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Tesla was the poster child for divergent thinking and refused to settle for generally accepted ideas. He wasn’t afraid to propose concepts that were way ahead of their time. Often, people weren’t ready for his inventions — and he didn’t care.
“Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments,” Tesla once said. “The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.”
Based on stories of Tesla’s childhood, Nikola had energy on his mind from an early age: young Nikola dreamed of harnessing the power of Niagara Falls. By 1887, he had developed the alternating current as a way to transmit power over long distances. But the concept wasn’t immediately accepted.
It wasn’t until the 1893 World Fair in Chicago that Tesla was able to demonstrate the effectiveness of his idea — and when he did, it was glorious by any measure.
Many CEOs have unusual preferences and personal habits. Whether they’re motivated by productivity, wellbeing, or organization, these quirks seem integral to their success.
But Nikola Tesla takes the cake when it comes to eccentricities. He had a strong aesthetic sensibility, including an aversion to pearls (and any woman wearing them), and insisted on dressing to impress. He wore white gloves to dinner every night and prided himself on his dapper attire.
Though he took cat naps throughout the day, Tesla also claimed he never slept more than 2 hours. Once, he stopped eating solid foods, opting instead for liquid sustenance like warm milk and juices.
While he was tall and reportedly rather easy on the eyes, Tesla never dated. Celibacy, he reasoned, contributed to his creativity.
The takeaway: own whatever makes you you from habits to preferences. As long as you’re not harming anyone, embrace your quirks and incorporate them into your routine.
He regularly collaborated and socialized with some of the greatest minds of his time: fellow scientists, politicians, artists, and business people. Writer and poet Rudyard Kipling, conservationist John Muir, and financiers Henry Clay Frick and Thomas Fortune Ryan were just a few of Tesla’s intimates.
On his 75th birthday, Tesla received a celebratory letter from Albert Einstein himself.
Surround yourself with people whom you respect and admire, from a variety of backgrounds and industries.
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