Day #489:10 of the Best Albert Einstein Quotes

E=mc2 is one of the most groundbreaking equations of the twentieth century, attributed to the influential physicist Albert Einstein. A household name, the German-born genius was more than just a scientist – he was also an inquisitive philosopher who pondered humanity’s largest questions and dilemmas. Issues of war, peace and the nature of free will occupied the mind of Einstein. The gifted thinker did not see the fruits of his success until the age of 42 when he won the 1921 Nobel Prize for physics, gaining international recognition and fame for his influential work in the field. A renaissance man of sorts, Einstein was a gifted musician and an ardent human rights activist, campaigning for civil rights for African Americans in the United States. Often shy and modest, Einstein was full of wisdom, and lucky for us, many of Einstein’s quotes and writings were recorded and are easily accessible. So without further adieu, learn more about how the great Albert Einstein viewed the world and just how much it can relate to you.

1. ON THE MEANING OF LIFE

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

2. ON PEACE

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”

3. ON WISDOM

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”

4. ON BEING HUMAN

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe”, a part limited in time and space.”

5. ON GETTING THROUGH LIFE

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

6. ON SCIENCE 

“All of science is nothing more than refinement of everyday thinking.”

7. ON MIRACLES

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

8. ON LOVE

“Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.”

9. ON SUCCESS

“The value of achievement lies in the achieving.”

10. ON GENIUS

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

Day #488:Ralph Waldo Emerson on Focus

The one prudence in life is concentration; the one evil is dissipation: and it makes no difference whether our dissipations are coarse or fine; property and its cares, friends, and a social habit, or politics, or music, or feasting. . . Friends, books, pictures, lower duties, talents, flatteries, hopes, – all are distractions which cause oscillations in our giddy balloon, and make a good poise and a straight course impossible. You must elect your work; you shall take what your brain can, and drop all the rest. Only so, can that amount of vital force accumulate, which can make the step from knowing to doing.

Emerson understood early on his career as a writer that if he was to succeed, complete focus had to be given to the task at hand. By eliminating distractions in his life, Emerson created an environment in which he could completely focus on his most important work. This is not to say that Emerson was a hermit who lived only for work. He loved to engage in pithy conversations with friends in his home and visit them at home and abroad. But he did not let such things take away from his passion for writing and lecturing.

How to apply Emerson’s lesson in your life
Emerson eliminated distractions by limiting the amount of books he read, streamlining “lower duties” like household chores, and avoiding relationships with people whose nervous temperaments upset his focus. While today there are many more distractions than in Emerson’s day, we too can reduce our information consumption.

Day #487:Why You Should Keep a Journal by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men are born to write… Whatever he beholds or experiences, comes to him as a model and sits for its picture. He counts it all nonsense that they say, that some things are undescribable. He believes that all that can be thought can be written, first or last; and he would report the Holy Ghost, or attempt it. Nothing so broad, so subtle, or so dear, but comes therefore commended to his pen, and he will write. In his eyes, a man is the faculty of reporting, and the universe is the possibility of being reported.

A problem that Emerson faced his entire life was the possession of an unmanageable mind. His thoughts leaped quickly from one idea to another. He had moments in life where insights sprang from his mind like water from a broken dam. During these times, Emerson had trouble organizing his thoughts effectively. Yet these deluges were gone in a flash and he was then beset with an intellectual dry spell. He compared the challenge of managing his mind to that of harnessing thunderbolts.

In order to manage these fluctuations, Emerson kept a journal. Every day he collected even the smallest thought, idea, or dream that crossed his mind. This enabled Emerson to better organize his thoughts when they flowed freely and to spur new ideas when he hit a dry spell. Writing helped Emerson make sense of the world. He would revisit the ideas he had recorded and add to them as he gained new insights. Thanks to Emerson’s journaling habit, we are blessed today with his great essays on simplicity and self-reliance.

How to apply Emerson’s lesson in your life
Take a 30 day challenge and focus completely on collecting your thoughts in a journal. Anytime a thought flits across your mind, record it. Make capturing your thoughts ubiquitous by carrying a small notebook with you everywhere.

Day #486:The Anxiety of Information Overload!

I am a huge fan of reading online — I can generally do it for hours a day. But with the explosion of great blogs, online magazines and news sources, personal development sites, social media and more … how do you deal with the anxiety that comes with it?

Anxiety often results from:

  • Trying to keep up with all of your reading sources, online networks, etc., which have an endless stream of posts.
  • Trying to catch up with a reading backlog that might have items that are months or even a year old.
  • Being afraid that you’re missing important or key articles or posts.
  • Not being sure that you’re reading all the best blogs and sites, or following the most important people on Twitter or Facebook.

