Sunday, July 31, 2011

2 Albert Einstein Quotes That Reveal The Power of Acceptance

Albert EinsteinImage by mansionwb via FlickrBy Steve Nash

Albert Einstein is that rare individual - famous for being a scientist AND (to me, at least) famous for his philosophical views on life, religion (God) and everything.

The smiling grey-haired man was a theoretical physicist and won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics no less. He also came up with some fantastic quotations in his time - many of them funny. And it's 2 of Albert Einstein's inspirational quotes that I shall use in this article to help explain the power of acceptance ...

Inspirational Quote #1:
"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be." - Albert Einstein

How true Albert's words are, don't you think. How often have you felt yourself suffering at some news that you just don't want to believe is true.

Let me share with you some personal examples of my own - examples that might resonate with you - of how I have suffered in the past because I did NOT do what Albert urges us all to do ...

1) I didn't have many friends, and didn't like this fact

I've never had loads of friends and acquaintances, never was the most popular kid at school. And I was okay with this, early on, because it never seemed to matter. But as I got older, and life started getting more fun - parties, holidays and just 'hanging out' and having more and more experiences of life - I started to notice how few of these experiences came my way.

And all because I had few friends And with those friends I had it always seemed like it was me who had to make all the effort all the time. I suffered, greatly, at this. And the main reason I suffered wasn't really because I wasn't having all the fun. The main reason I was suffering was (and always will be) because I did not ACCEPT that this was how my life was.

So rather than look at my life, my friendships, and understand that I needed to make some changes in order for me to have more friends. Rather than do this, I instead focussed on what I did not like - not having many friends - and focussed my attention on people that were NOT being my friends.

I made others responsible, and ALL because I did not accept 'what is' and then accept responsibility for trying to change it. Another example would be...

2) I get angry when people behave like ...

People are people. They come in all shapes and sizes. They come with all varieties of strengths and weaknesses. Some people you like, some people you don't. Some people like you, and some people don't. All of that is obvious, yes. So, why then would I spend so much of my life wanting people to be different to who they are?

Someone is selfish or mean or thoughtless or they always want to be the centre of attention or... (you fill in annoying attributes of other people here). That's how they are! Let me repeat that: that's how they are. And the sooner I ACCEPT that this is how these people behave - nobody's perfect after all - then the sooner I can stop taking offense at the behaviour of others.

Obviously, this is not a charter for being mistreated. Move away from those that would harm you - emotionally or physically. But in those commonplace interactions we have with others where they reveal their commonplace flaws, we'll all find life a lot easier, and more fun, if we accept that people are flawed: and it's nothing personal to us.

(A truly great thing happens when you accept other people's flaws, by the way - truly great! You start to accept your own flaws at the same time).

I hope you can see how acceptance of others, or of 'what is' about others, can definitely improve the quality of your relationships, and thus the quality of your life. Also, acceptance isn't just an outwards-looking job ...

Inspirational Quote #2:
"Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them." - Albert Einstein

This Albert Einstein quotation could be talking about the potential of the human race, or the potential of the human mind, but I'm going to make this personal and make it about the potential of ... YOU!

The fact is, we all have limits we do. Whether these are personal limits of temperament or attitude, whether these are limits of physical (or mental) ability, or whether these are the limitations inherent in our flaws - we all have limits.

Limits are fine. Yes, limits are fine as long as you recognise your limits AND you understand that these are your present limits.

What I mean by this is this:

* Recognise your limits
This means you should have an understanding of your flaws, for example, or the 'dark side' of your character. Understand that you have these limits, make them visible, and THEN you can challenge them. Nothing invisible, unrecognised, can be changed.

* Understand that these are you limits NOW
Basically, just because you can't speak Spanish today does not mean you can't speak Spanish tomorrow. Just because you don't have many friends today, doesn't mean you won't be Mr Popular tomorrow. Just because you can't write articles about acceptance concisely (and without rambling) today, doesn't mean you won't be able to write a 450-word piece on the subject tomorrow ... (ahem!). I hope you take my point, here. Limits are temporary signs of how far you have grown, that is all.

Acceptance is a VERY important part of personal development. We are most of us doing are best, right now, with the abilities we have. All is well with us, if we accept this fact, and ALL can be changed, improved and developed too.

I hope I've shown you, via these 2 Albert Einstein quotes, that acceptance - both outer and inner - can be a powerful way to improve anyone's life, anyone like you.

Thank you.

And you can read, hear (and watch) what I think of another Albert Einstein inspirational quote at
From Steve M Nash - Editor of

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