Inspiration from Albert Einstein
Estimated Lesson Time: 2 minutes
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was the Nobel Prize winner in 1921 for physics.
Success is finding opportunity in rejection. In 1901 when Einstein received his diploma, he was unable to get a teaching post, so he accepted a position as a technical assistant in the Swiss Patent Office that allowed him a generous amount of spare time. He used this spare time to produce much of his remarkable work for which he is so well known today.
Success is knowing when to keep quiet. “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.”
Success is knowing how to persist. Einstein attributed much of his success not to his mathematical abilities, but his persistence. Said Einstein, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” • “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Success is imagination. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
Success is understanding the power of questions. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” • “I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive.”
Success is the appreciation of occasional solitude. Einstein’s gifts inevitably resulted in his dwelling much in intellectual solitude and, for relaxation; music played an important part in his life.
Success is value. “Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”
Success is not fearing mistakes. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
Success is doing for others. In 1944, Einstein made a contribution to the war effort by hand writing his 1905 paper on special relativity and putting it up for auction. It raised six million dollars, the manuscript today being in the Library of Congress.
Success is dealing with criticism. At the time of the publication of the theory of relativity, the people who read the papers met them with skepticism and ridicule, and some even threatened him with death because of his beliefs.
[Sources: http://www.biography.com, http://www.nobel.se, http://www.einstein-website.de]
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)