I’ve been working real hard lately on a couple of brand new, exciting courses. One of them is called, “da Vinci’s Seven Secrets,” after the creative genius, Leonardo da Vinci, and what I wanted to do today in today’s newsletter is cover just a glimpse into one of those secrets.
Many people believe Leonardo da Vinci was so creative because he lived by seven principles, or seven secrets. And it’s the first one – remaining curious in your business or personal life – that’s one of the crucial ones.
A light bulb with black and white paddles in it? Now, every one of us has seen this before in school, and we were taught how it works. It’s called a solar radiometer, and what it does is measure the strength of the solar radiation – the stronger the sun shines on it, the faster the paddles turn. So were you ever curious about how it works? Well, your teachers taught you how it works, but did you ever question that?
Well, the solar radiometer’s been around for about 130 years. It was invented by William Crookes, and it works very well. Now, I said your teachers taught you how it worked before. They used some version of radiation pressure or gas pressure or out gassing of the black material or maybe photoelectric effect, or convection currents or edge effects or the black side of the paddle heats up and the white side doesn’t.
But here’s the amazing thing – after 130 years, every one of those explanations is wrong. And the truth is – nobody knows how it works. That’s right – nobody knows how it works. So why do we so often just take at face value what our teachers teach us? So again, to be creative, it’s things like this you’ve got to continually question and remain curious.
Here’s a thought-provoking question to really keep your mind sharp and curious.
Has time travel been proven?
Not is it possible, but has it been proven?
And your first reaction is probably, “Absolutely not,” but it has been, multiple times.
They did an experiment where they ran two cesium clocks that were calibrated side by side, one on the ground and one in an aircraft that flew back and forth across the United States, and when they compared the two clocks, the one on the plane ran slower, exactly as Einstein had predicted.
The same thing happens in particle accelerators. All the time, you know exactly how fast a particle’s going to decay, but when you fly that particle in front of an observer near the speed of light, it takes much, much longer for it to decay. And believe it or not, the Global Positioning System, our GPS satellites, since they’re all moving at different speeds relative to the person or the GPS handheld that you have that’s showing you where you’re at. Those clocks have to be updated continuously for them to be accurate. If they didn’t, the GPS system wouldn’t work.
The point is, I want you to just remain curious and question common knowledge, because it can really open the doors to creativity. Here’s a book I really like called The Hidden Messages in Water. If you haven’t read this before, go get a copy. It’s really interesting in that this guy, the author, took water and he played nice music to it, and kind of ugly music to it; he spoke softly to it, then yelled at it—and then froze ice crystals.
He then looked at them under a microscope, and you can see that when the water was treated nicely, it made nice, symmetrical water crystals. When it was treated poorly, it made ugly water crystals. Now, as he says in the book, if we can do that to water by just the way we treat it, and we’re 80% or something water ourselves, just imagine what being hateful to each other’s doing to us.
Remember the movie Night Shift with Michael Keaton and Henry Winkler?
Bill: Wait a minute – hold the phone.
Chuck: Oh, you’re gonna cure cancer?
Bill: Tuna fish – what if you mix mayonnaise right in the can with the tuna fish?
Hold it! Hold it! Wait a minute—Chuck – take live tuna fish and feed them mayonnaise!
Oh, this is good – call Starkist.
So why’d it take a hundred years for somebody to change it?
I mean, tuna, forever, only came in one form, fit, and function of a can, and for a long time all you could get was plain tuna, not albacore or packed in oil or packed in water. And it’s not that the technology didn’t exist – the technology to package it differently existed for many years.
Just look at all the choices you have in a grocery store now with tuna, all the different packaging types, containers, different flavors – and nothing was stopping anyone from doing that, it’s just somebody was curious enough to ask the question, “Why not?”
I really despise that saying, “Curiosity killed the cat.” That’s not the issue. Conventional wisdom is what kills curiosity.