American inventor and scientist, Thomas Edison was one of the most prolific inventors and hard-working businessmen of all time. Upon his death in 1931 (aged 84), he held patents for 1093 inventions. His strong work ethic and unwavering dedication are well recognized. Therefore, he is often cited as a role model for success.
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
One of Edison’s most repeated quotes, this illustrates that we all have the capacity to achieve extraordinary things. Of course, there is a belief that geniuses are simply born gifted. However, Edison suggests that this is a myth and, in fact, every human being is capable of success. It is worth remembering that ‘genius’ is a subjective word. Therefore, it is possible for everyone to achieve his or her own brand of genius, whether that is an artistic talent, academic ability or practical skill.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas Edison was one of the original masters of positive spin. This positive perspective is important when trying to achieve a goal. We all know that very little in life is easy to come by, so it is necessary to see setbacks in a healthy light. Importantly, failures are mistakes that can be learned from.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
According to Edison, to achieve success, it is vital that we do not become discouraged by setbacks. It can be extremely easy to give up on your dreams when you’ve experienced repeated disappointments. However, success may be just around the corner, so it is important to remain persistent and focused on your goal.
“Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.”
When trying to achieve a goal, it can be necessary to bend a few rules. Of course, that’s not to suggest that Thomas Edison would have approved of law-breaking activities. However, many successful people did not reach their positions by playing by the rules. Certainly, you should never feel compelled by people who tell you that your aims are impossible.
“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”
Every single person on this planet is capable of achieving wonderful things. Most of us never reach our full potential, because we have no faith in ourselves or are not willing to put in the hard work necessary.
Thomas Edison achieved great successes throughout his life. However, he maintained a thirst for knowledge and a desire to improve the world around him. 80 years after his death, Edison’s philosophies still have much to teach us.