early 20th century --- Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity and was rewarded with the Nobel Prize in 1921. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Einstein’s Life Lessons


Einstein has been called a genius even among geniuses. His academic accomplishments were astonishing, but there was much more to this man than theories and formulas. The following are six characteristics that Einstein had for a life of amazing achievement. Even though one may not have the exact abilities of Einstein, everyone can benefit from the wisdom of this great man. The following are great tips for a life of meaning and success we can all benefit from by the greatest mind of all.

1. Ask questions
Einstein believed in the concept of masterminding, of sharing ideas and debating issues. He had one particular friend he walked with that he was always asking for his input on a variety of topics. This greatest mind of all was not above asking others what they thought and he allowed them to tell him without interruption. This is a natural quality of children. They continually ask questions. However, something happens to them because by the time they are 18 years old, they have stopped asking and their curiosity has faded. Einstein believed that asking questions was so important to the learning process we should model ourselves after 8 year olds and never stop doing it. He believed that by not asking questions people resigned themselves to a life of mediocrity. Einstein viewed mediocrity as the enemy of accomplishment. He is quoted as saying “Great spirits always meet opposition from mediocrity.”

2. Handle stress
Einstein understood the effects that stress had on one’s body and mind. He knew that stress could halt the mind from functioning in an optimal manner. Whenever he got stuck or had difficulty coming up with answers, he looked at it as a problem caused by stress. His solution was to distance himself from the stress. He felt that if the stress was too close, it locked the gears of the mind. He would distract himself by playing music, reading, or by going boating. As he separated himself from the stress by doing something relaxing and enjoyable, many times the answers he had been searching for would just appear to him.

3. Listen
Einstein had a formula for success: Success=x+y+z
X=work
Y=play
Z=be quiet and listen

The greatest mind understood that one cannot talk and learn at the same time. The importance keeping quiet and listening was so strongly believed in by Einstein that he felt success wasn’t possible without it. Many people when they are quiet their mind isn’t so they still aren’t listening. Usually they are taking a mental stance regarding what is being said or they are thinking about what they are going to say when others stop talking.

4. Humor
Einstein had a keen sense of humor. 100 scientists colluded to write a book stating how wrong Einstein was. Einstein’s response was that if he was really wrong, they would only need one. He liked cigars. His wife asked him how many he had that day and he replied “one.” She said she was sure it was his third. Einstein said to her “are you trying to tell me you have a better grasp of mathematics than I do.”

5. Nothing happens without action
Einstein reportedly had a belief that life is like a bicycle. In order to keep your balance you must keep moving. Mistakes were ok because that meant you were doing something and they were part of the process of accomplishment. As long as you learned from them mistakes were a positive thing.

6. Treat everyone the same
Einstein treated everyone the same regardless of who they were. He did not worship titles or position. It was not unusual for him to respond to well wishes from working people before high ranking officials. This characteristic also made him very popular with all people.

Source: How to Develop the Mind of Einstein by Ron White

Dr. Dennis K. Crawford
Crawford Natural Health Center

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