Three lessons from the life and words of Thomas Edison that will give you a mini inspirational boost.
Thomas Edison is one of the greatest innovators in history. He invented the incandescent lightbulb, the phonograph, and the earliest motion picture camera, among many other creations. His name has gone down in history as one of the world’s true legends, especially in the world of science. While people know about his prodigious inventions and successes, most people do not know about the many challenges that came along with those successes. He only went to school for a short while, later being homeschooled by his mother. He was also an avid reader, which he says contributed to most of his knowledge. He sold newspapers and vegetables on the street until he was 16. Every free minute he had was spent on conducting experiments. I believe he was, and still is, an inspirational man; specifically, because of how he overcame all the missteps, all the failures, with nothing less than enthusiasm and determination. His life is a vital lesson for everyone, which is why I chose to write about him.
There is a lot to be learned from Edison’s perspectives on life. My favorite lesson comes from his attempts to invent the lightbulb. Edison reputedly failed a thousand times before finally succeeding in creating the light bulb. A thousand times! That’s like life saying no a thousand times. Most individuals would give up on the tenth time, some even give up on the fifth failure! This man tried a thousand times. Some reports say he failed ten thousand times, either way, this man had a willpower of iron. This depicts the power of perseverance, the power of never giving up. Edison even makes it clear in this quote: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Always try one more time; this is the way to do it. Never give up on your dreams or yourself. Failure is not your enemy, it’s only there to test your willpower and your determination. The greatest people in history have all made it because of their determination, their strength to move forward despite all the obstacles. Against all the odds, persevere. If Edison did not always try one more time, he would not have invented the light bulb! People told him it’s pointless to try, it will never work, but he didn’t listen to those people, he believed that if he persevered through it, he will make it work, and he did.
“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” This brings me to my second favorite lesson from Thomas Edison; we are capable of so much! But why can’t we see it? I have met so many people who go around saying that they’re just not good at anything, but that is not true. Look around you, look at what we human beings have built! That alone should inspire you to know that we are capable of so much. Each one of us has the ability to change the world, to change the lives of others. Do you want an impossibility in life? This is it: There is no such thing as a person who is not good at anything. Don’t let fear or self-doubt stop you from all that you are meant to be. Don’t let fear rob you of your greatness. Doubt is a well-known dream killer, don’t let doubt kill your dreams!
Another lesson from Edison I like is this: “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.” The possibilities in life are endless. Some moments in life will make you feel like there is no way to solve something, to get through something, or to reach something. I think it is common these days to find folks who say “there is no use” or “I tried everything” or “nothing works I know”, but the real truth is; there is always a way. As another famous saying tells us: “If it is important enough, you will find a way, if not, you will find an excuse.” So, step back, take a long breath, and look again, because there is always a light at the end of a tunnel. There is always a way, and Edison simply says, that even when you think you have tried everything, you still haven’t tried everything.
There is more to learn from the life of Thomas Edison. The ones I mentioned are merely a few of them, but they are my personal favorites. I think he is a great source of inspiration, he has contributed a lot to science. The man invented the light bulb, that alone is an incredible feat.