33 Einstein Quotes to Live By

As one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century, Albert Einstein radically altered our ideas about the world we live in and how it works. Without Einstein's unique way of looking at things, our scientific progress might have been set back indefinitely. As these quotes will demonstrate, Einstein was unafraid to challenge the established nature of reality. He was as willing to tap into his creative and imaginative intelligence as he was to dismiss the words of his critics. It was this man, with this mindset, who was able to uncover a true nature of reality that no one before him could have ever dreamed was possible.

As such a remarkably brilliant being, it should perhaps come as no surprise that Einstein left behind such a wealth of absolutely brilliant words to live by. Here are 33 Einstein quotes for a kinder, more creative, more passionate, more brilliant, and more empathetic world.

Creativity, imagination, & curiosity are invaluable

1. If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.8-A. Einstein

2. When I examine myself and my methods of thought I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.9-A. Einstein

3. Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.10-A. Einstein

5. Certainly we should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. It cannot lead, it can only serve; and it is not fastidious in its choice of a leader. This characteristic is reflected in the qualities of its priests, the intellectuals. The intellect has a sharp eye for methods and tools, but is blind to ends and values. So it is no wonder that this fatal blindness is handed on from old to young and today involves a whole generation.11-A. Einstein

6. I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.12-A. Einstein

The important thing is not to Stop questioning. Curiosity has its Own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.13-A. Einstein

8. I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.-A. Einstein

9. Without creative personalities able to think and judge independently, the upward development of society is as unthinkable as the development of the individual personality without the nourishing soil of the community. 14-A. Einstein

Children hold the key to understanding

10. The ordinary adult never gives a thought to space-time problems.... I, on the contrary, developed so slowly that I did not begin to wonder about space and time until I was an adult. I then delved more deeply into the problem than any other adult or child would have done.-A. Einstein

11. If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.-A. Einstein

Science & Spirituality both have importance

12. Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.-A. Einstein

Celebrate individuality

13. It is important for the common good to foster individuality: for only the individual can produce the new ideas which the community needs for its continuous improvement and requirements—indeed, to avoid sterility and petrification.-A. Einstein

Be Humbled by Knowledge

14. One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike—and yet it is the most precious thing we have.-A. Einstein

Be focused, be passionate

15. Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.-A. Einstein

16. The state of mind which enables a man to do work of this kind ... is akin to that of the religious worshipper or the lover; the daily effort comes from no deliberate intention or program, but straight from the heart.-A. Einstein

17. Why is it that nobody understands me, and everybody likes me?-A. Einstein

18. Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.-A. Einstein

Don't be afraid to make mistakes

19. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.-A. Einstein

Treat Everyone Equally

20. I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.-A. Einstein

Live in the moment

21. I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.-A. Einstein

Don't please the crowd, change the world

22. Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.-A. Einstein

Be an activist

23. The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.-A. Einstein

Never stop learning

24. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.-A. Einstein

25. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.-A. Einstein

26. Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.-A. Einstein

27. You never fail until you stop trying.-A. Einstein

Think outside of the box

28. The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.-A. Einstein

29. Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.-A. Einstein

30. Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.-A. Einstein

Engage in your passions

31. Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.-A. Einstein

32. Any fool can know. The point is to understand.-A. Einstein

Seek understanding and strive for perfection

You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.-A. Einstein

Peace is a mindset

33. Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.-A. Einstein

Let no one stop you when you're right

34. Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.-A. Einstein

Live life in radical amazement

35. There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.-A. Einstein


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Footnotes

  1. Paraphrase of advice given to a boy's parent: "First, give him fairy tales; second, give him fairy tales, and third, give him fairy tales!," The Wilson Library Bulletin, Vol. 37 from 1962, Page 678, as recounted by Doris Gates, writer and children's librarian.
  2. Yehuda Elkana, Adi Ophir, Einstein 1879-1979 Exhibition: Jewish National and University Library, Berman Hall, Jerusalem, March, 1979, p. 57
  3. Harry Kessler (Graf), The diaries of a cosmopolitan: Count Harry Kessler, 1918-1937, Published 1971
  4. Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years, p. 260, Citadel Press (1973), ISBN 0806503572
  5. George Sylvester Viereck Duckworth, Glimpses of the Great, Published 1930
  6. Albert Einstein, as quoted in Life magazine, May 2, 1955 by editor, William Miller
  7. From "Society and Personality," 1932. Published in Mein Weltbild (1934), p. 12; reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, p. 14
  8. Paraphrase of advice given to a boy's parent: "First, give him fairy tales; second, give him fairy tales, and third, give him fairy tales!," The Wilson Library Bulletin, Vol. 37 from 1962, Page 678, as recounted by Doris Gates, writer and children's librarian.
  9. Yehuda Elkana, Adi Ophir, Einstein 1879-1979 Exhibition: Jewish National and University Library, Berman Hall, Jerusalem, March, 1979, p. 57
  10. Harry Kessler (Graf), The diaries of a cosmopolitan: Count Harry Kessler, 1918-1937, Published 1971
  11. Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years, p. 260, Citadel Press (1973), ISBN 0806503572
  12. George Sylvester Viereck Duckworth, Glimpses of the Great, Published 1930
  13. Albert Einstein, as quoted in Life magazine, May 2, 1955 by editor, William Miller
  14. From "Society and Personality," 1932. Published in Mein Weltbild (1934), p. 12; reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, p. 14
  15. Paraphrase of advice given to a boy's parent: "First, give him fairy tales; second, give him fairy tales, and third, give him fairy tales!," The Wilson Library Bulletin, Vol. 37 from 1962, Page 678, as recounted by Doris Gates, writer and children's librarian.
  16. Yehuda Elkana, Adi Ophir, Einstein 1879-1979 Exhibition: Jewish National and University Library, Berman Hall, Jerusalem, March, 1979, p. 57
  17. Harry Kessler (Graf), The diaries of a cosmopolitan: Count Harry Kessler, 1918-1937, Published 1971
  18. Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years, p. 260, Citadel Press (1973), ISBN 0806503572
  19. George Sylvester Viereck Duckworth, Glimpses of the Great, Published 1930
  20. Albert Einstein, as quoted in Life magazine, May 2, 1955 by editor, William Miller
  21. From "Society and Personality," 1932. Published in Mein Weltbild (1934), p. 12; reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, p. 14