Einstein may have been a genius and a great scientist, but he also knew one or two things about life. He understood the importance of imagination, the need to keep moving forward, and most importantly, to keep learning. The human brain isn’t designed to stay stagnant and its full capacity still isn’t known. Using your brain, your potential, and your life is your personal responsibility — to do otherwise is to cheat yourself!
1. “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
In other words, be aware and don’t stick your head in the sand!
The world and economy is changing all the time. Whatever your profession, you need to look to the future and understand how changes may affect you. I qualified as a lawyer and the legal profession has changed more than I ever thought possible when I was at university.
Keep your finger on the pulse and maintain your networks of friends and colleagues. Don’t allow yourself to become stale or jaded as you will close yourself off to opportunities.
2. “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”
Never stop developing yourself and your skills.
If you’re skilled in languages or playing an instrument, for example, keep practising and maintain those abilities. Those hobbies and skills could earn you money as a side business or give you other options if you lose your job.
I developed my own sideline private tutoring business and have written books in order to maintain my own long-term versatility. I learned a long time ago that it was simply not enough to “just” be a lawyer.
3. “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
Have goals and dreams and never give up on what it is you want to achieve.
Write down those goals and take action on them! Seek all available avenues to achieve them and be as specific as you can. Don’t just say you want “a better life” or “more money.” Really drill down into what you want for your own future then visualize every single day in order to manifest those desires.
A mood board is great for this, even a virtual one on Pinterest. Having goals is like putting fuel in your tank, it means you’re progressing, developing, and moving forward. Factor in some small wins too, like a weekend break, lunch with a friend, or a long walk through the park.
4. “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.”
This sounds quite overwhelming, which very often means nothing gets done — which is the worst outcome of all!
When I do my tutoring, I often talk about working in “manageable chunks” and I apply that to my own business practices too. I set aside specific times to undertake certain tasks and make sure things are done well in advance.
Making lists is great, there’s something very satisfying about writing it down on paper and striking something off as it’s completed. It reinforces the fact that you’re taking action and moving towards your end result.
5. “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”
By using this quote, I mean we should stay current with technology trends but don’t let them take over your life!
So often we hide behind our phones, tablets, and laptops; the art of conversation is seemingly dying as we walk around swiping, texting, and surfing. Get the balance right and open up a world of opportunities.
Life is all about balance, so use technology to your advantage, not disadvantage.
6. “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”
But what time we do have should be used wisely!
We’re all guilty of saying we have “no time” and of course life does get in the way, but this shouldn’t be used as an excuse. If you’ve got a commute to work, listen to self improvement audiobooks or entrepreneurial podcasts instead of listening to the radio or just staring into space.
Maintain a sleep routine and don’t get into the habit of sleeping your mornings away on the weekend. We all have the same 168 hours each week so we need to squeeze every last drop out of them.
7. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”
Taking risks is scary but so is living a life without trying.
Starting a new life or a new business will take you outside of your comfort zone. You have to put yourself out there and risk rejection. What is life without some element of risk? I’ve lost count of the number of rejection letters I got from literary agents after submitting my novel, but I didn’t let it stop me trying. Yes, it can’t always go your way, but sometimes it can and it will.
8. “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle or you can live as if everything is a miracle”
In other words, you can choose how you view your environment and your life. Have an attitude of gratitude for the small things; there is always something to be appreciated. It can be the hot water in your bath at the end of a long day or a cup of tea someone else has made for you.
Happiness isn’t always found in the grand gestures. Use all of your senses: really taste the food you eat and really hear the birds singing in the morning. It’s amazing what happens when we just stop for a moment and are mindful.
9. “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not what he is able to receive.”
Giving value to others should be our primary concern, not what we can get for ourselves.
Money is important, that goes without saying, but too many of us worry about either the lack of it or the want of more of it. Money is only the byproduct of the value we give to others, so whatever it is you seek to do, ensure it is worthwhile for everyone. Much like the saying, “what goes around comes around,” the energy we put out there for other people comes back to us, so if we give value, we attract it right back to us.
10. “Imagination is everything; it is the preview to life’s coming attractions.”
Use your imagination to paint a mental picture of what you want your best life to be. Create a vision of your better self and better life and move towards that reality. Our world is the product of our thoughts: they create our environment. Use your thoughts to create what you want.
A vision board or Pinterest board is a fantastic way to help create that mental picture. Review it every day and let the power of your thoughts attract everything you wish to achieve.
Entrepreneurs do this all the time, so don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
11. “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”
Listening to your gut or trusting your sixth sense is something I believe in very strongly. Much like a mother’s instinct, there is an inexplicable reason why something feels wrong or a person you encounter doesn’t feel quite right.
Have an honest conversation with yourself. What do you feel passionate about and what gives you joy? Too many of us go through life doing what we are told is the “right thing” to do and suppressing what we really want.
Listening to and trusting the messages your body gives you is like having an inbuilt compass giving you direction and focus. Ignore at your peril!