Wisdom of Life

Thomas Edison: On the Wisdom and the Meaning of Life

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

“Be courageous. I have seen many depressions in business.
Always America has emerged from these stronger and more prosperous.
Be brave as your fathers before you.
Have faith!
Go forward!“

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this — you haven’t. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.

The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense. There is no substitute for hard work. Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing. The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary. If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. There’s a way to do it better – find it.

Unfortunately, there seems to be far more opportunity out there than ability. We should remember that good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation. Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.

Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think. It is astonishing what an effort it seems to be for many people to put their brains definitely and systematically to work.

The most necessary task of civilization is to teach people how to think. It should be the primary purpose of our public schools. The mind of a child is naturally active, it develops through exercise. Give a child plenty of exercise, for body and brain. The trouble with our way of educating is that it does not give elasticity to the mind. It casts the brain into a mold. It insists that the child must accept. It does not encourage original thought or reasoning, and it lays more stress on memory than observation.

Our intelligence is the aggregate intelligence of the cells which make us up. There is no soul, distinct from mind, and what we speak of as the mind is just the aggregate intelligence of cells. It is fallacious to declare that we have souls apart from animal intelligence, apart from brains. It is the brain that keeps us going. There is nothing beyond that.

Life goes on endlessly, but no more in human beings than in other animals, or, for that matter, than in vegetables. Life, collectively, must be immortal, human beings, individually, cannot be, as I see it, for they are not the individuals – they are mere aggregates of cells.

There is no supernatural. We are continually learning new things. There are powers within us which have not yet been developed and they will develop. We shall learn things of ourselves, which will be full of wonders, but none of them will be beyond the natural.”

“I never did a day’s work in my life, it was all fun.

When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.”

***

~Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman who has been described as America’s greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures.

©Excellence Reporter 2020

Categories: Wisdom of Life

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