By Mayukh Saha
Everybody knows Einstein as the great person who changed the world completely. A genius scientist, it would seem like he knew nothing more than his books. But that’s how we end up misjudging geniuses. Einstein had lived during the times of Nazi Germany and he saw something that shaped his life and views about it. These are some of his wisdom that Einstein would love for us to listen and follow:
1. “Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.”
That’s actually quite true. If we had looked with our hearts and not with our eyes, things would have been so much better. Think about it: there are many celebrities we know who have proved themselves as terrible people and yet we love them because they look good.
2. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
Einstein, of course, would love imagination. It is said that he actually imagined the scenario about world and time which helped him publish his famous theories.
3. “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
No one can tell you what the truth is. If you are blindly follow what any authority declares, you will just have their version of the truth, not yours.
4. “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”
Success is cheap but value is important. Don’t go down a bad path because success looks easier. Be valuable instead.
5. “I am by heritage a Jew, by citizenship Swiss, and by makeup a human being, and only a human being, without any special attachment to any state or national entity whatsoever.”
Einstein had a special life. He lived during the rise of the Nazis so he could have been prosecuted as a Jew. And then he had Swiss citizenship. Despite having so many nationalities stuck to him, he remained human and free from the shackles of identity.
6. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
If you think different, there will always be people who will oppose you. Don’t doubt your genius.
7. “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
It’s simple – there are a few things that are uncountable. Just because you can’t measure it, doesn’t mean it is of no value. Similarly, whatever you count may not matter the most.
8. “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
Be one with nature and you will unlock some of the greatest mysteries of the world.
9. “All religions, arts, and sciences are branches of the same tree.”
Einstein was a scientist who bridged the hostility between religion and science. Everything belongs to the same tree – just different branches of it.
10. “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
Einstein loved simplicity. If you are someone who makes things more complicated, then probably, you are not very good at it.
11. “A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.”
You should understand and appreciate the truth. Do not keep your biases alive and distort the truth as you believe it ‘should be’. Be open to different perceptions.
12. “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
Opportunities do not come easy. It will be difficult and it is in that difficulty that you can find your way.
13. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
If you continue down the same path and same routine, you will never make a mistake. You did nothing new.
14. “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”
School doesn’t really teach us much. It just follows one curriculum that they believe is the route for success. But there is no single route for success. Unlearn what you learn in school and see how life grows from there.
15. “A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?”
Just the useful things – food and music, two things that can please any person and send them into a happy trance.
16. “A human being is part of a whole called by us the universe.”
We are made of star stuff, as Carl Sagan said. We are the universe – a part of it.
17. “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
Science cannot exist unless we ask ‘Why?’ Don’t let random answers satisfy you, keep questioning till you are pleased to the core.
18. “A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?”
If you are a genius and if people continue to make you feel stupid, it’s natural to think like this.
19. “Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools.”
It’s foolish to be angry. Rather, let’s keep moving forward and solve things.
20. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
Don’t stop at anything – that will only make you fall. Keep moving forward.
21. “Concern for man and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.”
Science should serve humankind. It should not destroy it or make life worse.
22. “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Pessimism and optimism – two ways how life can be looked at. Believe either and your path will be shaped before you in that manner.
23. “All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.”
You are an individual, you are valuable. Put in YOUR contribution to human development.
24.” Once you stop learning, you start dying.”
Always stay curious, always learn something new. Or else, what will you live for?
25. “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
We should not escape problems. Rather when they come, we should tackle it and learn from those problems.
26. “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
We have grown so addicted to our technology that now, we don’t even look up to acknowledge the presence of another person. Depressing times.
27. “Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason, mastery demands all of a person.”
If you have a cause you cannot back down. You must be with and for the cause, dedicating your whole body and mind towards it.
28. “He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”
If you can’t acknowledge the beauty of the world, the stars, and the moon, then you are not even present in this world. You are almost dead.
29. “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
Talent is not the only thing in a person. You need to be curious – to learn more and more.
30. “Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent people ignore.”
Revenge brings nothing valuable. Forgive people. But if you are intelligent just ignore whatever happened.
31. “A ship is always safe at shore but that is not what it’s built for.”
If you remain closed in your house, you will always be safe, but you are meant to be great. You need to go out there to conquer the world
32. “What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.”
We don’t understand fame. There are many people who can become popular but they are not the right person to idolize. Similarly, the things you think are right is not what will be popular.
33. “Education is not the learning of facts, it’s rather the training of the mind to think.”
Just rote-learning doesn’t help anyone. To be truly educated, learn to train your mind better.
34. “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”
Understand that everyone is equal. Do not change your tone just because someone is not of the same race or of the same class as you.
35. “I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me. It’s because of them I’m doing it myself.”
If you have been rejected, don’t take it at heart. Make it your strong point, work on it, and prove them wrong.
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36. “Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts.”
Don’t give up. Have big dreams and try to make it happen. It doesn’t hurt to try.
37. “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”
There’s nothing called common sense. It’s just a couple of biases that has come down to us from generations.
Einstein has not only laid the foundations of modern physics, but he has also spread some of his valuable wisdom to the world. We have a lot to learn from him even now. But what we should do is apply it in our lives as well.