September 24, 2007

Good day, team,

Albert Einstein was a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose theory of relativity changed Western concepts of time and space forever: No small accomplishment by any means. Einstein remains one of the greatest scientists who ever lived.

However, many people do not know what a sensitive man he was and how, as he aged, he became more and more philosophical, often challenging the entire scientific method he was trained to venerate. His experience of life became more and more magical as he aged, and he seemed to revel in the fact that many of life’s great truths persist without any scientific proof.

The following Einstein quotes were collected by Kevin Harris in 1995. I am grateful to him for this compilation:

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: His eyes are closed.”

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”

“The most comprehensible thing about the world is that it is incomprehensible.”

“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts” (sign hanging in Einstein’s office at Princeton).

These last three rules have also been attributed to Einstein:

“The Three Rules of Work:

1. Out of clutter, find simplicity.

2. From discord, find harmony.

3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

Your challenge this week is to choose one of these quotes from Einstein, print it out, and find a place where you can see it daily (on your desk at work, on the refrigerator, in the bathroom, wherever). Choose whichever speaks to you so that in the midst of your daily routine, Einstein’s words of wisdom will wake you up, give you some perspective about a situation that seems unsolvable, make you laugh, offer you a different viewpoint.

We are so blessed to live in a world where there is an infinite amount of information available to us. I call it info ad infinitum. What a marvel: That we can read Albert Einstein’s most intimate thoughts just by googling his name on our computer! Why not use this information to arrest ourselves for a brief moment of truth?

Have a great week!


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