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It’s Not How Smart You Are – Advice from the World’s Most Famous Genius

Source LInkedin|.com  | Cory Galbraith

He had a terrible memory, used music to stimulate his thinking, and told his university teachers that their classes were boring.

Albert Einstein – thought to have mental disabilities as a child, became known as a genius – yet attributed his success, not to his intelligence, but to his character.

Love, curiosity, imagination, balance and determination were the values he embraced.

He did not see himself as smart. Just more curious and persistent than the average person.

Einstein’s view of his own success carries powerful lessons for us today in enriching our careers, relationships, and well-being.

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather, try to become a person of value.”

We all want success. But Einstein knew the emphasis has to be on creating value first. What can we bring to the table? What unique qualities do we possess that can be leveraged to help others? Selling our value does more than fuel our career. It attracts key relationships and gives us purpose. A life which is directed toward the fulfillment of personal desires only, said Einstein – will always lead to bitter disappointment.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

To Einstein, imagination is paramount. His experiments all took place in his mind. Today – imagination is in short supply. Often, it is discouraged. Yet it is only when we see beyond the confines of conventional thinking can breakthroughs occur. Our careers and relationships need not be limited, stagnate or die. We can imagine better things for ourselves and do as Einstein had done – bravely following the trail of our unhindered thoughts.

“I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.”

Most of us give up too soon. A friend of mine abandons his plans at the first sign of difficulty. Einstein didn’t see obstacles as reasons to quit, but rather, reasons to work harder. His theory of relativity did not come, he said, from his intellect – but rather, his dogged persistence. He was more stubborn than any problem. We can be too.

Albert Einstein had a secret weapon to stimulate his thinking: music.

He played Mozart on the violin to put him in the correct “zone.” A few notes on the piano would ignite his creative juices. Music, in fact, is what made Einstein tick. And there are some historians who speculate that Einstein, had he not been a physicist, might have become a professional musician.

In his later years, he would say that music, above all else, is what made him happy. His doctor once remarked that while other violinists likely played better than Einstein, nobody played with more emotion.

Albert Einstein was multi-faceted. He loved music, both for the sheer joy of it, but also as an aid to relax his mind. He considered himself good enough to perform in public, which he did on many occasions, but oddly, no known audio recordings of Einstein playing the violin exist.

According to family legend, Einstein’s imagination first emerged at a young age when he was introduced to his baby sister. The little Einstein looked at the girl and asked “where are the wheels?” believing her to be a toy.

But his parents developed doubts about his overall mental capacity when, as late as age seven, he kept slowly repeating the same sentences over and over, struggling to learn language. In school, his teachers were also concerned, but for a different reason. Einstein was rebellious and didn’t appreciate the demand for discipline.


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