In Others’ Words: Something Else

Beth Vogt In Others' Words, Life 12 Comments

Life is simple da Vinci 2014


I don’t know about you, but there are days when life feels simple … and then there are days when life is nothing but a snarl of complications.

Today I’m going with Leonardo da Vinci’s “Life is simple” view of things. Why not? If a true Renaissance man like da Vinci — a painter, sculptor, inventor, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer — can call life “pretty simple,” I’m intrigued.

Unpacking today’s quote, I like how da Vinci acknowledges how our efforts produce both success and failure. But for him, the most important thing — “the trick” — was in doing something else. 

Doing something else. Never settling. Forward motion. Not quitting — whether you failed or won and could enjoy a round of applause.

That’s the part of the quote that’s caught my attention: the doing something else.

In Your Words: Do you agree with da Vinci? Is life simple or complicated? And when you succeed or fail, do you pursue the doing of something else? 

The Pursuit of Doing Something Else  Click to Tweet

What Do You Do When You Succeed Click to Tweet

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Comments 12

  1. It’s take the next step kind of thing. On days when I’m overwhelmed with too many things on my plate or even on days when I’ve finished a huge project and am not sure what to do next, I remind myself to just take the next step, and take it one at a time and not all at once. I mean, you don’t climb stairs two at at time, at least not for long and not at my age. The only thing I have to do is…take that next step. Great post.

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      Hi, Pat:
      This days — with back surgery scheduled for Thursday — I don’t take the stairs much at all. So I do what I have to do … and not much more. It’s all about keeping it very simple and being content.

  2. I love this and the great diversity of accomplishments da Vinci produced. I’ve been called a Renaissance woman more than once. Sometimes the plethora of projects can hit overload and be a jumble. Others, it becomes symphony. As a teacher, I learned the importance of guiding students toward one manageable daily small success while building toward larger ones. Good reminder for my daily life, too. Thanks, Beth

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  3. It’s neither simple nor complicated, and what you do is not relevant.

    Life is about how you do it, the example you set. It’s about choosing kindness over cruelty, warmth over aloofness, encouragement over criticism.

    Moving forward? Yes, sometimes. But sometimes you’ve got to stop, or step back, and help someone else forward, or tend to the injuries of the man left lying by the side of the road.

    When you can move forward again you may find that the landscape has changed, and that extending mercy has closed off opportunities, that the door has shut, and there is no knob on this side.

    Doesn’t matter. It’s still all about how we do it, and the only legacy we leave is the echo of our heart.

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      You’ve stopped me in my tracks today.
      ” … the only legacy we leave is the echo of our heart.”

      Thinking on that, my friend. Thinking on that.

      And I do believe how we do what we do — and what we do — reveals our heart.

  4. Yours is the second post I’ve read today on simply moving forward, Beth. One step at a time. This week contains crazy deadlines, so your words and da Vinci’s quote are inspiring. Reading through the list of his accomplishments made me realize that those great thinkers didn’t have TV or social media as distractions. They truly LIVED and wisely used their time. So many great lessons to learn from them!

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      Now I’m curious as to what the other post is.
      And yes, da Vinci didn’t have the distractions we deal with — but I’m sure he had others to contend with.

  5. The “doing something else” caught my eye too. They always say if you want things to go differently than they have, you have to do something different. I’m thinking when we’ve failed, we need to do something else, something different. When we’ve been successful in something, we can’t just stop there, we need to do something else. Keep moving forward.

    I guess as far as life being simple or complicated, it depends on your perspective and focus. 🙂 I’ll be pondering this quote for the rest of the day. Thanks for sharing it, Beth!

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      Perspective changes everything — both success and failure.

      And it amazed me how such a multi-talented man (and that’s an understatement) as da Vinci could say “life is simple.”

  6. Beth, thanks for the lovely quote. And the list of da Vinci’s accomplishments. I’m with you. If he found life simple, I’m intrigued.

    To me, life is a mixture of simple and complicated. It depends on the moment and how well we understand how to do what God’s asking us to do. If it’s something we mastered a while ago, it’s probably a pretty simple time. If it’s a new concept, well… that’s when it gets a little complicated. (Okay, big time complicated.)

    Right now, I’m feeling like I have a game plan. That makes it feel simple, although, for me, accomplishing this plan is a tricky thing. It requires a lot of focus (for which I’ll have to redirect myself a bajillion times) and patience (at which I’ve never been very good). Besides my history with distractions and impatience, I’m pretty set to go!

    What I’m glad about the most for this process is the fact that God’s refining me. He’s breaking me down and refining me, building me back up into a creation filled with attributes He needs me to have in order to better serve Him. Though that process hurts intensely at times (like just a few nights ago, actually), it’s beautiful and delicate at the same time. Thank the Lord for His wisdom and loyalty. Without Him, I am nothing.



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