Albert Einstein’s life was about making the complex, simple. He was a master of so many aspects of life, including creativity, the state of the world, and the power of imagination and intuition. He was a true mystic in scientific garb.
These three guidelines for work should be on your computer, refrigerator, or night table. Simple, not necessarily easy, but elegant.
1. Out of clutter, simplicity. That’s it. Get rid of what you no longer need or pretend to need. Really think about your clutter. Are you a pack rat? Does the word ‘hoard’ resonate with you? Remember there are many types of clutter. Physical clutter may be easier to see. It’s the stuff, the clothes, magazines, old awards, trinkets from trips of long ago days.
Why do we hold onto relics of the past? Sometimes it’s a primal fear, fear of starvation or abandonment. It’s also a misguided hope. Hope of getting thin enough to fit into the skinny jeans again, or holding onto the photo of that long-lost love, that smiling face still brings up images of what could have been.
Then there is the emotional clutter. It’s invisible to the naked eye. This is the realm of pattern repetition. The reverberating stories of ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda,’ that keep past hurts, past failures, or conversely, past successes running around in your brain, pushing away new thoughts and new ways of responding.
Listen to Einstein. Clear out the old to make way for the new.
2. From discord, find harmony. This is the mantra for all relationships. Yes, there will always be discord. How do you think in terms of harmony? This is not, “is everybody happy,” superficial stuff. It’s about what to do when you and another reach an impasse. If you can both stay fully engaged, you can use the discord, the stalemate, to find new ways.
When you are both in “the think of it,” that’s when you can find new ways of responding. You will be pressed to find a better way of asking questions, and your colleague will be forced to engage and expand his or her way of thinking.
Discord means everyone decides to go their own way and not pay attention to the needs and wants of others. It’s “my way or the highway” thinking.
Consider harmony in music. Picture a choir that sounds simply amazing. You hear the whole, not the individual voices. Everyone singing the same extended note, means some will need to take a breath at one moment and someone else take a breath at a different time. Yet, the harmony is uninterrupted. Harmony, in essence, is helping each other make a difference, together.
3. In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity. Think of it this way, a stressed muscle gains strength. A stretched employee gains knowledge, a challenged lover gains compassion. Often, when things are not flowing easily, the natural tendency is to give up.
What matters is staying the course; it’s through our missteps and failed attempts that new and even more creative ideas emerge. All great thinkers have said this. Einstein simply puts it in a short sentence to remember.
Think of it this way, after the rain, the rainbows.
Einstein urges all of us to enter a state of creative emersion. Not for material success, just for the very fact that when your whole being is involved in a project, in learning something new, in discovering it, positive emotions can emerge. Don’t turn away from a tough time. See yourself getting stronger, more caring…wiser.
It worked for Einstein, let it work for you!