Hello, my name is Ron White and I am a two-time USA Memory Champion. I enjoy talking about Albert Einstein and his ability to take just as much delight in the success of others as he did in his own.

In his famous essay, “The World As I See It”, Albert Einstein wrote, “ A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving…” Einstein understood that what he was able to accomplish was based on what others had done who came before him, as well as what they are doing today. He never forgot that he was but one piece of the puzzle called life, and that others contributed to his overall success and failures.

Einstein took delight in the success of others. He once wrote to his life-long friend, Alfred Stern, told Stern that his most “enchanting memory” was watching a friend achieve his life-long goal.”

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein

He held contempt for those who achieved success at the expense of others, or through treachery and underhandedness. Einstein saw our culture idolizing success, but the wrong kind of success. He saw money as a means to an end – you need it to eat, for housing, and a few odds and ends, but he was never interested in becoming wealthy. Wealth, to him, involved friendships and the ability to do the things you wanted without being restrained. He saw value in accomplishments, in reaching and learning new things, and if he had lived long enough would have applauded the speech by Martin Luther King: “I have a dream, that one day man will be judged, not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character.”

Albert Einstein was a man of character. Men who do not value that quality will never succeed in life, no matter how much money they make.

Einstein was a true leader of men. He lived by example, and never let his ego get in the way. Because he was his own man he had no fear of others achieving, and actually encouraged it. He wasn’t afraid they would be more important than he, for he scoffed at his notoriety. He empowered others to work harder and find new ideas, for they allowed him to seek new answers. Those who hold others back, or find fault with everything they do, feel threatened and insecure. Einstein was never insecure!

“A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.” – Albert Einstein

He never wanted, nor asked for fame. He did, however, find value at times that his fame was able to help others. One example was when his friend Besso was about to lose his job, Einstein wrote to his employer. As a matter of fact, Einstein wrote letters to all sorts of important people to help out his friends, including those in prison or hiding from the Nazis.

Understanding that success comes not from amassing great fortunes or getting your name in the newspapers, Einstein constantly tried to put value into his life by giving back to others. He was extremely involved in getting Jews out of Germany, especially scientists, and finding jobs at universities in the United States.

Who have you helped to achieve their goal? How proud has that made you feel? Are you one to take the limelight off another’s success, or do encourage them and bask in their light?


Collected Quotes from Albert Einstein: Stanford University – http://rescomp.stanford.edu/~cheshire/EinsteinQuotes.html

Schoolnet.com – Albert Einstein: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAeinstein.htm

The World As I See It, An Essay by Einstein: http://www.aip.org/history/einstein/essay.htm

My Life As It Unfolds – 7 Lessons From Einstein: http://adigopula.org/?p=26