What if I told you that we all have what it takes to be as successful as Albert Einstein?

When we think about the “greatest genius of the 20th century,” many of us focus on his moment of triumph in bringing light to the theory of relativity – at which point we’ll probably feel a little intimidated and place him straight back onto the pedestal where he currently, rightfully resides.

But what about the man behind the legend?

He was certainly just as human as the rest of us, with his fair share of struggles and setbacks.

He also used a lot of strategies within our reach to propel him to the place of great success that he achieved in his lifetime.

Here are seven practical lessons we can each apply to our lives, in his own words.

1. “It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

How many times do you try before you give up? Once? Twice? Ten times? Stay with it a little longer!

Don’t despair from failure. Rather, allow it to teach you something, then apply those lessons and keep failing forward until you finally succeed.

Chase only progress, and never perfection.

2. “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

Never stop learning. Consume as much new information as you possibly can, including what you may think is irrelevant to your current station in life.

That widely varied medley of knowledge is oftentimes what adds up to give you the most creative ideas you’ll ever have!

3. “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.”

No matter what you do, you need to ensure that you’re adding value – be it to yourself, or to the next person.

Are you trying to give someone advice? Make sure that you would use it yourself. Better yet, try it, and show them your results!

When you’re acting out of a genuine concern for people and not just doing it for your own benefit, the wording comes easy, the connections form effortlessly, and the benefits accrue endlessly.

Remember, it’s not about pursuing your personal gain but rather presenting a solution to your audience.

4. “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

The main lesson here is to simplify!

When presenting a new idea, start with the most basic explanation, then build up from there.

Most of us unknowingly assume that the people we are interacting with are at the same level of understanding as we are, which creates a very big barrier to communication.

Always have in mind that you’ve spent more time studying or experiencing the subject matter than your listeners, and find ways to bridge that gap to the best of your ability.

This will ensure that people actually understand your message, which is the most important function of communication.

5. “A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.”

Have you ever presented what you thought was a brilliant idea and been met with a less than stellar response? Respect that!

Don’t be rigid in your dealings. Always be willing to listen to feedback and change your perspective.

Challenge yourself to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes. Sometimes that’s all you need to bring them to your side!

6. “Never memorize something that you can look up.”

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by life’s responsibilities and burn out before we achieve our goals, but there’s a lot we can do to free up our time and simplify our lives.

For example, delegate the tasks you’re not so good at or the ones that you don’t enjoy, and focus on the ones that you’re most efficient at.

Make use of the available technologies to automate the parts of your life that you can.

Ask questions as soon as you get stuck. Don’t spend too much time trying to figure out something on your own if you can simply present the problem to an expert (like Google) and have them point you in the right direction.

Don’t choose the difficult route unless you have to.

7. “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

Devote your time to studying the successful people in whatever you want to do in life. Learn from their mistakes and triumphs, then infuse that knowledge with your own personality and unique life experiences. That is how you create a new idea of your own!

What’s your favorite quote from Albert Einstein, and how can you apply it to your daily life?



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