Quotes by Thomas Edison

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I have been asked what a man over seventy can do to keep occupied. The trouble is, that a man who can't keep busy didn't take interest in a great number of things when he was mentally active in his younger years. If he had done so, he would find plenty to occupy his time in reading, observing and watching people. There are a great many hobbies he can work with and keep busy until his death. . . . . . . Men are not as active at seventy as they were at fifty because they hurt their machinery too much. If they like a certain thing, they will overdo it. They eat too much, or drink too much, or if they like sleeping they will sleep too much.

The useful man never leads the easy, sheltered, knockless, unshocked life. At thirty-six he ought to be prepared to deal with realities and after about that period in his life, until he is sixty, he should be able to handle them with a steadily increasing efficiency. Subsequently, if he has not injured his body by excess indulgence in any of the narcotics (and by this term I mean, here, liquor, tobacco, tea, and coffee), and if he has not eaten to excess, he very likely may continue to be achievingly efficient up to his eightieth birthday and in exceptional cases until ninety.
I have found out that whatever a man is during the first six weeks after he gets a job, he will be the same after 60 years and no amount of advice will have any effect whatsoever in changing him. When he is 21 years of age, he is set for life and if a dullard then he will continue so through life. The main quality for success in my estimation is ambition and a will for work.
The happiest time in my life was when I was twelve years old. I was just old enough to have a good time in the world, but not old enough to understand any of its troubles.
A student must be of low caliber indeed if, with printed text and written notes before him covering the entire work of the term, he cannot cram enough facts into his head and keep them there long enough to get past the examination. When he has done this, so far as his present state of mind is concerned, he seems to be through with those facts--finished; he is never going to want them again, or worry about them. The habit of forgetting, the habit of not even taking things into his consciousness except under certain extraordinary conditions, is a vicious and subtle one he is not able to shake off.
My later courtship was carried on by telegraph. I taught the lady of my heart the Morse code, and when she could both send and receive we got along much better than we could have with spoken words by tapping our remarks to one another on our hands. Presently I asked her thus, in Morse code, if she would marry me. The word "Yes" is an easy one to send by telegraphic signals, and she sent it. If she had been obliged to speak it she might have found it harder.
Once I was elected to membership in a certain business organization. I went to its dinners where there was much speech-making. At first I regretted that I could not hear those often long orations. Then, one year, they printed them after the dinner and I read them. I haven't felt a mite of sorrow since.