Einstein Week

Einstein Week

Monday's thought...

“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self.”

Albert Einstein  |  1879 - 1955  |  Swiss physicist & Nobel Prize winner

After finishing National Geographic’s first season of Genius, I found myself with a renewed enthusiasm and respect for Einstein. (I bought the series on iTunes, but if you have National Geographic as part of your cable package, I’m guessing you can watch it on-demand.)

That enthusiasm led me to open his book over the weekend ... Ideas and Opinions. It’s a compilation of his essays and thoughts from throughout his career. For me, some of it’s hard reading. But, because the book is made up of essays, I can read it in short bits.

This week, I thought I’d share a daily Einstein quote I find inspiring from the book. (Surround yourself with good thoughts, good people, and good ideas, and more good things will happen.)

Today’s thought connects very nicely to my 48-hour Ego Cleanse effort (which has turned into a daily thing). If we missed you with it, I hope you'll join in. We’ve added a printable guide to help you. If you like it, please share it with other people.

The rest of the week's thoughts are below.

A little more...

Sometimes we get feedback from people who feel Einstein was German or American.

Here’s what we know ... He was born in Germany and moved to Switzerland at the age of 17. Five years later (1901), he acquired his Swiss citizenship. In 1914, he became a German citizen but “renounced his citizenship for political reasons and emigrated to America.” In 1940, he became a U.S. citizen (according to the Nobel Foundation).

That combined with the following quote from a letter he wrote to Alfred Kneser in 1918 have us believing he would much prefer being referred to as Swiss rather than German.

“I am by heritage a Jew, by citizenship a Swiss, and by makeup a human being, and only a human being, without any special attachment to any state or national entity whatsoever.”

Tuesday’s thought...

“One knows from daily life that one exists for other people – first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy.”

Albert Einstein  |  1879 - 1955  |  Swiss physicist & Nobel Prize winner

Moderned up...

“If you can lessen the suffering of someone else today, a little bit, just do it. How much does it set you back? Alright. If that were infused into all of our society … you learn a little more tomorrow than today, help everybody out a little, don’t require favors to be returned back to you, send it forward. Oh my gosh what a world this would be.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson | 1958 - | American astrophysicist

Tightened up even further...

Smile & Move.

Tyson’s thought is from an interview on the Nerdist podcast ( Episode 897).

Wednesday’s thought...

“There is the danger that everyone waits idly for others to act in his stead.”

Albert Einstein  |  1879 - 1955  |  Swiss physicist & Nobel Prize winner

There was a documentary on education released in 2010 with the title “Waiting for ‘Superman.’” I believe the title was intended to remind all of us that we need to step up and help out if we want to improve things in education.

I’ve since enjoyed the reminder in other areas of my life. We can’t wait for some fictitious character to solve our problems.

We need to remember that we’re Superman ... individually and collectively. That’s what I believe Einstein was saying above.

Life is short. We’re not here to fill or kill time. We’re here to make good things happen for other people.


‘Stead’ is pronounced ‘sted’ and means ‘place ordinarily occupied or carried out by someone or something else.’ Until yesterday, I thought it was pronounced ‘steed’ (although I don’t think I’ve ever used the word in my life ... ‘green & growing’ baby.

For those in education: Einstein suggested, “Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty.” I like that challenge!

Thursday’s thought...

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”

Albert Einstein  |  1879 - 1955  |  Swiss physicist & Nobel Prize winner

Giving in the same measure as we've been given is a great first step to being a part of things. But is it where we want to stop?

Is it where we want others to stop when they're doing something for us?

Be two-twelve...

Friday's thought...

“It is right in principle that those should be the best loved who have contributed most of the elevation of the human race and human life … I most seriously believe that one does people the best service by giving them some elevating work to do and thus indirectly elevating them.”

Albert Einstein  |  1879 - 1955  |  Swiss physicist & Nobel Prize winner

While we may not all have the opportunity or ability to elevate the human race in a big high-profile way (or be in charge of giving others elevating work), we all can choose to be a better part of someone's day.

A little more patience and kindness. A little less ego. A little more Loving Your People.

A more enjoyable day ... that's the goal.


Bliss? It means 'complete happiness.'

A bonus Einstein reminder to think about over the weekend: “The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.”

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