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Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein

Lesson:

Think great thoughts by bucking convention and being open to opportunities.

Bio:

Father of Modern physics. Used thought experiments to examine theories by their consequences. Humanitarian, NAACP member. Valued humility and the freedom to say what you thought without social barriers.

Goals:

  • Understand how the world works
  • Be free to think
  • Exchange knowledge with peers
  • Find the simplest answer

Governing Principle:

Improve the human condition through knowledge and understanding.

Questions:

  • Do you really understand how this works?
  • What are your assumptions and are they true?
  • How can this be simplified?
  • What picture or analogy can you use to represent this?
  • What is the worth of this task or action?  
  • How will it make the world better?

Traits:

Curious, absent-minded, aloof, intellectual, absorbed in thought, philosophical, rational, confident, humble, unconventional, easy-going, flexible

Behaviors:

Be extremely humble – Listen carefully to others before offering your own opinion.  Understate your own contribution.

 Thoroughly examine problems – Use data, analogies, pictures, and thought experiments to analyze problems.  Make sure each topic is thoroughly considered and resolved to your satisfaction.   

Insist on understanding (why and how everything works) – Get at root assumptions by asking many questions, especially asking “Why?” five times in a row.  Uncover the underlying beliefs, e.g. is the world benevolent or hostile?  

Simplify whenever possible – Always look for the simplest, most streamlined solution or method.  

Trust your own opinions – Be extremely internally guided with a strong sense of moral conviction.  Stick to your convictions until the evidence tells you otherwise.  

Challenge conventional wisdom – Look for unusual methods to accomplish goals and be a non-conformist whenever possible. Challenge everyone else to do the same.    

Never say no – Be open to all opportunities and never refuse to help someone else.

For more information on how to behave like Einstein, see the full profile.