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Top 10 Success Principles to Learn from Nikola Tesla

When we talk about the most successful inventor, most people will think about Thomas Edison. While it is true that Thomas Edison has created a lot of life-changing inventions, one person we should not ignore is Nikola Tesla.

Tesla was born in Austria and he used to work for Edison in the New York City. After parting ways with Edison, he started his own laboratory and since then, he has earned over 700 patents, including his most famous invention for developing the alternating current. His work also included wireless communications, the x-rays, lasers, radar, robotics, and much, much more.

Tesla was considered a brilliant scientist and engineer by many; even Elon Musk named his electric vehicle company after him, Tesla.

And here are the top 10 success principles you can learn from Nikola Tesla.

1. Have an Even Bigger Vision

Although that Tesla was born in a poor Serbian family, which is known as Croatia today, he has a big vision and plans. Even at a very young age, when Tesla’s brother died in an accident, he knew that the only way to console his parents was to become the best student he could be.

And that was how he found his interest in science and physics. However, his studies were interrupted when he contracted cholera, an illness that caused him bedridden. And that did not stop him from moving forward, young Tesla pleaded his father to allow him to continue his studies in engineering, which his father agreed and only then Tesla found the strength to recover from his illness.

Ever since childhood, Tesla had dreamed of harnessing the power of Niagara Falls. One of his first projects in school had been to build a working model of a water turbine. As you can see, Nikola Tesla was someone with a big and bold vision. He knew that he did not want to settle for something less and he knew that he was destined for big success.

Tesla performed brilliantly at school. He even criticized the direct current motors being used around the world that time. When he was out to work, his talents and visions paid off when his manager wrote a letter to Thomas Edison and recommend Edison about Tesla. This was how Tesla ended up in New York and working for Edison.

2. Be Persistent and Never Give Up

When Tesla got to New York, he suggested Edison switching to using his alternating current motor rather than the unstable direct current, which was far from perfect and Tesla knew it. Instead, Edison offered him a job and he accepted.

After went through hard work and Tesla redesigned 24 of Edison’s electrical generators, Edison cheated him and gave up pay raise rather than a sum of $50,000 that they have agreed upon. Tesla felt discouraged and depressed, but he did not give up.

Tesla then went on to found his own company called Tesla Electric Company. After tasted some successes, his laboratory was burned down to the ground in 1895. It was disastrous for Tesla as he had never prepared for such a situation. It was a huge setback for Tesla, but he was persistent and simply refused to give up. The loss of his lab hit him hard financially as well. He has to think of ways to recoup his capital and start anew, which he did.

If you are serious about being successful, this is the spirit you need to adopt as well. You have to learn and be like Tesla, be persistent and never give up. Even when his lad was burned to the ground and he has to start everything all over again, he did not choose to quit or give up on his dreams.

3. Learn to Serve a Purposeful Life

Another great lesson you can learn from Nikola Tesla is his visionary and purposeful life. It is no doubt that Tesla has big dreams, but what is even more fascinating is his unconditional dreams of making the world a better place and to serve everyone better.

Tesla was known for his concern about the fact that we are using up the Earth’s resources too quickly. And Tesla wanted to make sure that we are able to use non-fossil and renewable fuels.

“Tesla did what he did for the betterment of humanity, to help people have a better quality of life,” says Jane Alcorn, a scientist who studies the work of Tesla and also the President of Tesla Science Center. And then she also says, “He never seemed to be interested in monetary gain, although a possible downside of that was he never seemed to have enough money to do what he needed to do.”

Tesla was known to have many famous and successful friends including Mark Twain and French actress Sarah Bernhardt, but he struggled financially. Although Tesla was not financially successful, he devoted his lifetime legacy to his inventions that brought conveniences to the mankind. He lived with a purpose to serve.

4. Quiet Your Mind and Be in Solitude

Tesla is also famous for his quote, “Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born.” He believes that when you are alone and in solitude, you are the most creative.

The majority of the people today never spend time alone. Even when they are alone, they are spending time with their smartphones, playing games or checking social media. They are never really spending time alone with themselves. Being in solitude and spending time with yourself is one of the most powerful techniques to awaken your inner calling.

The more you understand about yourself, the more you are able to tap into your inner potential. Just like what Tesla said, “Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves.”

Therefore, spend more time to be with yourself. Take a walk in the woods, be alone, and spend time thinking and understanding yourself. In fact, many successful people such as Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Isaac Newton, they spend a lot of time being with themselves. They are always in solitude, quiet down their mind and listen to the voice from within.

This is how they are able to manifest the greatness within their inner selves. Practice listening to your instinct and your heart. It is one of the most powerful weapons that is available to all of us in this world.

5. Never Be Afraid to Work Hard

This is one of the most common success principles that every successful people share, including Tesla. Tesla was known for his hard working quality since a very young age. He was a hard working student who did brilliantly in school. And after he got into the working world and started his own company, he immersed himself in his lab most of the time.

Even during the War of the Currents where he went against Edison, Tesla kept himself busy at the lab. And this is a very powerful trait that everyone should adopt.

When it comes to achieving great success in life, you must work hard. The word “Extraordinary” suggests itself that you have to do the “extra” than the ordinary to become extraordinary.

Studies have claimed that Tesla used to sleep only about two hours a night, but he took a lot of naps during the day. Even after his lab was burned down to dust, he never gave up and chose to work hard and continued to strive forward.

