Search Results for: Albert Einstein

Inspirational Quotations by Albert Einstein (#367)

Albert Einstein

It’s the birthday of theoretical physicist, humanist, and philosopher Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955.)

Einstein was born to Jewish parents in Ulm, Germany, in 1879. Encouraged by his uncle, Einstein started studying mathematics at school. He was an average student and his teachers predicted that he would never amount to much in life. He did not succeed in his first attempt at the entrance exam to a technical college at age 16.

Einstein barely made it through college and could not get a job in several science fields. He eventually joined the Swiss Patents Office in Bern as an examiner of patent applications and wrote scientific papers during his time off.

In 1905, at age 26, Einstein published four papers on the Special Theory of Relativity. These papers broke new ground in physics and included the legendary relation between mass and energy: E = mc-squared. In 1916, he published his work on the General Theory of Relativity. However, it was his work on the photoelectric effect that won Einstein the Nobel Prize in 1921.

Einstein immigrated to America in 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 and pursued an academic career at Princeton University. He died in 1955.

Einstein is best known for revolutionizing twentieth-century physics with his theories of relativity and contributions to photoelectric effect and the unification of the laws of physics. He was also a passionate humanist and advocated peace, political freedom, and social justice.

For more on Albert Einstein, I recommend Walter Isaacson’s excellent biography or DK Publishing’s biography. Also worth reading are Einstein’s “The World As I See It,” and his “Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions” with Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw.

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” This quote initiated my interest in inspirational quotes. My collection now includes 120,000 quotes.

Inspirational Quotations by Albert Einstein

You never fail until you stop trying.
Albert Einstein

The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.
Albert Einstein

The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Albert Einstein

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein

One should guard against preaching to young people success in the customary form as the main aim in life. The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its result, and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community.
Albert Einstein

Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever.
Albert Einstein

I think that only daring speculation can lead us further and not accumulation of facts.
Albert Einstein

A successful man is he who receives a great deal from his fellow men, usually incomparably more than corresponds to his service to them. The value of a man, however, should be seen in what he gives, and not in what he is able to receive.
Albert Einstein

Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Albert Einstein

Small is the number of them that see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.
Albert Einstein

Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury — to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.
Albert Einstein

Extrinsic Motivation Couldn’t Change Even Einstein

“He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still,” wrote the English poet and satirist Samuel Butler (1613–1680) in Hudibras (Part iii. Canto iii. Line 547.)

Extrinsic Motivation Couldn't Change Einstein to Quit Smoking

Einstein Wouldn’t Quit Smoking

Consider the case of a rational person as great as Albert Einstein. Grandson Bernhard Caesar Einstein, himself a reputed physicist, recalled in 1998 that Grandpa Einstein’s two prized possessions were his violin and smoking pipe; his reliance on the latter “bordered on dependency.”

Despite deteriorating health, Albert Einstein couldn’t be motivated to quit smoking. His doctor tried but just couldn’t convince Einstein to give it up. To circumvent the doctor’s effort to stop him from smoking, Einstein would scour his neighborhood’s sidewalks to collect discarded cigarette butts to smoke in his pipe.

People Will Change Only if Intrinsically Motivated

People are who they are; they have their (intrinsic) motivations and will continue to live their way. Despite well-meaning intentions, you simply can’t change them or mold their minds into your way of thinking.

You may be frustrated by their reluctance to mend their ways, stop engaging in destructive behavior, or even realize that they’re throwing away their potential. But you just can’t force change down their throats if they aren’t intrinsically motivated. You can only express your opinions, offer help, and even persist. Beyond that, you can only hope they change. You can control your effort and create the conditions for success. Beyond that, the outcomes of your efforts to change are outside your span of control. Control your efforts, not the outcomes.

As I elaborated in a previous article, you will succeed in changing another person’s behavior only if you can translate the extrinsic motivation at your disposal to the elements of his/her intrinsic motivation.

Idea for Impact: Extrinsic motivation is pointless in itself

You can’t change people; they must want to change for themselves. In other words, they must be intrinsically motivated to change. Extrinsic motivation is, in itself, pointless.

