Book: Nikola Tesla: Imagination And The Man That Invented The 20th Century

Author: Sean Patrick

Genre: Short Biography / Motivational


When we look at some of the most successful people, what’s the more common thing that strikes in our mind?

Their innate talent and hard work, right?

Which is in fact true. But, these are not the only two ingredients that made them successful. Malcolm Gladwell, in Outliers, reminds us that the opportunities that were being presented to one are important to one’s success as their own natural talent and deliberate practice. Most of these opportunities are out of an individual’s control.

What does this mean? To become successful is just a matter of chance?

Not completely.

Merely presented with opportunities doesn’t make someone successful, but the one who instantly grasps them, becomes the game changer. And the world calls him- a genius !

But, the question is how can these people “recognize”, appreciate and pursue opportunities with passion and determination? Other than the talent, is there anything common in geniuses that distinguishes them with others?

Psychologist Dr. Alfred Barrios, in 1970s, conducted research on the nature of genius to answer these questions. Interestingly, he found some common behavioural patterns in all geniuses irrespective of their backgrounds and opportunities availed. He put those findings together as a “genius code”- and concluded that anyone could use it as a roadmap to become genius.

This book Nikola Tesla authored by Sean Patrick, elevates one of those characteristics of genius: The Imagination- the ability of mind to be creative. Sean Patrick details the life of brilliant inventor, Nikola Tesla to show how the imagination of Tesla revolutionized 20th century technology. It is not a full length biography of Tesla. Neither it is a book to teach how to become successful, but rather it shows a pathway to become genius. A one step beyond success !

Throughout his life, Tesla was never after to chase money or recognition. He worked for the pure thrill of discovery and creation. He was the pioneer of alternating current, wireless lighting, remote control system, neon lamps and induction motor. He was also credited unofficially as the inventor of radio and discoverer of X-rays. His unlimited resource of imagination made him to file almost 300 patents in his lifetime. Tremendous, isn’t it? Such powerful is the role of imagination or creativity in making one a genius. Every highest invention, theory, philosophy, artistry- all sprang from a person of extraordinary imagination and stunning creativity.

But, how can we see this creativity? Is it a mysterious gift? or something that can be fostered?

By giving the example of a brilliant inventor like Tesla, the author finally affirms that we can actually cultivate creativity. The phase of imagination or creativity is often preceded by curiosity and the immersion of oneself into the things that interests him. The more material we’re exposed to, the more grist we’ll have for imagination to create something new. This is what happened in Tesla’s life, or in any other genius in any field (if we take). Since his teenage years, Tesla was “curious” about electricity. In later life, he immersed himself in the world of electronics, read hundreds of books and conducted thousands of experiments. In that process itself, he unconsciously developed the ability to create new associations out of known ideas.

If we start viewing creativity as a process of combination, it becomes less mystifying to us. Steve Jobs said, “Creativity is just connecting things”. But, in order to connect the things or ideas, we need to possess the knowledge and expertise first. To attain knowledge, we need to be curious. We should involve ourselves deeply into the things that interests us.

And that’s where the journey of a genius begins !

– Mani

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