And this is the quality that you should learn from Tesla. Working hard may not give you the result you desire, but without working hard, there will be nothing at all. When you study the biography of each extraordinary entrepreneur, you will see that all of them are hyper-dedicated to their work and they are so committed to what they do.

Just take a look at Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, both are great leaders in the business industry, and both are known for their laser-focused hard working attitude. And you should adopt this quality into your life too.

6. Believe the Impossible

A lot of people say that they want to be successful, but many do not actually believe that they can do it. Do you know that thinking and believing are two different things? When you believe in something, you will do it with full commitment.

Just like how Tesla won the contract of harnessing the power of Niagara Falls to build his electrical generators. He has been dreaming about it since he was still a kid, and his dream came true when he received the word from George Westinghouse. You have to believe the impossible.

Fifty years ago, nobody believes that we are able to talk to each other through a small device called “phone”, but today, it is so common that almost everyone in the world owns a phone. Nobody believes that an airplane can fly, but the Wright Brothers who were bicycle repairmen invented the first airplane in the world.

You have to believe in your dreams even they seem impossible right now. In fact, your dreams should be so big that people will think that what you want to do are crazy. If everyone thinks that your dreams are possible, perhaps, you are not dreaming big enough.

Besides the invention of alternating current, Nikola Tesla also demonstrated the world’s first remote-controlled boat and robotic technology. Many of his ideas seemed impossible during his lifetime, but today, many inventions are based on Tesla’s design and technology.

7. Go with Your Passion

Ever since he was a child, Tesla has shown a strong passion for science and physics. And when he grew older, his studied and experimented a lot with electricity, technology, and engineering. As you can clearly see, it is Tesla’s strong passion that led him to his successful creation.

“When natural inclination develops into a passionate desire, one advances towards his goal in seven-league boots,” says Tesla. Steve Jobs did say the same thing about passion as well. He said, “You have to have a lot of passion for what you are doing because it is so hard that if you don’t any rational person would give up.”

You need to have a strong and intense passion for what you do. Without passion, you will give up when you face adversities and difficulties. And most people are not passionate about their goals and their dreams. They are doing it for the reward. This is why most people fail.

8. Keep on Improving

In his lifetime, Tesla has invented and created many useful things and ideas. And his most popular idea was to be able to power the world with wireless electricity, which he did. Of all his inventions, many did not come to fruition.

Just like Thomas Edison, in his course of searching for the filament that works in a light bulb, he had failed more than a thousand times. And it is common for people to fail in their attempts to achieve something that is beyond their comfort zone. The key is to not look at failure as failure, but a means to improve.

You see, when you fail in something, there are basically three ways how to deal with it. First, you can choose to give up and quit, which is the fastest way to get out of it. The second way is to repeat the process, but this is not going work as well because it will only get you the same result, which is a failure. And the third way is to improve and then do it again.

You may not be successful in your first business, but it does not matter as long as you keep learning and improving. You will gain new knowledge and widen your perspective. And when you do, you will be able to manage your next business in a much better way.

9. Become so Good that People Can’t Ignore You

One of the keys to Nikola Tesla’s success was that he was so good in what he did that people simply cannot ignore him. Even when he went against the famous Edison during that time, Tesla was doing a good job and he even won the War of the Current against Edison.

When Tesla resigned and stopped working for Edison, he chose to forge on his own. Before long, his bright ideas caught the attention of the right people. George Westinghouse saw the brilliance in Tesla’s new technology and decided to invest in Tesla.

Therefore, when you become indispensable, people will come to your aid. When you become so good at what you do, people will actually want to do business with you and they cannot ignore your existence. Look at Google, Apple, Intel, Microsoft and many more companies that are doing good. They win many contracts and are able to convince consumers to buy their products because they are good.

The same goes for you. If you want to be extraordinary and win the game of business and life, you need to become so good in your industry that people will have no choice but to work with you.

Hence, learn to constantly strive to improve yourself. The better you become, the more the world and the market need you. And when you become the best in what you do, you can command the highest pay and become extraordinary.

10. Have Strong Patience

Although Nikola Tesla was a brilliant and smart guy that he has a big dream of harnessing the power of Niagara Falls, his dream did not come true immediately. Even when he was young, he knew that alternating current was the best solution than Edison’s direct current and he did voice out his idea a couple of times, but nobody accepted his idea.

However, Tesla did not give up. Instead, he waited patiently for his opportunity to strike. And his chance came in 1893 at the World’s Fair in Chicago, where Tesla was able to demonstrate the effectiveness and reliability of alternating current electricity distribution. Twenty-five million people visited the fair and Tesla put on his show. He caught the audience spellbound and eventually, his future started to look bright after that.

As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day.” Every big idea takes time to manifest, including your dreams. In fact, the bigger your dreams, the longer it may take to manifest. Thus, you need to have the patience to wait for the right moment to strike. When the timing is right, you can grow tremendously huge and become super successful in what you do.

The problem with most people is that they do not have the patience. They want to be successful, to get rich, and to become slim and fit in an instant. There is no way you can skip the process and get straight to the result. Even if you are able to find a way to do so, the success will never last because without the process, you will never transform yourself into the person worthy of the success you desire.

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I would love to hear from you and read your comments on this article. Let me know what you think about this article. Is it helpful to you? Your comments and suggestions will serve as an inspiration and learning platform for me.
Regards, Sophia
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