Inspirational Quotations #723

The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.
Wilhelm Stekel

There’re two people in the world that are not likeable: a master and a slave.
Nikki Giovanni

He who never sacrificed a present to a future good, or a personal to a general one, can speak of happiness only as the blind speak of color.
Horace Mann

Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.
Albert Einstein

When a subject is highly controversial… one cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opinion one does hold. One can only give one’s audience the chance of drawing their own conclusions as they observe the limitations, the prejudices, the idiosyncrasies of the speaker.
Virginia Woolf

Youth, abundant wealth, high birth, and inexperience, are, each of them a source of ruin. What then must be the fate of those in whom all four are combined.
Hitopadesha

It is more easy to get a favor from fortune than to keep it.
Publilius Syrus

Considering the unforeseen events of this world, we should be taught that no human condition should inspire men with absolute despair.
Henry Fielding

Altogether too often, people substitute opinions for facts and emotions for analysis.
Andrew Grove

He is the wisest and happiest man, who, by constant attention of thought discovers the greatest opportunity of doing good, and breaks through every opposition that he may improve these opportunities.
Philip Doddridge

Our conscious motivations, ideas, and beliefs are a blend of false information, biases, irrational passions, rationalizations, prejudices, in which morsels of truth swim around and give the reassurance albeit false, that the whole mixture is real and true. The thinking processes attempt to organize this whole cesspool of illusions according to the laws of plausibility. This level of consciousness is supposed to reflect reality; it is the map we use for organizing our life.
Erich Fromm

Inspirational Quotations #717

It has been a thousand times observed, and I must observe it once more, that the hours we pass with happy prospects in view are more pleasing than those crowned with fruition.
Oliver Goldsmith

A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.
Zhuangzi

There is no greater impediment to progress in the sciences than the desire to see it take place too quickly.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.
Mohandas K. Gandhi

A man’s memory may almost become the art of continually varying and misrepresenting his past, according to his interest in the present.
George Santayana

The only truly affluent are those who do not want more than they have.
Erich Fromm

Morale is the greatest single factor in successful wars.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

The search for truth is more precious than its possession.
Albert Einstein

Absence of occupation is not rest; a mind quite vacant is a mind distressed.
William Cowper

The hallmark of courage in our age of conformity is the capacity to stand on one’s convictions not obstinately or defiantly (these are gestures of defensiveness, not courage) nor as a gesture of retaliation, but simply because these are what one believes.
Rollo May

Your readiest desire is your path to joy even if it destroys you.
Holbrook Jackson

In the future, instead of striving to be right at a high cost, it will be more appropriate to be flexible and plural at a lower cost. If you cannot accurately predict the future then you must flexibly be prepared to deal with various possible futures.
Edward de Bono

There are two modes of establishing our reputation—to be praised by honest men, and to be abused by rogues. It is best, however, to secure the former, because it will invariably be accompanied by the latter.
Charles Caleb Colton

I think knowing what you cannot do is more important than knowing what you can do. In fact, that’s good taste.
Lucille Ball

When you can’t have anything else, you can have virtue.
Don Marquis

Right is its own defense.
Bertolt Brecht

It is a truth but too well known, that rashness attends youth, as prudence does old age.
Cicero

Inspirational Quotations #714

By nature man hates change; seldom will he quit his old home till it has actually fallen around his ears.
Thomas Carlyle

You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again.
Benjamin Franklin

Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.
Zig Ziglar

History is not the story of heroes entirely. It is often the story of cruelty and injustice and shortsightedness. There are monsters, there is evil, there is betrayal. That’s why people should read Shakespeare and Dickens as well as history — they will find the best, the worst, the height of noble attainment and the depths of depravity.
David McCullough

No one has ever loved anyone the way everyone wants to be loved.
Mignon McLaughlin

The only real failure in life is one not learned from.
Anthony J. D’Angelo

It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow’s viewpoint, and he understands ours, then we can sit down and work out our differences.
Harry S. Truman

