Albert Einstein is considered one of the smartest people in history. So smart that after his death, the pathologist who inspected his body stole his brain.
Thomas Harvey took Einstein’s brain even though the genius clearly stated that he didn’t want his brain or body to be studied after his death.
And even though it turned out that Einstein’s brain was really different from the majority, his genius wasn’t always obvious.
When he was young, Einstein’s parents even thought that he was disabled because he was slow to learn and didn't talk until he was four years old.
Yet he became obsessed with science at the age of five when his father showed him a compass for the first time. In the following decades, he didn’t only develop the theory of relativity and several other inventions that changed the way we see and experience the world but also left us with wisdom on how to live better lives.
“It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.”
There are many paths to success, but one of the few similarities of successful people is persistence.
Einstein didn’t come across his inventions by coincidence. His work was the result of decades of research and experimentation.
Whenever you give up too early, you’re giving up on the opportunity to win.
Quite often, the most successful people are not the smartest or most talented but the most persistent and curious ones. If you’re interested and open to growth, you’ll come across incredible opportunities and likely find answers to your questions.
If you, however, think that you’re smarter than anyone else, you might not only end up being alone but also lack variety and small wins in life.
How to apply it:
Whenever you feel like giving up on a project or dream, take a few minutes and ask yourself why you started in the first place.
If something is essential, you’ll find a way to stick to it and make it work. And if you give up too easily, the odds are that it wasn’t that important anyway.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
This quote by Einstein was found in a letter he sent to his son in 1930.
Quite often, we stop moving forward once we face difficulties. But the truth is that these are the moments we need to be in motion and keep going on, even if life sucks.
Everything you want in life is on the other side of consistency and moving on is always going to pay off, no matter how hard the situation might seem.
How to apply it:
Whatever you do, always stay in motion.
Great things never come from comfort zones and they definitely don’t come if you’re lazy.
Being curious and in motion will help you keep your balance and enrich your life in many ways.
As Oprah once said:
“When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.”
“You Don’t Have to Know Everything. You Just Have to Know Where to Find It.”
This is one of my favorite quotes by Einstein because it sums up how we should learn in the 21st century.
In 1921, Einstein was asked about the speed of sound and replied that he didn’t know because he didn’t carry such information in his mind if it was readily available in textbooks.
Today, we have access to more information than ever before. We can find answers to most questions through our smartphones within just a few minutes, if not seconds.
Yet, the education system is still forcing students to memorize information for tests.
That’s not only ineffective but also worthless as information itself isn’t of value anymore. What matters is how you use that information and whether you can recall it when needed.
How to apply it:
Never waste your brainpower to memorize information which you can easily store somewhere else and find in just a few seconds.
Every single day, we have thousands of mini decisions to make. With each of these decisions, our energy levels fall, and being mindful and productive becomes harder.
Memorizing lots of knowledge just makes it even worse.
What you should do instead is setting up digital information management systems. You can use tools like Notion, Evernote, Trello, or Google Drive to document and store important information.
Once you’ve arranged these tools, you’ll be able to find all the data you need easily. This will allow you to use your precious brainpower for more critical tasks, such as making important decisions.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
This is one of Einstein’s most popular quotes, first used in an interview in 1929.
In that interview, Einstein explained how he often knew that he was right without knowing why. He shared that it’s his intuition telling him that he must be right with an assumption.
In his book “Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms”, Einstein refers to his statement as followed:
“At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason. When the eclipse of 1919 confirmed my intuition, I was not in the least surprised. In fact, I would have been astonished had it turned out otherwise. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”
Too often, we try to be logical and live our lives based on what should be done instead of listening to our inner voice.
Yet the truth is that your intuition and imagination can take you to places your logic could never dare to enter.
How to apply it:
Whenever you feel stuck in life, chances are that you are overcomplicating a situation.
Your intuition and imagination can often take you to beautiful places, while knowledge and logic might let you feel stuck once you face a difficulty.
Life can be so much easier if you listen to your inner voice and allow it to guide you through challenging times.
“A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
Most people feel overwhelmed once they face challenges. As soon as they find a mistake, they start to look for a solution.
Yet what we should do instead is looking for the root, the cause of the problem, and avoiding it altogether instead of just solving it.
If you’re open to change, you’ll be able to eliminate so many of your daily struggles just by changing the way you think and live.
Every time you feel stuck in life and don’t know how to keep going, look for the little insecurities and problems you face and figure out how to avoid those.
How to apply it:
Next time you face a problem, no matter how big or small, ask yourself how you could’ve avoided it.
Maybe you can ask someone for help?
Maybe you can purchase higher quality products?
Quite often, we face the same daily problems over and over again. Looking for the cause of them can save you a lot of time and energy in the long run.
“If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.”
Even though Einstein had a great work ethic and contributed to society and modern science in many ways, he didn’t forget to have fun and relax. His idea of fun might have been different than most people’s preferences, yet he was aware that relaxation is at least as important as focused work.
But the most surprising part of Einstein’s formula for success is keeping your mouth shut. Contrary to most people, Einstein didn’t feel the urge to be a constant talker.
Instead, he preferred to be quiet and didn’t feel the urge to prove himself and demonstrate his ideas.
Everyone loves talking, but only few people enjoy listening. Einstein, however, made use of that power and preferred to listen in order to influence others.
Even though he had more unique ideas to share than most people, he chose to be quiet and let others talk.
How to apply it:
There’s a beautiful saying by Epictetus that goes:
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Great leaders are not known for what they say but for what they do.
If you want to be remembered and respected, make sure to listen more than you talk.
And whatever you do, don’t forget to find a balance between work and play. The combination of both will lead to proper satisfaction.
“A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.”
Even though bad things will always happen, it’s up to us to choose whether we focus on the good or bad.
Most of the time, life isn’t a bowl of cherries, but it’s certainly easier if you accept that you’re the creator of your reality.
You don’t need to be cheerful all the time, but no matter how hard things are, you can always choose to focus on the bright side of life.
How to apply it:
Whenever we’re unhappy, it’s either because we worry about the past or we’re uncertain about happenings in the future.
But the truth is that we can’t influence any of these. The past is gone and the future is always uncertain.
The only thing you can do is focusing on the present moment and making the very most out of each of your days.
Even though you don’t need to be the next genius Einstein, you can start to think like him and become the best version of yourself by applying some of his lessons.
- Stay with the questions longer: Curiosity will take you to much more exciting places than intelligence.
- To stay in balance, always keep moving: Quite often, being in motion is more important than anything else. The moment you stand still, you’ll lose opportunities.
- Don’t load your brain with unnecessary information: Instead, set up digital information management tools and save your brainpower for important decisions.
- Imagination is more important than knowledge: Whatever you do, don’t forget to let your imagination be part of the game.
- Learn to avoid problems: Solving problems is nice, but eliminating the root is much more effective.
- Working, playing, and keeping your mouth shout will take you to great places: Learn to balance these three and you’ll be ahead of the majority.
- Be so present that you forget about the past and the future: Right now is the only time that counts.