Einstein was one of the most prolific creators, inventors and scientists in human history. His mathematician's mind was supercharged with creativity and allowed him to see possibilities, not limitations. He was also fueled by an insatiable appetite to discover, explore and indulge his curiousity, which manifested in a disciplined work ethic. His wisdom has never been more relevant, or useful to entrepreneurs, creators and makers. Here are 10 of his most inspirational quotes to supercharge your creativity.
1. "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
This quote perfectly captures the power of imagination, and the limitations of knowledge. In many ways, knowledge is easy to acquire; but imagination takes bravery and persistence.
2. "I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express in words afterwards."
Einstein articulates how complex ideas can be, and how they often come in forms that are hard to translate. Part of the magic is taking these whimsical abstractions and making them into concrete ideas.
3. "The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."
Constant questioning is an easy way to make curiosity a habit. One way to practice this is to consider the subject from an alternate viewpoint: a 5 year old, a scientist, a pilot, a dancer. These perspectives can help keep your curiosity piqued.
4. "The only way to escape the corruptible effect of praise is to go on working."
Einstein reminds us to never rest on your laurels, but to stay hungry, focused and determined. Praise can be an invitation to take a step back, but should be a calling to dive in deeper.
5. "Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value."
When you are doing something of value, something you really believe in, doors open up to you. Not to mention, that your passion for your work is what will keep you going when those dark entrepreneurial days set in.
6. "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."
One of Einstein's greatest sources of inspiration was nature. He reminds us of its power to inspire, inform and ground us in solutions with a broader planetary impact.
7. "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
Einstein calls on us to create our problems rationally, and solve them creatively. To do so requires changing established thinking patterns, and switching into a creative state of mind. This means leaving the office, taking a walk, listening to music, embracing your inner child and seeing in terms of what could be, not what is.
8. "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."
As any entrepreneur knows, tenacity is what separates the success stories from the tails of failure. Knowing that even Einstein wrestled with problems is inspiration to look a little longer, harder and deeper at what we're up against.
9. "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
This quote brilliantly reminds us of our unique talents and what we alone can offer the world. Find what you're good at, hone in on it and own it without apology.
10. "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
Simplicity is not that easy, but it's immensely valuable. Rather than convolute, strip back, pare down and reduce your ideas to their very essence. Herein lies your genius.