Wise Words from an Inventor

I have a magnet on the side of my fridge that I purchased so long ago, I am not even sure how or when I got it. It is so old that what used to be a crisp white is now a dingy yellow. It is so old that I can’t even remember where I bought it. All I remember is, when I got it, I was with a friend who I really love but no longer speak to. I miss her. Here’s the quote:

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”Thomas Edison

This quote seems fitting today, as I have just wrapped up a crazy stressful project at work. In the last few days, I’ve been working around the clock to get this thing finalized, and to be honest, I am completely exhausted, drained, and ready to crash. I have done a ton of creative (corporate) writing and think the final product is pretty good. I did, to a certain degree, astound myself in getting this proposal done. But, I miss writing my blog and haven’t had the energy to put together a brilliant post…until now…I hope.

These words have always inspired me. They have also subconciously stressed me out for many years as the magnet has sat, yellowing on my fridge. I KNOW I am capable of doing many things, and I WANT to be astounded by the things I do – I just don’t know how to get there. Edison was clearly speaking from experience (oh, hey there lightbulb, way to be invented) but I like to think that this was advice he was giving to the general population – you know, all those normal people who don’t invent life-changing technologies.

While I don’t remember when I acquired this magnet, I would venture to guess that I was a young and idealistic teenager at the time. If I were to see that magnet today, I would probably roll my eyes and move on – somehow doing ALL the things we are capable of seems like A LOT of work as a grown up. (If I can call myself that…still not sure I can.) I suppose this blog is my attempt to astound myself. I don’t know where it will take me but I hope I will be surprised.

Bottom line – I am getting tired of putting all my energy into a job that I do not love and I know that if I were to put all that energy somewhere else…well, I would be astounded! I decided to do a quick search of Edison quotes to see if there might be some other wise words I can take from the guy. Here’s what popped up first:

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

What a great quote. It makes me so glad that I decided to blog today even though I feel brain dead. This probably isn’t the brilliant post I hoped for, but I am trying! Edison would be proud. Or he’d probably just invent some new way to make me famous on the Internet.



  1. biglengies

    Because of our perception of time and our place in it, as we grow older there is more pressure, “to know”, to “have done”, to “have accomplished”, to “get it”(“it” being life) because you feel that A-there is not much time left anymore, and B- you’ve had time to figure it out; no more grace period.
    I feel like you know I’m going to say this: perception can be shifted and its important to always see things from a beginners (youthful persons) eyes. There is more to learn, more to do, more to find out, and at no point is it healthy to expect from ourselves to have accomplished any of this already.

    You’re great for sharing you heart here. It heals me to hear my story in yours. 🙂

    • andrearsh

      All great points – we should never forget to look at the world like a child, because sometimes things can be so simple and we get lost in the complexities of adulthood! Thanks for the comment!

  2. Pingback: Thirty-Two Thoughts | This is an adventure.

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