Six lessons I learned from Albert Einstein.

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

See the world differently. Einstein had the imagination (and the courage to give it free rein) to see the world differently from anyone who preceded him. Arthur Compton noted that Einstein has shown us our world in truer perspective and has helped us a little more clearly how we are related to the universe around us. This sudden illumination is only possible by allowing a leap forward from imagination. So allow yourself to see things from a different perspective.

Challenge authority. Einstein was passionate in fighting dogma based on authority. He was always prepared to question everything. Literally everything – including accepted fundamental principle of our cosmos. The payoff was that he regularly found himself in conflict with institutions of governance, professional colleagues, and many others. Yet this natural aversion to bending to the will of others and being an independent spirit is what lead him to his new discoveries. So don’t believe everything you’re told.

Be relentlessly curious. Einstein himself seemed to believe that there was nothing more important than his relentless desire to find answers to the really big questions. He was motivated by an irresistible longing to understand the secrets of nature. This strong desire to continue learning turned out to be a trait which would serve him well in his career. Make it your goal to never stop learning.

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious”. – Albert Einstein

Seek out like minds. Although Einstein seemed to work best on his own, he never lost sight of the dangers of working in a vacuum. He shaped alliances to supplement fruitful relationships which he nurtured over decades. Later he even founded The Olympia Academy with some friends. They would discuss philosophy and physics in their meetings which often lasted long into the night. Aim to connect with people that share interests with you.

Take time to unwind. Einstein threw himself into his work with ferocious intensity and was not known as someone with a bunch of hobbies. Yet, he knew the importance of recharging. He would smoke a pipe to calm down and bring things into focus. He used to sail his boat for solitary reflection away from demands or people and to connect with the elements of nature. In addition, he would play his violin or the piano because it gave him great satisfaction. Take time out your busy schedule to de-stress.

Think big and endure. One of Einstein’s most notable characteristics was that he refused to impose any limits on what mankind might know and, as a result, insisted on posing boundless challenges to himself. He spent many years of anxious searching in the dark for a truth that he felt but couldn’t express. His intense desire and the alternations of confidence and misgiving are what kept him in the race until he finally achieved clarity and understanding. Remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint.

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal. Not to people or to things.” – Albert Einstein

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