Albert Einstein had many discoveries as a scientist, but is most known for his Theory of Relativity. This theory changed much in the way scientists look at the world and set the foundation for many modern inventions.
But what was his secret to incredible brain power? Did he even have one?
According to Einstein himself, in a letter to his son Hans Albert, “That is the way to learn the most, when you are doing something with such enjoyment you don’t notice that the time passes.” Beautiful advice, and also very true.
Here are 10 methods Einstein also incorporated into his daily life:
1. He daydreamed and contemplated
Who has the right to say what is absentmindedness and what is pure genius? What others labeled as forgetful or even spacey, Einstein knew to be some of his most insightful, creative brainstorming sessions.
2. He Rubbed Shoulders with the Best and Brightest
Especially after his reputation became known, Einstein sought out the instruction and mentorship of the smartest people in his field, like Max Planck. If he didn’t get to know these people personally, he studied their writing and research.
3. Einstein Cross-Trained
He learned to play the violin well and loved the mathematical structure of music. He used music as a “psychological safety valve” throughout his life.
4. He Trusted His Own Curiosity
One legendary story says that his father gave him a compass when he was five years old. After lengthy observation, Einstein figured out that some outside force was acting on the needle to keep it pointed in the same direction.
5. He Maintained a Deep Suspicion of Educational Authority
Too many teachers, even in our day, feel you should believe what they say because, “I said so.” While they claim that “thinking for yourself” is part of the curriculum, their own biases and the school system’s structure discourage independent thought.
6. Einstein Nourished a “Radical Inquiring Attitude”
A Chinese proverb reads, “He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” True learning requires exploring assumptions and other facts that many take for granted.
7. Einstein Designed His Own Curriculum
He had friends at the university take notes in class for him while he was away reading his preferred “extracurricular” books or journals on physics and mathematics.
8. He Relied on Faith to Learn
Einstein’s faith was that by inquiry and discipline you could learn things about invisible objects or phenomena. His “God” was not arbitrary and conformed to natural, discoverable laws.
9. He Avoided Preoccupation with Trivial Things in Life
How much time would Einstein spend on YouTube or Facebook if he were around today? His mind reverted consistently to “exploring and understanding the physical world.” What do you think about when you have nothing else to think about? Einstein’s discoveries didn’t come easily; they came from discipline!
10. Einstein Was an Autodidact
As one biographer (Ronald W. Clark) wrote, he “found his real education elsewhere, in his own time.” Schooling provided the basic building blocks of language and concepts, but Einstein’s initiative took his learning far beyond the limits of academics. So we see that Einstein maintained a habit of making his own decisions about what he would read and study. He didn’t let other people make those decisions for him.
How can you apply these principles and attitudes about learning to your own situation? How can Einstein’s habits help you improve your career, grow your business, and enhance your marketable skills?