How do you deal with this? It’s a matter of letting go, and realizing you can’t ever, ever possibly read 1% of the good stuff that’s out there. It’s absolutely impossible. And so you must let go, or the anxiety will never end.

Trying to keep up is not only impossible, but a great waste of your life. You could be spending some of that time creating, pursuing a dream, exercising, learning a new skill, spending time with a loved one, or taking a nap. Any of those would be better than trying to keep up with everything, or worrying about it.

Day #485: The Empty Container Approach!

Our lives get so complicated not overnight but gradually.

The complications creep up on us, one insignificant step at a time.

Today I order something online, tomorrow someone gives me a gift, then I get a free giveaway, then I decide I need some new tools. One item at a time, the clutter accumulates, because I’m not constantly purging the old.

Today I say yes to an email request, tomorrow I say yes to a party invitation, then I get asked to get a drink, then I decide to be a part of a project. One yes at a time, and soon my life is full and I don’t know how I got so busy.

I look at a news site, then a social media site, then my email, then read an interesting article, then watch an online video someone sent me … and soon my day is gone, and I didn’t get much done, and my life gets eaten away in minuscule bites.

How do we protect against this feature creep, this complication creep? We have to take a step back, regularly.

Instead of thinking, “How can I get rid of this complicated mess?” … let’s ask, “What if I started with a blank slate?”

What would you do if your life was a blank slate?

If it were an empty container, with limited space, what would you put in it?

For me, I might put in some play time and reading time;  exercise; catch up and conversation with good friends and close relatives; work that matters to me and that helps others; continual learning; and time alone to meditate and spend with my thoughts and a good book.

Those are the things that I’d put into my empty container, because they feel right to me. What would you choose?

Once we’ve figured that out, we know what belongs in the container … now we just need to constantly look at things and activities and requests and tasks, and ask: “Is this one of my container items?”

Day #484:A Lesson in Gratitude From Coca-Cola

Be warned: Once you click the play button on the video above, you’re likely to find yourself crying at a Coca Cola commercial, yet again. This clip shines a light on the power of gratitude – with a twist.

Featured are everyday Filipino people who bring happiness to the people around them every day, just by smiling and being friendly while doing their jobs – even when customers don’t even know their names. Watch and feel the joy as people on the streets of Manila give these good-doers a happy surprise.

Day #483:My Favourite Quotes From Robert Greene’s Mastery

1.

…people get the mind and quality of brain that they deserve through their actions in life.

2.

[Leonardo da Vinci’s] mind, he decided, worked best when he had several different projects at hand, allowing him to build all kinds of connections between them

3.

Do not envy those who seem to be naturally gifted; it is often a curse, as such types rarely learn the value of diligence and focus, and they pay for this later in life.

4.

Practical knowledge is the ultimate commodity, and is what will pay you dividends for decades to come—far more than the paltry increase in pay you might receive at some seemingly lucrative position that offers fewer learning opportunities. This means that you move toward challenges that will toughen and improve you, where you will get the most objective feedback on your performance and progress. You do not choose apprenticeships that seem easy and comfortable.

5.

Too many people believe that everything must be pleasurable in life, which makes them constantly search for distractions and short-circuits the learning process.

6.

People who do not practice and learn new skills never gain a proper sense of proportion or self-criticism. They think they can achieve anything without effort and have little contact with reality.

7.

…concentrated practice over time cannot fail but produce results.

8.

Mistakes and failures are precisely your means of education. They tell you about your own inadequacies.

9.

Without suffering and doubts, the mind will come to rest on cliches and stay there, until the spirit dies as well.

10.

We tend to laugh at people prior to the twentieth century who did not yet believe in evolution and who saw the world as only 6,000 years old, but imagine how people will be laughing at us for the naive beliefs we hold in the twenty-first century!

11.

The feeling that we have endless time to complete our work has an insidious and debilitating effect on our minds. Our attention and thoughts become diffused. Our lack of intensity makes it hard for the brain to jolt into a higher gear. The connections do not occur. For this purpose you must always try to work with deadlines, whether real or manufactured.

12.

The real thinker sees the connections, grasps the essence of the life force operating in every individual instance.  Why should any individual stop at poetry, or find art unrelated to science, or narrow his or her intellectual interests? The mind was designed to connect things, like a loom that knits together all the threads of a fabric.

13.

…the Ideal of the Universal Man—a person so steeped in all forms of knowledge that his mind grows closer to the reality of nature itself and sees secrets that are invisible to most people.

14.

You cannot ultimately understand why you are drawn to certain activities or forms of knowledge. This cannot really be verbalized or explained. It is simply a fact of nature.