Could We Have Saved More Of Einstein’s Unique Brilliance?

Great question! Einstein lived from 1879 to 1955. One day after he passed, a photographer from LIFE magazine managed to shoot a photo of his desk. It was full of papers with calculations, various papers, books, a philosophical treatise, and moreLook at the photo embedded in the header (courtesy: LIFE Magazine)! It is pretty cool! Besides, I’m feeling much better about the chaos on my desk. LOL.

To say that Einstein had a massive impact on science would be a colossal understatement. According to Wikipedia1905 has sometimes been described as Einstein’s miracle year. During that year, he published four groundbreaking papers. The topics were

  1. The theory of the photoelectric effect, 
  2. An explanation for the Brownian motion,
  3. Special relativity,
  4. A demonstration of mass-energy equivalence. 

He then developed his special theory of relativity and his theory of gravitation. He modeled the structure of the universe. The list goes on – but that is not the point of this Brilliance Nugget.

Einstein escaped Germany in 1933, just as Adolf Hitler and the Nazis took power there. He endorsed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt warning him of the potential German nuclear weapons program. He recommended that the US begin similar research. That, too, had a significant impact (that pun is accidental). Yet, that too is not the point of this Brilliance Nugget.

What Is The Point, Then?

The photo of Einstein’s desk hints at how much more brilliance Einstein had in his brain. It makes one wonder how much more he had to give. How much did he take to the grave?

And that is where the real point of this Brilliance Nugget kicks in: Most of us have an easy time seeing this question as a valid one when asked in Einstein’s context. Of course, he was brilliant! Are you kidding me?

And yes, of course, that is true. Yet, it is also true that many other experts take a lot of their brilliance to the grave. It may not be “Einsteinian” and redefine our knowledge of theoretical physics or our understanding of the universe’s structure. But it is brilliant nonetheless!

Yet, it may be 

  • The entrepreneur who invented a new method to capture tiny traces of blood at crime scenes and make it possible to get DNA evidence from them. Tragically, this person and his 12-year old son died in a plane crash. His investors and early-stage helpers struggled to continue the mission without him.
  • Scores of experts who masters a particular area of expertise way beyond textbook knowledge and never pass on their magic
  • Many experts who teach a few people but much of it goes away because they didn’t document it in a way others could use.
  • Leaders in businesses, non-profits, and government who work their magic until it is time to move on (for whatever reason – no one stays forever).

Thus, when I talk about “brilliance,” the “mining” of it, its extraction and replication – I’m not just talking about Einsteinian Brilliance.

Yes, of course, I love to apply Brilliance Extraction methods to modern-day, extraordinary inventors. Imagine Elon Musk saying, “I’d like to give Brilliance Extraction a shot! I’ll do whatever can amplify my impact. I’m in.” I’d love it! Call me, Elon! 

That said, for every Einstein and Elon Musk, there are hundreds of thousands of experts of all flavorsTheir expertise fuels the many companies, non-profits, and public offices we rely on daily. 

That is a lot of brilliance if you ask me!

I’m Curious

What is your brilliance?

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