7 Amazing Success Lessons from Thomas Edison

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Thomas Edison was a very successful inventor, scientist, and businessman whose inventions significantly impacted the world. Inventions such as the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting everyday electric light bulb were all the result of Edison’s work.

Called “The Wizard of Menlo Park” by a newspaper reporter, he was one of the first inventors to mass produce his inventions and is therefore often given credit for creating the first industrial research laboratory.

Edison is considered one of the most prolific inventors in history, holding 1,093 U.S. patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

Today I want to talk about seven amazing lessons we can learn from “The Wizard of Menlo Park.”

7 Amazing Success Lessons from Thomas Edison:

  1. Impossibility

“Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged.

That’s not the place to become discouraged.”

Roadblocks are sign-posts letting you know that success is just around the corner. Roadblocks are there to keep the uncommitted out. Roadblocks qualify you for success. Don’t get discouraged when things seem impossible, it’s darkest just before dawn.

  • Perspiration 

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

Thomas Edison said, “The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it goes around wearing overalls and it looks like hard work.” There is no success without hard work; success is something that is only earned after much labor. Success can only come to those who labor for it, it is through labor that you become a valuable person, and your value attracts success.

  • Capability 

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”

Most people are living considerably beneath their capabilities. They’ve never focused all of their efforts on a singular task, so they are completely unaware of the power they possess. Everyone is good at something, and if singular focus is given to that talent over the course of years, amazing things will be done. You are capable of astonishing yourself!

  • Solitude 

“The best thinking has been done in solitude.”

I have had my best thoughts locked away in a quiet room. Take time everyday to escape to a quiet room, if only for five minutes, to have your best thoughts. It’s hard to think about achieving the impossible, when you’re surrounded with people wanting to discuss only the possible. Escape to a quiet room today, and begin to see all your possibilities.

  • Restlessness 

“Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress.”

Thomas Edison said, “Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.” As long as you’re perfectly content you can’t make progress. Nothing happens until you become discontented. If you can live with being 30 pounds over weight, if you’re content with that idea (not happy, but content), then you don’t have the power to change it. Remember, “discontent is the first necessity of progress.”

  • Perspective 

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

Perspective is everything! Edison said, “Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work.” That’s the way we should view our life, not as a compilation of failures, but as series of necessary experiments letting us know what doesn’t work. From this perspective, we can move into doing what works, from this perspective we can succeed.

  • Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common Sense  

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense.”

Nothing can replace hard work, it’s fundamental to success. If you’re not willing to work hard, you don’t even have a chance at success. No one succeeds and says “That was really easy!”

Additionally, you have to have a no-give-up-attitude; you must be willing to stick to a task that you’re passionate about, and never lose focus. And the final key is “common sense,” we all have it, but we all don’t use it like we should.

In closing, “you have what it takes to succeed,” you have the ability to work hard, to stay focused, and to use common sense, the question is, “Are you going to do it?” I think you are.

Thank you for reading and be sure to pass this article along!

Written on 10/13/2010 by Mr. Self Development who is a motivational author that offers a practical guide to success and wealth; support him by visiting his blog at mrselfdevelopment.com or by subscribing to his feed. Photo Credit: Gregory Moine
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