Albert Einstein was a German born Jew; in a time when being one was the most difficult – prior to World War II. Through his heritage, and his work, he knew hatred, mistreatment and prejudice. Perhaps because of this he was one of the most humane people who ever lived. He had a deep respect for life in all forms, and people of all stations.

His kindness to everyone was notorious, and he treated everyone the same – regardless of whether they could benefit him or not.  Someone once said that you learn more about a person by the way they treat others who have no consequence to them. We have learned a lot about Einstein the man from his respect for everyone around him, not just the important ones. This is an essential lesson to learn. How you treat people can make or break your success.

From his formula we find that Einstein thought the greatest learning tool a man could have was the ability to Listen to the world around him –through books, conversation, or experimentation. When one is always talking one does not hear others who have something valuable to contribute.

Even criticism was welcome to Einstein, for he used opposing views – when done without malice – as a source of learning.  Criticism is the one thing that stops people. It makes them sit back and not chase their dreams. Don’t allow your ego to get in the way of achieving your goals. If you find merit in the comment, use the information and embrace it, but if you find no merit in the criticism throw it away and move on.

This is why you need to have a good network of people, of like minds, which can help you to take a look at things from another perspective. When criticized we often tend to think that person is all wet and doesn’t know what they are talking about, when in fact they may be right. We often allow ourselves to believe we can’t be wrong. Discussing an idea or comment with others who are not afraid to give you an honest opinion (and you are not afraid to accept what they have to say) can make a big difference in solving a problem or coming up with an alternate way of doing something.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, for fear of making a mistake has stopped many men from achieving success. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”  When once asked what Einstein needed he simply said, “a pen, pad of paper, a desk and a large wastebasket for all his mistakes.” He was not afraid to make mistakes because mistakes are also lessons in how “not to” do something.

Give credit where credit is due. Einstein often used the ideas and theories he found in his reading and research. The source of his biggest discoveries came from the works of Sir Isaac Newton, who once said, “If I was able to see farther than others it’s because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.” There is no need to re-invent the wheel. Everything we have is at our disposal somewhere in the universe, we simply have to learn how to find it and make it our own.

From understanding the success of Einstein, and emulating his behavior, we will make great strides in our own success – both as a businessperson and a human being.

My name is Ron White, and I am a memory training expert, memory keynote speaker and two-time USA Memory Champion. I try to emulate the life of Albert Einstein, and try to use him as my mentor for life.