Thomas Alva Edison (born 11 February 1847, Milan, Ohio, U.S. – died 18 October 1931, West Orange, New Jersey, U.S.) was an American inventor and businessman. He is well known for his invention of the phonograph, the incandescent electric light, and the motion picture camera. Thomas Edison acquired a record number of 1093 patents (singly or jointly).
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. Good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. There is no substitute for hard work. Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think. Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless. If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration. The world owes nothing to any man, but every man owes something to the world. To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t. Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits. The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: hard work, stick-to-itiveness, and common sense. Personally, I enjoy working about 18 hours a day. Besides the short catnaps I take each day, I average about four to five hours of sleep per night. Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.
Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.
Thomas Alva Edison Vision without execution is hallucination. What you are will show in what you do. Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work. I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun. I never view mistakes as failures. They are simply opportunities to find out what doesn't work. Fools call wise men fools. A wise man never calls any man a fool. The successful person makes a habit of doing what the failing person doesn't like to do. If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. To have a great idea, have a lot of them. I have more respect for the fellow with a single idea who gets there than for the fellow with a thousand ideas who does nothing. There is far more opportunity than there is ability. The man who doesn’t make up his mind to cultivate the habit of thinking misses the greatest pleasure in life. Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious. When I have finally decided that a result is worth getting, I go ahead on it and make trial after trial until it comes. Your worth consists in what you are and not in what you have. I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent. My main purpose in life is to make money so that I can afford to go on creating more inventions. I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work. Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success. Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages. One might think that the money value of an invention constitutes its reward to the man who loves his work. But… I continue to find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, in the work that precedes what the world calls success. Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged. There are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something. Discontent is the first necessity of progress. The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary. Our schools are not teaching students to think. It is astonishing how many young people have difficulty in putting their brains definitely and systematically to work. The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil. The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around. A good intention, with a bad approach, often leads to a poor result. I owe my success to the fact that I never had a clock in my workroom. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward. I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world. A genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework. You can't realize your dreams unless you have one to begin with. Continued innovation is the best way to beat the competition. I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. I wish I had more years left. It’s obvious that we don’t know one millionth of one percent about anything. Be courageous! Have faith! Go forward.