8 Quotes from Thomas A. Edison on Persistence

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Thomas A. Edison is best known for his invention, the electric light bulb. But he also created the phonograph and the motion picture camera too. Edison was considered "America's greatest inventor" for his time, born in 1847 and passing away in 1931. Edison holds just over 1,000 U.S. patents, as well as some in other countries.

To pioneer so many innovations requires determination, a brilliant mind, and even a bit of stubbornness to establish confidence that YOU are the one who can come up with the solution.

If you've got a goal or project that you want to accomplish, here are 8 great quotes from Edison to remind you to just keep going when things get tough. While you may not be trying to create the lightbulb, what you are doing is important. You also never know what this one goal or project may lead to - another success and another and so on. Get to work & stick with it!

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."

This is truly an inventor thinking, as Edison was not afraid to experiment and to keep trying. We all have to be willing to try new things to come up with a solution.

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

You simply have to admire Edison's positive attitude and the way he looks at his attempts to solve a problem. Whatever your goal is, you may have gone through a challenging time trying to accomplish it. Take what Edison shares with us and understand that this experience has taught you what has not worked and what to do differently.

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

This is a favorite Edison quotes partly because it's quite funny. Some think that accomplishing something is simple, when in reality it's far from the truth. You face hurdles, road blocks and things that you have to tackle along the way.

"There's a way to do it better - find it."

You can really see Edison's mind at work here, because this is exactly what he was thinking as he created all of these innovations. Finding a better way for what he created to do what it was meant to be. In some ways we are all inventors of our lives, solving problems.

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

It can be hard when you set out to accomplish a goal and you keep facing obstacle after obstacle, or you're not making as many strides as you'd like. Edison is reminding us not to give up, and that you actually could be closer to it than you think you are.

"There is no substitute for hard work."

There's a saying that says "no one can do your push-ups for you." If you want something, you have to be willing to do the hard work to achieve it, whatever that might be.

"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."

Edison here is acknowledging that while he is very smart, putting action and hard work behind a great idea is what matters a lot more than simply having that idea.

"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves."

We can easily agree that Edison was a truly astounding inventor. You have the opportunity to fulfill your potential just like he did, you just have to prepare yourself for the road ahead to accomplish your goals. It's a road that may have a lot of twists and turns, but it's nothing you can't handle if you simply apply yourself.

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Abigail Beal
Hello! I am a writer, specializing in digital media. I believe very much in the power of setting both short term & long term goals. One of my favorite sayings is "Goals are dreams with deadlines." Some things I love (in no order of preference): cats, good coffee, the library, TED Talks & NPR. Here's my LinkedIn URL: https://www.linkedin.com/in/abigailbeal/