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.
Albert Einstein

Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.
Max Lucado

Let every dawn of the morning be to you as the beginning of life. And let every setting of the sun be to you as its close. Then let everyone of these short lives leave its sure record of some kindly thing done for others; some good strength of knowledge gained for yourself.
John Ruskin

Your faith is what you believe, not what you know.
John Lancaster Spalding

Do what you feel in your heart to be right—for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Whenever I hear people talking about liberal ideas, I am always astounded that men should love to fool themselves with empty sounds. An idea should never be liberal; it must be vigorous, positive, and without loose ends so that it may fulfill its divine mission and be productive. The proper place for liberality is in the realm of the emotions.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Inspirational Quotations #711

Treasure the memories of past misfortunes; they constitute our bank of fortitude.
Eric Hoffer

Knowledge dwells in heads replete with thoughts of other men; wisdom, in minds attentive to their own.
William Cowper

If deeply based in wisdom, even anger is allowed.
Hans Taeger

Experience isn’t interesting until it begins to repeat itself—in fact, till it does that, it hardly is experience.
Elizabeth Bowen

Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable.
Oscar Wilde

Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves.
D. H. Lawrence

We cannot avoid using power, cannot escape the compulsion to afflict the world, so let us, cautious in diction and mighty in contradiction, love powerfully.
Martin Buber

Happiness lies, first of all, in health.
George William Curtis

Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature.
Albert Einstein

Skepticism becomes the mark and even the pose of the educated mind. It is no longer directed against this and that article of the older creeds but is rather a bias against any kind of far-reaching ideas, and a denial of systematic participation on the part of such ideas in the intelligent direction of affairs.
John Dewey

The purpose of human life is to serve and show compassion and the will to help others.
Albert Schweitzer

All speech, written or spoken, is a dead language, until it finds a willing and prepared hearer.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Image is what people think we are; integrity is what we really are.
John C. Maxwell

We are happier in many ways when we are old than when we were young. The young sow wild oats. The old grow sage.
Winston Churchill

Too often the strong, silent man is silent only because he does not know what to say, and is reputed strong only because he has remained silent.
Winston Churchill

For you and me, today is all we have; tomorrow is a mirage that may never become reality.
Louis L’amour

Friends and acquaintances are the surest passport to fortune.
Arthur Schopenhauer

What is man but his passion?
Robert Penn Warren

Nobody holds a good opinion of a man who has a low opinion of himself.
Anthony Trollope

Inspirational Quotations #708

We may affirm absolutely that nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

You can always tell a real friend; when you’ve made a fool of yourself he doesn’t feel you’ve done a permanent job.
Laurence J. Peter

To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.
John Dewey

When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself.
Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen)

One of the reasons mature people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.
John W. Gardner

There is more to life than increasing its speed.
Mohandas K. Gandhi

A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it.
William Feather

Time is the wisest of all counselors.
Plutarch

Probably no man ever had a friend he did not dislike a little; we are all so constituted by nature that no one can possibly entirely approve of us.
E. W. Howe

The critical opinions of a writer should always be taken with a large grain of salt. For the most part, they are manifestations of his debate with himself as to what he should do next and what he should avoid.
W. H. Auden

A man has generally the good or ill qualities which he attributes to mankind.
William Shenstone

Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.
Albert Einstein

Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.
Swami Sivananda

I have feelings too. I am still human. All I want is to be loved, for myself and for my talent.
Marilyn Monroe

Before you agree to do anything that might add even the smallest amount of stress to your life, ask yourself: “What is my truest intention?” Give yourself time to let a yes resound within you. When it’s right, I guarantee that your entire body will feel it.
Oprah Winfrey

Inspirational Quotations #706

If we put the emphasis upon the right things, if we live the life that is worth while and then fail, we will survive all disasters, we will out-live all misfortune. We should be so well balanced and symmetrical, that nothing which could ever happen could throw us off our center, so that no matter what misfortune should overtake us, there would still be a whole magnificent man or woman left after being stripped of everything else.
Orison Swett Marden

A little neglect may breed great mischief. For want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe, the horse was lost; and for want of a horse, the rider was lost; being overtaken, and slain by the enemy. All for want of care about a horse-shoe nail.
Benjamin Franklin

