Known as one of the most innovative minds of his time, Nikola Tesla has a legacy and influence that endures to this day. According to W. Bernard Carlson, author of Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age, Tesla even came up with the concept for internet and smartphone technology in the early 1900’s. He devised a technological idea where information like stock quotes would go to his laboratory. There they would receive a code and unique frequency, then sent to handheld devices. While this idea never got off the ground in his time, it lives on in technology we now use every day.
Known as one of the most innovative minds of his time, Nikola Tesla has a legacy and influence that endures to this day. Tesla was a famous inventor who patented around 300 items throughout his life. While many may know him as a brilliant man who fell into obscurity before his popularity took off decades after his death, Tesla serves as a source of inspiration for countless leaders all over the world. Anyone who has gained fame and notoriety through their innovations will likely face comparisons to Tesla at some point. From Steve Jobs to Elon Musk, who even named his car company after the incredible thinker, many top leaders pay tribute to him as a scientific pioneer and visionary trailblazer. If you want some inspiration, read on to learn about some of the most motivational Nikola Tesla quotes.
A Brief History of Nikola Tesla
Born in what is modern day Croatia, Nikola Tesla immigrated to the U.S. in 1884 and found a job working for Thomas Edison. The two inventors never saw eye to eye. Tesla quickly struck out on his own, where he would go on to make some amazing discoveries and inventions. The two eventually formed a rivalry of sorts. Tesla pushed his alternate current induction motor while Edison supported his direct current generator. Tesla wasn’t afraid to fight for his vision, even if that meant challenging those at the top of the industry.
Many people know Tesla for discovering the rotating magnetic field, which many alternating-current machines still use, and the Tesla coil, which radio technology still uses. Many of his inventions never received patent protection, leaving others free to use his technologies. Tesla died having spent most of the money he had gained from his work and published works. His legacy lives on in numerous awards and achievements, including the Nikola Tesla Award. This award, established in 1975 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, goes to those who make an innovative contribution to electrical use or generation.
Nikola Tesla Quotes
“That is the trouble with many inventors; they lack patience. They lack the willingness to work a thing out slowly and clearly and sharply in their mind, so that they can actually ‘feel it work.’ They want to try their first idea right off; and the result is they use up lots of money and lots of good material, only to find eventually that they are working in the wrong direction. We all make mistakes, and it is better to make them before we begin.”
“Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more.”
“Everyone should consider his body as a priceless gift from one whom he loves above all, a marvelous work of art, of indescribable beauty, and mystery beyond human conception, and so delicate that a word, a breath, a look, nay, a thought may injure it. Uncleanliness, which breeds disease and death, is not only a self-destructive but highly immoral habit.”
“I don’t care that they stole my idea . . . I care that they don’t have any of their own.”
“We build but to tear down. Most of our work and resource is squandered. Our onward march is marked by devastation. Everywhere there is an appalling loss of time, effort and life. A cheerless view, but true.”
“Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.”
“The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.”
“All that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed—only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.”
“We crave for new sensations but soon become indifferent to them. The wonders of yesterday are today common occurrences.”
“Of all things, I liked books best.”
“Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves.”
“As I review the events of my past life I realize how subtle are the influences that shape our destinies.”
“The progressive development of man is vitally dependent on invention.”
“There is something within me that might be illusion as it is often case with young delighted people, but if I would be fortunate to achieve some of my ideals, it would be on the behalf of the whole of humanity.”
A Legacy to Inspire Today’s Leaders
Nikola Tesla left behind a legacy that can inspire the leaders of today. He had a vision of a better world, one that used technology to solve problems and lift others up. Tesla also loved the quest of discovery and innovation above all else. That was a priority to him above simply making as much money as possible.
Today’s leaders can learn from his life as they seek to improve the lives of others and innovate. You can follow Tesla’s example by challenging the status quo. Don’t be afraid to dream big, even if those dreams feel almost impossible to achieve at times. Hold true to your core values, and seek to make a positive impact in the world. As long as leaders have a long-term vision, they can achieve great things that will benefit the whole world.
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