Genius Inventor Insisted: Introversion Saves Lives

Nikola Tesla is widely considered the greatest scientific mind of his time, with more than 300 patents registered and the invention of alternating current as only his most widely known creation.

Tesla was the kind of thinker who, when swept away by an overly strong current while swimming, stopped panicking long enough to gain in a single flash of insight the basic principles of fluid hydraulics that allowed him to maneuver free of the current and swim to safety. He said this about introversion:

“From childhood I was compelled to concentrate attention upon myself. This caused me much suffering, but to my present view, it was a blessing in disguise for it has taught me to appreciate the inestimable value of introspection in the preservation of life, as well as a means of achievement. The pressure of occupation and the incessant stream of impressions pouring into our consciousness through all the gateways of knowledge make modern existence hazardous in many ways.

Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves. The premature death of millions is primarily traceable to this cause. Even among those who exercise care, it is a common mistake to avoid imaginary, and ignore the real dangers. And what is true of an individual also applies, more or less, to a people as a whole. …

“An inventor’s endeavor is essentially life saving. Whether he harnesses forces, improves devices, or provides new comforts and conveniences, he is adding to the safety of our existence. He is also better qualified than the average individual to protect himself in peril, for he is observant and resourceful.”

Tesla was a contemporary of Thomas Edison. If he found the world over-occupied with a rush of outside stimuli in his day, how would he find our world today?

How do you give yourself space and time to hear the ‘still small voice’ within?


About Carlene Hill Byron

The former editor of New England Church Life and The New England Christian, Carlene Hill Byron is enjoying being home in Maine after 20 years in North Carolina. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild. Find her at, and on Facebook at MyHouseHasHistory.
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