In historic events, the so-called great men are labels giving names to events, and like labels they have but the smallest connection with the event itself. Every act of theirs, which appears to them an act of their own will, is in an historical sense involuntary and is related to the whole course of history and predestined from eternity.
Leo Tolstoy

Faith is a function of the heart. It must be enforced by reason. The two are not antagonistic as some think. The more intense one’s faith is, the more it whet’s one’s reason. When faith becomes blind it dies.
Mohandas K. Gandhi

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.
Albert Einstein

The underdog often starts the fight, and occasionally the upper dog deserves to win.
E. W. Howe

To live in the presence of great truths and eternal laws, to be led by permanent ideals—that is what keeps a man patient when the world ignores him, and calm and unspoiled when the world praises him.
Honore de Balzac

The future is an opaque mirror. Anyone who tries to look into it sees nothing but the dim outlines of an old and worried face.
Jim Bishop

Knowledge cultivates your seeds and does not sow in you seeds.
Khalil Gibran

The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Love is the strongest force the world possesses, and yet it is the humblest imaginable.
Mohandas K. Gandhi

Inspirational Quotations #704

If we judge ourselves only by our aspirations and everyone else only by their conduct, we shall soon reach a very false conclusion.
Calvin Coolidge

It is indolence… Indolence and love of ease; a want of all laudable ambition, of taste for good company, or of inclination to take the trouble of being agreeable, which make men clergymen. A clergyman has nothing to do but be slovenly and selfish; read the newspaper, watch the weather, and quarrel with his wife. His curate does all the work and the business of his own life is to dine.
Jane Austen

There must be, not a balance of power, but a community of power; not organized rivalries, but an organized peace.
Woodrow Wilson

Most people have been brainwashed into believing that their job is to copyedit the world, not to design it.
Seth Godin

How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win.
G. K. Chesterton

Hate is not the opposite of love; apathy is.
Rollo May

When a king asked Euclid, whether he could not explain his art to him in a more compendious manner, he was answered, that there was no royal way to geometry. Other things may be seized by might, or purchased with money, but knowledge is to be gained only by study, and study to be prosecuted only in retirement.
Samuel Johnson

It takes vision and courage to create; it takes faith and courage to prove.
Owen D. Young

I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary. We must not permit anything to stand between us and the book that could change our lives.
Jim Rohn

The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror. It grasps nothing; it refuses nothing. It receives, but does not keep.
Laozi

Desire, ignorance, and inequality—this is the trinity of bondage.
Swami Vivekananda

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
Albert Einstein

Stressing output is the key to improving productivity, while looking to increase activity can result in just the opposite.
Andrew Grove

Inspirational Quotations #703

Every man who rises above the common level has received two educations: the first from his teachers; the second, more personal and important, from himself.
Edward Gibbon

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
Nelson Mandela

Economy is the art of making the most of life. The love of economy is the root of all virtue.
George Bernard Shaw

A man’s value to the community primarily depends on how far his feelings, thoughts, and actions are directed towards promoting the good of his fellows.
Albert Einstein

I reject any religious doctrine that does not appeal to reason and is in conflict with morality.
Mohandas K. Gandhi

No good work whatever can be perfect, and the demand for perfection is always a sign of a misunderstanding of the ends of art.
John Ruskin

All the greatest and most important problems of life are fundamentally insolvable. They can never be solved, but only outgrown.
Carl Jung

Doubt is uncomfortable, certainty is ridiculous.
Voltaire

No one can be a great thinker who does not recognize that as a thinker it is his first duty to follow his intellect to whatever conclusions it may lead.
John Stuart Mill

No man is happy unless he believes he is.
Publilius Syrus

Though men pride themselves on their great actions, often they are not the result of any great design, but of chance.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

It is the cheerful mind that is persevering. It is the strong mind that hews its way through a thousand difficulties.
Swami Vivekananda

If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area in his life.
Billy Graham

Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour.
Stephen Leacock

The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one’s self a fool; the truest heroism is, to resist the doubt; and the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when to be obeyed.
Nathaniel Hawthorne