The plot:

A romantic comedy about an American family traveling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple. Gil and his fiancée, Inez, are in Paris, having a vacation with family and by chance with friends. Gil is a successful but dissatisfied Hollywood screenwriter, now working on his first novel. Inez and the others are very demeaning both to Gil and the idea of him writing a novel.

While alone walking at night, Gil gets in a car with some friendly strangers. Gil soon discovers he has been transported to the 1920s, an era he admires and idolizes in his to-be-novel. While there, he encounters and interacts with famous literary icons and artists who help him with his novel and his life.

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And here is the lesson to remember from this movie…

In the end he discovers that longing for a “golden past” is a recurring theme of any time period, as some prefer to be nostalgic about a romanticized past rather than accepting the messy present and uncertain future.

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When we read about the lives of the great achievers of the past, we are often impressed with their accomplishments. What we fail to realize is that many of them had their own struggles and daily frustrations to deal with.

Just like us!

The grass always seems to be greener elsewhere.

But is it really?

The challenge at any given time (or era) is to use the resources that are available to us in the best possible way.

And before you start making excuses, try to rembember this quote from Jackson Brown, the writer,

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per daythat were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.”
 
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Look at what Leonardo da Vinci has accomplished in only 24 488 days. It fascinates me how someone like him could  have accomplished so much in so little time and with much less resources and knowledge available to us nowadays. There were no computers, no Google, no Wikipedia, and yet take a look at the description of who he was and the scope of his realizations;

 

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) was an Italian polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance man, a man whose unquenchable curiosity was equaled only by his powers of invention. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and “his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote”. Marco Rosci points out, however, that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time. Leonardo was and is renowned primarily as a painter. Two of his works, the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, are the most famous, most reproduced and most parodied portrait and religious paintings of all time, respectively, their fame approached only by Michelangelo‘s Creation of Adam. Leonardo’s drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on everything from the euro to text books to t-shirts. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings survive, the small number due to his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination. Nevertheless, these few works, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, compose a contribution to later generations of artists only rivalled by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo.

Source, Wikipedia, December 4, 2010.

 

“Just as iron rusts from disuse, even so does inaction spoil the intellect”

Leonardo da Vinci, artist

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Are you active enough to keep your mind intellectually stimulated?

 

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.”
 
— Jackson Brown Jr., writer
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