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Article: The Gateway Trait

The Gateway Trait

Yesterday was the birthday of my biggest influence:

A writer,

A painter,

A scientist,

A strategist,

A mathematician,

And a man I never met.

As I sat on an orange plastic chair in my elementary school library,

I first read about him, puzzled, and thought:

“How could one man be all these things… all at once??”

Like you and me, Leonardo da Vinci was an incredibly hard worker—

But hard work wasn’t the answer to my question.

There was another trait that made him all of these things…

And one of the most influential figures in human history:


Da Vinci’s insatiable, intense curiosity was the secret to his greatness…

And that ignited a fire in my soul.

At that moment, I set off on my own journey of curiosity…

And it led me to this very moment— writing this note to you.

See, I call curiosity the:

“Gateway Trait”

Everything that you want to be in life—

Focused, motivated, disciplined, accomplished—

It all starts with you staying curious,

And asking yourself this question every day:

“Have I grown since yesterday?”

The best part about this question?

Even when your answer is “no”,

You become acutely aware of the work you need to do to grow.

I’ll leave you today with one of my favorite Da Vinci quotes:

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

And just like art,

Your work is never finished—

Because your growth is never finite.

Your potential is limitless and

Your opportunities are endless

When you choose to never abandon,

And always act… early and often.

To growing through today!



Here’s a ranked list of my favorite books about Da Vinci.

Want to reach your full potential? Read the first one. It’ll change your life.

1. Leonardo da Vinci by Water Isaacson

2. Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind: A Biography by Charles Nicholl

3. How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day by Michael J. Gelb

4. Leonardo's Notebooks: Writing and Art of the Great Master

5. Leonardo Da Vinci, Master Draftsman by The Metropolitan Museum of Art

6. Leonardo Da Vinci in His Own Words by William Wray 

7. Little Guides to Great Lives: Leonardo Da Vinci by Isabel Thomas & Katja Spitzer

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