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80 Profound Insights from Albert Einstein that Could Change your Worldview Today

German born theoretical scientist, Albert Einstein is best known for the world’s most famous equation, E=mc2.

He was born in 1879 and died in 1955. His great intellectual achievements and original thinking have made his name synonymous with the word ‘genius’.

Einstein said of himself that one of the keys to his intelligence was his ability to visualize problems and then translate those visual images into abstract language. One of the most famous examples is his special theory of relativity which, as the story goes, he developed from imagining what it would be like to ride through the universe on light beam.

Even though he died before most of us were born, his insights reach out to us across space and time; are still relevant, and continue to be a source of knowledge, wisdom and inspiration.

Here are 80 of his most profound insights that could change your worldview today:

  1. What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right
  2. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity
  3. The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before
  4. We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams
  5. I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be
  6. It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure
  7. Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth
  8. Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work
  9. Out of clutter, find simplicity
  10. Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty
  11. I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity
  12. Student: Dr. Einstein, Aren’t these the same questions as last year’s [physics] final exam? Dr. Einstein: Yes; But this year the answers are different
  13. A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing
  14. If there is any religion that could respond to the needs of modern science, it would be Buddhism
  15. Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts
  16. Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value
  17. The best way to cheer yourself is to cheer somebody else up
  18. Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none
  19. If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it
  20. The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education
  21. Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death
  22. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another
  23. A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be
  24. I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn
  25. If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity
  26. Play is the highest form of research
  27. At least once a day, allow yourself the freedom to think and dream for yourself
  28. All generalizations are false, including this one
  29. Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom
  30. Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity
  31. Adversity introduces a man to himself
  32. As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it
  33. Failure is success in progress
  34. In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all, be a sheep
  35. Creativity is contagious. Pass it on
  36. One picture is worth a thousand words
  37. Necessity is the mother of all invention
  38. Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending
  39. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value
  40. The environment is everything that isn’t me
  41. Be a voice not an echo
  42. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science
  43. Memory is deceptive because it is coloured by today’s events
  44. There is nothing to fear but fear itself
  45. once you stop learning you start dying
  46. Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow
  47. If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got
  48. I love to travel, but hate to arrive
  49. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change
  50. There can be no positive result through negative attitude. Think positive. Live positive
  51. Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow
  52. Here are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle
  53. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world
  54. If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales
  55. If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself
  56. If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
  57. If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?
  58. The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking
  59. The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence
  60. If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things
  61. Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible
  62. It is better to believe than to disbelieve; in so doing you bring everything to the realm of possibility In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity
  63. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new
  64. I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious
  65. The measure of intelligence is the ability to change
  66. Creativity is intelligence having fun
  67. Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile
  68. Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving
  69. Imagination is more important than knowledge
  70. Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character
  71. Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds
  72. It’s not that I am so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer
  73. Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results
  74. Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere
  75. You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else
  76. We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them
  77. The only source of knowledge is experience
  78. You never fail until you stop trying
  79. Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them
  80. A ship is always safe at the shore – but that is NOT what it is built for

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.