Albert Einstein. The man. The myth. The legend. Also one of the most successful failures of our time. Note: This is not an homage to his genius, but rather to his ability to persevere and learn from failure. He fell, to rise higher than most ever will. Call him what you will, but I think the only way most of us can relate to him is through his failures. His ability to learn and grow from his mistakes is rather enchanting.
Now, Einstein’s no magician. At least, not by modern scientific standards. His theories are philosophical, which makes him a unicorn among scientists. The real rarity and charm of his life come from the choices he made, good and bad. He failed. A lot. He could’ve given up, and most people would’ve understood. Instead, he fell to rise. Take a look at his personal epic of failure below.
Let’s count the ways this mad genius tried again and again. (Although he called insanity doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.) I still call him mad because that much creativity and innovation is unusual in the methodical, logical field of natural science. Yet, he was an avid proponent of finding the magic of this universe. Why else would he pursue something he’d failed at repeatedly?
“Magic’s just science that we don’t understand yet.”
-Arthur C. Clarke
His relationship with failure is one of many testaments to perseverance. How else would he have become the household name and connotation for genius that he is? With the intellectual sourcing for his theories of relativity, such as Aristotle and Euclid, it’s not very surprising that he sought the soul power of our universe. This wondrous curiosity of his formed the actions he took, despite his numerous failures. The man failed out of school, relationships, and the academic community. He and his theories were underestimated and disregarded by his “peers.” He was an adulterer, a refugee, a Nobel Laureate, a creator, a destroyer, a failure, and one of the greatest minds this world has ever known. Talk about manifesting the magic within.
Action → Inspiration → Motivation
Manson understands that you can’t have one without the other. If you want ease and contentment, you’ve gotta experience the growing pains to get there. You can’t exclusively choose to experience the easy things in life, only the things you want to do. Stick yourself in one place, and your soul power stagnates. As I’ve already mentioned, only thinking is not action, but merely a beginning. Manson notes the importance of failure, “You can become your own source of inspiration. You can become your own source of motivation. Action is always within reach. And with simply doing something as your only metric for success—well, then even failure pushes you forward.”
As the title of this particular post suggests, the only way out is through. If you want an unexpected, encouraging film, I highly suggest Meet the Robinsons. There’s something to be said about a children’s movie which serves up so much inspiration and talks about the power of doing something, as Manson mentions. Taking that first step into embracing your soul power is really all you need to feel inspired and motivated, to then act again. Manson’s subtle arts are rather beautiful in their straightforward simplicity.