Some of the biggest minds in history have often been called “freaks” and “eccentrics” by their contemporaries, including the one and only Nikola Tesla.
In seven decades after his death, have we finally become able to truly recognize his legacy and the values he left behind? Here are some of the famous scientist’s musings that are relevant today as they were during his life.
Do not be overly concerned with what others think of you
„I don’t care that they steal my ideas. I care that they don’t have any of their own.”
Despite many claims that other scientists stole Tesla’s work, he never gave up creating, researching and implementing his ideas. By nature, he was very humble, and he thought that the most important thing was how beneficial was an idea to humankind, rather than who came up with it.
By looking inwards, we become aware about our own authenticity
„Since childhood, I was compelled to focus only on myself. This caused a great deal of suffering to me, but looking from this perspective, it was also an incredible blessing. I came to realize the priceless value of introspection which has given me self-realization and saved my life.”
The ability to make a change – whether in our own lives or in our immediate surroundings – is unthinkable without the cultivation of our authenticity. To fully comprehend and accept it, we must first discover our talents and virtues, but also the weaknesses that limit us in its immediate manifestation. Reflection and self-examination, therefore, are the best allies in our effort to use authenticity as our strongest trump card.
It’s OK to be ahead of others
“Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.”
Have you ever experienced others are telling you that your ideas and plans do not make sense, or that you need to get a grip and stop pursuing ‘unrealistic’ ideals? Tesla received this kind of advice almost on daily basis. In such situation, does it make sense to give up and subject yourself to the opinion of the majority, only because it is less painful to use the path of least resistance?
It’s okay if other people’s thoughts discourage you from time to time. It’s okay to feel insecure or as an outcast. However, not everyone will always notice the value of your ideas, and it is perfectly sufficient if you are aware of their value in the beginning. Learn to accept someone’s insight, but stay consistent with yourself and be proud of your talents.
Never stop learning
„Of all things, I liked books best.“
Despite all the positive aspects of the world wide web, many still claim that nothing can replace good, high-quality literature. In order to learn something new, it is not always necessary to refer to the Internet. On the contrary, “analogue” literature offers us as much – if not more – diverse and valuable knowledge, while simultaneously developing our imagination and creativity.
Patience is key to (self)actualization
“The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up… His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way.”
If we realize that it would take a long time to reach our ideal, does that mean that we are going to give up, or continue pursuing it?
It takes writers months and even years to write books. Painters will spend months on trying to achieve the perfect balance of colours and contours, while inventors will go back to their inventions over and over again in order to perfect them.
The lesson in this is that without perseverance and patience, creativity will not become a service for develop and there will be no (self)actualization.
Money is not be all and end all
„Money never represents such value as men have placed on it. All my money has been invested in experiments with which I have made new discoveries enabling mankind to have a little easier life.”
In today’s world, the majority of people are on a lookout for sustainable business ideas, or million-dollar inventions. Tesla, however, is encouraging us to start creating for the sake of creating. Is that always going to bring us material wealth? The answer to this question lies with people who have invested a small fortune in their projects, and yet earned nothing. To what extent material compensation will be a measure of success for us, depends also on the personal feeling of satisfaction that we find in the creative process.
Never stop creating
„ Invention is the most important product of man’s creative brain. The ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of human nature to human needs.”
Whatever others keep telling us and whatever we keep telling ourselves, it is important that we never stop creating. The world needs everything we have to offer. Although our ideas will sometimes seem useless, the tendency to use creativity to break well-defined and established schemes is certainly the key to the changes that we want to see in the world. Therefore, Tesla reminds us of our responsibility to use our talents in order to create values that would, one day, really make this world a better place.
This post is also available in: Italiano