Advertising
Advertising

Top 20 Thomas Edison Quotes

Top 20 Thomas Edison Quotes

Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) is one of America’s greatest inventors and businessmen. He’s responsible for developing and marketing the phonograph, motion picture camera, and the light bulb, among other things. Edison was known to be hardworking and resourceful. Here are 20 quotes credited to this American genius that still hold true today:

1. “Our schools are not teaching students to think. It is astonishing how many young people have difficulty in putting their brains definitely and systematically to work…”

Millennials are given a lot of flak for feeling entitled to success without putting in the work. This isn’t anything new. Edison noticed the same phenomena in his day and attributed it to our education system. To stick out, all you have to do is stick it out.

CFL Lightbulb - Lifehack

    2. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time…”

    Every winner loses, but not every loser wins. You can’t succeed without taking a few losses. You may be starving and struggling, but as long as you keep pushing, you’ll eventually make it.

    3. “Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless…”

    Potato chips, plastic, Teflon, Play-Doh, super glue, corn flakes, velcro, post-it notes…all of these were invented on accident and are now indispensable parts of our society. If you create something that doesn’t work, find another use for it.

    Advertising

    4. “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun…”

    Edison enjoyed what he did. He followed his dreams. Because of this, nothing seemed like work anymore. When you love your job, you’re much more likely to work harder at it.

    5. “I am not overly impressed by the great names and reputations of those who might be trying to beat me to an invention…. It’s their ‘ideas’ that appeal to me. I am quite correctly described as ‘more of a sponge than an inventor…”

    If Thomas Edison were alive in the internet age, he would be on the side of Wikileaks and Anonymous. Information is our greatest resource as a race.

    Vinyl Record - Lifehack

      6. “Of all my inventions, I liked the phonograph best…”

      Much like Steve Jobs’ love for Pixar and the iPhone, Edison was most proud of the invention that brought the fine arts to the masses.

      7. “Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge…”

      People are capable of creating a lot of innovative stuff. We can’t create something as beautiful and efficient as a simple blade of grass.

      Advertising

      8. “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human body, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease…”

      I so wish this were true. The pharmaceutical industry pumps a lot of money into the medical industry. Pills are the answer to all modern life’s ills. I sincerely hope one day humanity as a whole figures out the benefits of diet, meditation, and positive thinking.

      9. “Discontent is the first necessity of progress…”

      Nobody ever accomplished something great because they were happy. It’s necessary to have opposing viewpoints, discomfort, and obstacles in life. Rather than get upset or frustrated when life throws you a curveball, appreciate the pitch, take a swing, and round the bases.

      Construction Zone - Lifehack

        10. “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits…”

        Idle hands are the devil’s playthings. Even when I look like I’m lazing around, I’m doing something. The people who get ahead are the ones who are constantly putting in long hours of hard work.

        11. “Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something…”

        The more rules you put in front of you, the harder it is to get anything done. Look at football. Running 100 yards takes 10-20 seconds. If not for all the rules, full length football games would have scores in the double digits.

        Advertising

        12. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work…”

        If you come across a door, there are only a handful of ways to open it. Try pushing. If it doesn’t open, there’s one less way you have to worry about. This simple perspective will get you through a lot of annoying times in life. Don’t give up when you fail, just take a break and try again later from a different angle.

        13. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work…”

        Eminem says you only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. The reality is that you’ll never run out of opportunities. The trick is to treat each chance like it’s your only, and go all out toward it. Overnight success exists, but it takes years of hard work to achieve.

        14. “Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages…”

        Edison was keen to notice how all our technological advances and education don’t stop us from fighting among each other. Until we learn to walk a path of nonviolence, humanity will always be in danger of self destruction.

        Clock - Lifehack

          15. “The thing I lose patience with the most is the clock. Its hands move too fast…”

          Time is the most valuable resource you have. You can spend it, but never earn it. Our lives aren’t long enough to sit around waiting and wishing. If you want to experience everything, take action.

          Advertising

          16. “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration…”

          Everyone comes up with ideas. I have thousands every day. That’s the easy part. The hard part is implementation, and THAT is where real geniuses thrive.

          17. “Personally, I enjoy working about 18 hours a day. Besides the short catnaps I take each day, I average about four to five hours of sleep per night…”

          I can’t emphasize enough (nor could Edison) how important it is to put in the work to succeed. I enjoy my work, so I consider myself working 24 hours a day.

          18. “Your worth consists in what you are and not in what you have…”

          Seems like I can’t go an entire day without hearing someone talk about their lottery dreams. I used to have them myself. Now I know how to be happy without any of it. It’s nice having material things, but if you’re not happy sitting in an empty room, nothing you add to it will make much of a difference.

          19. “Maturity is often more absurd than youth and very frequently is most unjust to youth…”

          When someone says “this isn’t high school,” I can’t help but smile. Life is exactly like high school. There’s no imaginary line you cross where you suddenly wake up a mature adult. Maturity is a process that comes with time, and far too often during that process, adults forget how intelligent and resourceful kids can be.

          20. “Time is really the only capital that any human being has and the thing that he can least afford to waste or lose…”

          You may not have money, but you have time to make it. There’s nothing in life you can’t accomplish, see, do, or experience if you dedicate your time to it. I never understood people who see their work and personal life as two separate things. Why spend 2000+ hours a year doing something you hate?

          Advertising

          Wanna be more like Thomas Edison? Learn the Key to Innovation here…

          More by this author

          7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone Say Goodbye to a Skinny Body: How to Gain Weight Fast 24 Easy Ways To Make Money On The Internet What 500 Calories Really Looks Like in Different Foods 20 Awesome Screensavers that Make your Desktop Delightful

          Trending in Communication

          1 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 2 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 3 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 4 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People 5 13 Simple Habits of Happiness To Change Your Outlook on Life

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Last Updated on July 20, 2021

          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

          You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

          Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

          Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

          Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

          1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

          According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

          “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

          Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

          Warming up

          If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

          If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

          Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

          Advertising

          1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
          2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
          3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

          Stay hydrated

          Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

          To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

          Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

          Meditate

          Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

          Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

          Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

          Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

          2. Focus on your goal

          One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

          Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

          Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

          Advertising

          Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

          If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

          3. Convert negativity to positivity

          There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

          ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

          It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

          Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

          Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

          Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

          4. Understand your content

          Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

          Advertising

          However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

          “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

          Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

          Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

          One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

          5. Practice makes perfect

          Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

          In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

          Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

          6. Be authentic

          There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

          Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

          Advertising

          Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

          To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

          With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

          Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

          7. Post speech evaluation

          Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

          Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

          We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

          You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

          Improve your next speech

          As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

          Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

          Advertising

          • How did I do?
          • Are there any areas for improvement?
          • Did I sound or look stressed?
          • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
          • Was I saying “um” too often?
          • How was the flow of the speech?

          Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

          If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

          Reference

          Read Next