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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.

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    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.

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      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.

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        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.

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          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?

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

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          Last Updated on April 11, 2019

          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

          I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

          I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

          Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

          How Communication Skills Help Your Success

          Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

          Create a Positive Experience

          Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

          When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

          What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

          Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

          As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

          Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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          Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

          Help Leadership Skills

          It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

          Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

          As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

          Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

          If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

          Build Better Teams

          Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

          In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

          If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

          When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

          Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

          Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

          1. Listen

          Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

          Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

          People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

          Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

          Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

          2. Know Your Audience

          Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

          Here is a good way to think about it:

          Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

          You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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          3. Minimize

          I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

          He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

          Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

          State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

          The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

          4. Over Communicate

          So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

          What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

          Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

          Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

          Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

          There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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          5. Body Language

          The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

          When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

          In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

          When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

          Conclusion

          Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

          Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

          There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

          Now go communicate your way to success.

          More Resources About Effective Communication

          Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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