Life Lessons We Can Learn From Nikola Tesla
Photo by Nourdine Diouane on Unsplash
Every month Millennial Thoughts will feature a book that you need to read to help you improve your life, reach your goals and become a better person.
Tesla’s inventions transformed our world, and his visions have continued to inspire great minds for generations.
Nikola Tesla invented the radio, robots, and remote control. His electric induction motors run our appliances and factories, yet history has largely overlooked him. In Tesla, Richard Munson presents a comprehensive portrait of this farsighted and underappreciated mastermind.
Nikola Tesla battled through so many adversities throughout his life, from battling against cholera during his early years which got him bedridden for nine months to having difficulties finding investors to accomplish his excellent projects. We can learn so many life lessons just by studying the life of Nikola Tesla. I hope you can apply the lessons to help you improve and achieve your goals as well.
Here are the Life lessons we can learn from Nikola Tesla:
1. Most people only care about making a profit. Not everyone wants to change the world to make it a better place.
When Nikola Tesla was building his Wardenclyffe tower to provide free energy and wireless communication(like the internet), his investor J.P. Morgan blocked further investments on Nikola Tesla’s project that could cost him to lose profit and go broke. Bernard Baruch (a successful stock investor) told J.P Morgan, “Look this guy(N.Tesla) is going crazy. What he is doing is, he wants to give free electrical power to everybody, and we can’t put meters on that. We are just going to go broke supporting this guy.” And then, suddenly the support and investments that Tesla has were cut off, the work was never finished.
How can we apply this in our life? There are times we have this brilliant idea that could change the status quo, like the email and social networking which killed the postal service, electric vehicles killing the gas industry slowly but surely, automation which replaces the workforce. To achieve change in this world, we need to express our ideas, BUT not everyone will be on your side.
There are people out there who don’t want our society to become a better place. They are afraid to make a change because they might lose profit or they don’t know how to adjust and be part of the changing market.
Les Brown once said, “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”
Don’t be afraid to express and show the world your ideas. You only have one life, and you will die. Do you want to be mediocre or the best at what you do? What choice are you going to take?
2. We all need help sometimes.
To accomplish his inventions like the AC(alternating current) which Edison didn’t like Tesla needed investors, George Westinghouse believed in him and his designs. Westinghouse recognized the potential of alternating current and is a major competitor to Edison which leads to the famous War of the Currents. Westinghouse believed that AC is more efficient and could bring more enormous profits.
To manifest our dreams into reality we need help. We can’t do it by ourselves especially when we need financial support, wisdom or teachings and, proper advice. That is why having a mentor or a partner is an excellent support for us. Both of you can help each other to achieve your shared vision of success.
If you can’t afford a mentor, go to a bookstore, and you can see thousands of ideas that are written to help you accomplish what you want. If you like reading, there are audiobooks and educational podcasts that you can listen to.
The technology that we have right now, excuses like having not enough knowledge is unacceptable. Balance your time properly and use the internet to your advantage.
3. Some people will take advantage of our abilities.
When Nikola Tesla was working for Thomas Edison, Tesla insisted to increase the efficiency of Edison’s prototypical dynamos. Edison allegedly bet Tesla during those times for $50,000 if he successfully accomplished this task. Tesla worked tirelessly for six months and made progress; unfortunately, Edison just laughed off the promised bet and joked to Tesla “You are still a Parisian! When you become a full-fledged American, you will appreciate an American joke.” Tesla idolized Edison. He was stung by his hero laughing in his face and make jokes about immigrants. Tesla even fixed Edison’s mistakes at the Strasbourg train station and improved the machines.
Tesla felt he was cheated and made him quit. That evening he wrote on his notebook: “Good by to the Edison Machine Works!”
Most of us have this incredible talent, which makes us stand out than the rest of our competition. It could be in sports, arts, business side or whatever career path we took, there are people out there that will take advantage of our abilities and make a name for themselves. These are the type of people that you shouldn’t be with. These people just bring negativity in your life and could end your dreams.
We need to be sure that the people around us have the same goals or your goals with your peers should be aligned. Imagine that you are in Tesla’s spot, you put in all the work and then you won’t get credit for it?
Most of these things happen in a workplace. A real boss is a Leader, not a Manager and a user. So pick the people you work with carefully.
4. Having a vision puts us on a path of our version of success.
Before Nikola Tesla starts his inventions he visualizes his work before doing it physically, and Tesla said that he uses his imagination which was so strong that he couldn’t even distinguish what’s real and what was imagined. He designs all of his work inside his mind without the aid of drawings. When he was young before he came to America, he had this vision of producing electricity by using the power of Niagara Falls.
Lo, and behold he finally achieved his dream with the help of Westinghouse. He was only forty years old when he achieved his lifelong goal, his vision as a kid turned into reality by not giving up on the adversities he battled through. His persistence paid off in a right way. From that point on, Tesla continued to invent the modern world.
Do you have a vision of your future self? Put yourself in that place right now, think deeply and ask yourself: “How can I be this type of person? Can I achieve this by doing the things that I’m doing right now at this moment? Am I doing the right thing? What is my purpose?”
You must remember in life that no one will rescue you but yourself. Your life doesn’t involve scripts like a movie. You can’t go back in time. You can only move forward.
There are tons of life lessons we can learn from the story of Nikola Tesla. These are just the most essential, and it can help us in our day-to-day lives. This post is written in honor of his birthday.
Let us change our world positively. Let us make an impact with our ideas.