name, "Leonardo da Vinci", most think artist, anatomist, scientist, engineer, inventor, musician and/or cartographer. Have you ever thought of him as a Turbo Thinker? At the 500th anniversary of his death, he graces the cover of National Geographic magazine and is the subject of an article from Brain: A Journal of Neurology from Oxford Academic titled “Leonardo da Vinci: A Genius Driven to Distraction.” Both articles express the idea that this monumental innovator had ADHD.

He had a wide breadth of interests and eclectic talent, he often had difficulty focusing, abandoned projects, fickleness of temperament and chaotic organizational skills, and was known to be unreliable. He was a genius and severely lacked executive function skills!

Here are some highlights, but the read for yourselves. What an amazing contribution to mankind! What an inspiration to us all! We should all strive to be as amazing as Leonardo!!

“‘in learning and in the rudiments of letters he would have made great proficiency, if he had not been so variable and unstable, for he set himself to learn many things, and then, after having begun them, abandoned them.’ (Vasari, 1996).’

Perhaps the most disruptive side of his mind was a voracious curiosity, which both propelled his creativity and distracted him from keeping a steady path to completion.

We suggest that historical documentation supports Leonardo’s difficulties with procrastination and time management as characteristic of ADHD, a condition that might explain aspects of his temperament and the strange form of his dissipative genius. Leonardo’s difficulties were pervasive since childhood, which is a fundamental characteristic of the condition. There is also unquestionable evidence that Leonardo was constantly on the go, keeping himself occupied with doing something but often jumping from task to task. Like many of those suffering with ADHD, he slept very little and worked continuously night and day by alternating rapid cycles of short naps and waking.”

Read more at Oxford Academic

Read more at National Geographic