Thursday, October 08, 2009

Another facet of being successful

The Einstein Principle: Accomplish More By Doing Less reminds us that being success often means we have to focus:

Between the years 1912 to 1915, Albert Einstein was a focused man. His previous work on the special theory of relativity and the quantization of light, among other topics, was starting to gain notice. Einstein left the Swiss patent office, and, after hopping from professorships in Germany and Prauge, ended up, in 1912, at Switzerland’s ETH Institute.

Once there, he met mathematician Marcel Grossman and became convinced that if he applied the new non-euclidean math studied by Grossman to his own work on relativity, he could generalize the theory to account for gravity. This advance would be huge. Nothing short of overturning the single most famous law in the history of science.
Einstein set to work.

Between 1912 to 1915, he became increasingly obsessed in his push to formalize general relativity. As revealed by several sources, including his recently released letters, he worked so hard that his marriage became strained and his hair turned white from the stress.

But he got it done. In 1915 he published his full theory. It stands as one of the greatest scientific accomplishments — if not the single greatest — of the 20th century.

The Einstein Principle

Einstein’s push for general relativity highlights an important reality about accomplishment. We are most productive when we focus on a very small number of projects on which we can devote a large amount of attention. Achievements worth achieving require hard work. There is no shortcut here. Be it starting up a new college club or starting a new business, eventually, effort, sustained over a long amount of time, is required.

Read the last paragraph a second time. Sometimes "We are most productive when we focus on a very small number of projects on which we can devote a large amount of attention."

This reminds me of Paul Graham's essay on Good and Bad Procrastination.

Sometimes we just need to stop trying to do so many things, so we can focus on what is truly important.

What can you drop from your busy schedule?

What should you drop?

Technorati tags: success

1 comment:

Fatcat said...

I know what I'd like to give up - my job!

I'm trying to get a different one right now and praying I do get it because it's less hours and I can focus more on homeschooling and other important things!