by Kevin Daum (Inc.com)
Hardly an hour goes by that you don’t use something Thomas Edison invented. On his birthday you can appreciate not only his products but his inspiration.
There is not much you do today that doesn’t have some relationship to Thomas Edison.
Edison’s 1,093 U.S. Patents and 2,332 patents worldwide are responsible for every item that uses electricity as well as the concrete in commercial buildings. He created the motion picture industry, the recording industry, the X-ray machine, and he even created the tattoo pen.
More importantly he is the father of modern corporate research & development. While many mistakenly think Edison was a better inventor than businessman, he created companies, was a marketing genius, amassed $200 million in wealth (today’s dollars) and changed the world. His recently restored factory of invention is a national park, which can still be seen today in Orange, New Jersey. I assure you it is worth the trip.
According to the Edison Innovation Foundation, he operated on four simple principles, taught to him by his loving mother:
- Never get discouraged if you fail. Learn from it. Keep trying.
- Learn with both your head and hands.
- Not everything of value in life comes from books- experience the world.
- Never stop learning. Read the entire panorama of literature.
To celebrate Edison’s 168th birthday today, here are some of my favorite and most inspirational Edison quotes. I hope they inspire you to greatness.
1 “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
2. “Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.”
3. “There is no substitute for hard work.”
- “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
- “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”
- “What you are will show in what you do.”
- “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
- “The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense.”
- “Maturity is often more absurd than youth and very frequently is most unjust to youth.”
- “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
- “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”
- “Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”
- “I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world.”
- “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.”
- “I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.”
- “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.”
- “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”
- “Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.”
- “Waste is worse than loss. The time is coming when every person who lays claim to ability will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of thrift is limitless.”
- “Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.”
- “Be courageous. I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has emerged from these stronger and more prosperous. Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward!”
- “The chief function of the body is to carry the brain“
- “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
- “There’s a way to do it better – find it.”
- “Your worth consists in what you are and not in what you have.”
- “There will one day spring from the brain of science a machine or force so fearful in its potentialities, so absolutely terrifying, that even man, the fighter, who will dare torture and death in order to inflict torture and death, will be appalled, and so abandon war forever.”
- “The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.”
- “To have a great idea, have a lot of them.”
- “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”
- “Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.”
- “Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work.”
- “One might think that the money value of an invention constitutes its reward to the man who loves his work. But… I continue to find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, in the work that precedes what the world calls success.”
- “There is far more opportunity than there is ability.”
- “Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.”
- “When I have fully decided that a result is worth getting I go ahead of it and make trial after trial until it comes.”
- “I start where the last man left off.”
- “Great ideas originate in the muscles.”