Edison did more than simply discover the light bulb

Many would characterize Thomas Alva Edison as an ingenious inventor – holding 1,093 U.S. patents for such creations as the phonograph and most notably the electric light bulb.

The life of an inventor is riddled with disappointments – sometimes requiring dozens, even hundreds of failed attempts before finally attaining success. But Edison refused to let failure define his life’s work. So instead he lived under the simple belief that anything was achievable with a little persistence and a lot of elbow grease. He once joked, “I never failed once. It just happened to be a 2,000-step process”.

Obviously Edison was a card carrying member of the “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” club. But his life’s practices and optomisitc attitude are far from easy to apply in today’s complex world where discouragement and frustration seem to lurk behind every corner.

When you think about it, our journey through life differs little from that of an inventor. We all spend our days struggling to create the most desirable and personally satisfying existence possible, oftentimes with mixed results. But unlike Edison, we’ve all lost the ability to be patient – to allow our lives to fall into place when the timing is right. Sadly, after a handful of disappointments, many of us abandon our dreams and desires and instead adopt a life of “what ifs.”

I guess when you think about it logically, is there really any reason why things won’t turn out in our favor? Why finding true love, a rewarding career or publishing a best selling novel is such an impossible reality?

Why? Because we’ve all lost the ability to hope for the future and have faith that good things are always possible if we just continue reaching for them.

Josh Hartnett believes that “Hope is the most exciting thing in life and if you honestly believe that something is out there, it will come. And even if it doesn’t come straight away there is still that chance all through your life that it will.” Here’s hoping it does – for all of us.