Nikola Tesla was a famous inventor, electrician and naturalized American physicist , born during the year 1856 in the city of Smiljan, Croatia.

His scientific contributions and inventions contributed greatly to the momentum of the second industrial revolution. The character of this inventor, his rivalry with Thomas Edison and the mystery surrounding him made him one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century and today he is one of the most idolized scientists in history.

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Phrases and reflections by Nikola Tesla

To be able to know the thoughts and ideas directly from this inventor’s own words, is something you can do with our selection of 75 phrases by Nikola Tesla , which you will find below. You can’t miss them!

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1. Our first efforts are purely instinctive, of a vivid and undisciplined imagination.

When we begin to delve into science we are all newcomers, time will determine our success.

2. Mutual understanding would be greatly facilitated by the use of a universal language.

A universal language would be something tremendously useful for human beings, it would greatly enhance our social relations.

3. The idea came like a flash of lightning and in an instant, the truth was revealed.

The ideas were presented to this inventor in a totally fleeting way, even he did not know where they came from.

4. If I were lucky enough to achieve any of my ideals, it would be in the name of all mankind.

Throughout his career, Tesla always wanted to improve the quality of life of all human beings.

5. Our virtues and our defects are inseparable, like force and matter. When they are separated, man does not exist.

As Tesla rightly tells us in this quote, our strengths and weaknesses define who we are.

6. Iron is by far the most important factor in modern progress… Its name is synonymous with utility.

Iron is a basic material for the construction of almost anything useful. Humans have been using it for thousands of years.

7. All my money has been invested in experiments to make new discoveries that will allow humanity to live a little better.

Tesla invested all his money in his own inventions, and when he died he was terribly poor.

8. The sun is the spring that drives everything. The sun preserves human life and supplies all human energy.

The sun provides great energy daily to all mankind, Tesla predicted in this quote the rise of renewable energies.

9. I wish to announce that in connection with the commercial introduction of my inventions, I will provide general professional services as a consulting engineer and electrician.

Tesla was a great inventor, but above all he was a born worker.

10. All praise of Edison’s vigorous and pioneering work is little, but all that he has done has been forged into familiar and passing forms.

The rivalry between these two great inventors was apparent from minute one. They gave cause for more than one headline with their disputes.

11. As a son of my homeland, I believe it is my duty to help the city of Zagreb in all aspects with my advice and work.

Tesla always remembered his origins and was permanently clear about where he came from.

12. Moderate exercise, which ensures a correct balance between mind and body, as well as greater efficiency in performance is, of course, a primary requirement.

This is very practical advice that we should all remember, because exercise is health.

13. Whisky, wine, tea, coffee, tobacco and other such stimulants are responsible for shortening the lives of many, and should be used in moderation.

Vices greatly deteriorate human health; we must not fall into them in order to be more successful.

14. Throughout space there is energy. … it is only a matter of time until men succeed in their mechanisms for harnessing that energy.

The control and manipulation of energy is something that has always interested human beings, starting with fire and ending with nuclear energy.

15. Most people are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are totally oblivious to what is going on inside themselves.

We must be honest with our own emotions, we must know how to take care of them and discard those that are not positive.

16. Religious dogmas are no longer accepted in their orthodox meaning but each individual clings to one faith, to a supreme power of some kind.

The conception of God can be different in each of us, we all really want to have something to hold on to.

17. So we find that the three possible solutions to the great problem of increasing human energy are answered with three words: food, peace, work.

Social welfare is something that all great inventors have always pursued, Tesla was no exception.

18. Making predictions is risky. No one can guess the distant future. Progress and inventions evolve in different directions from those that were anticipated.

The future is something totally uncertain; nobody really knows what will happen tomorrow or what path humanity will take in the future.

19. Poor observation is simply a form of ignorance and is responsible for many unhealthy notions and many stupid ideas that prevail.

In order to observe efficiently, we must be able to understand what we are observing.

20. Science is nothing but a perversion of itself, unless it has as its ultimate goal the betterment of mankind.

To be able to improve the quality of life of all mankind, must be the main reason why we develop a science.

21. Man’s progressive development is vitally dependent on invention; it is the most important product of his creative brain.

Inventions substantially improve the quality of life of all people; they are essential in our evolution as a civilization.

22. We crave new sensations but soon become indifferent to them. The wonders of yesterday are the ordinary events of today.

The human being adapts extremely quickly to new inventions, without a doubt we possess a great capacity of adaptation to everything new.

23. Energy is work. Increasing the force that accelerates human movement therefore means developing more work.

With the second industrial revolution, our society managed to improve the quality of life of all its citizens.

24. It is essential for the peaceful existence of humanity as a whole that a common understanding prevails.

It is up to all of us as individuals and to our nations to make the human being better in the future than he is today.

25. Alternating current, especially high frequency, passes with surprising freedom even through slightly rarefied gases.

The rivalry between alternating and direct current was the flame that ignited the confrontation between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.

26. Movement involves a body being moved and a force pushing it against resistance.

This scientist also studied physics, a field in which he defended himself with great ease.

27. The future will show the results and judge each according to their achievements.

Tesla knew that society in the future would value his ideas and concepts, far beyond how he did it at that time.

28. Our senses allow us to perceive only a small portion of the outer world.

The human being is limited to his own senses, there are many things that we do not perceive but that are indeed there.

29. An inventor’s effort is essentially to save lives.

For any inventor, his greatest achievement is to be able to help humanity.

30. Wireless technology will provide closer contact by transmitting information, moving our bodies and materials, and transporting energy.

In his quotes we can see how Tesla already predicted the arrival of the internet and mobile phones.

31. Women will not claim first their equality and then their superiority through mere physical imitation of men, but through the awakening of their own intellect.

Women were treated as second-class people in those days, something that could certainly not be allowed.

32. My method is different. I don’t rush into real work. When I have an idea, I start by shaping it in my imagination. I change the construction, make improvements, and operate the device in my mind.

Within his mind, Tesla had everything necessary to be able to create his inventions; he was undoubtedly the possessor of great genius.

33. Distance, which is the main impediment to the progress of humanity, will be completely overcome, in word and deed. Humanity will be united, wars will be impossible, and peace will reign over the entire planet.

With today’s globalization, distances are no longer an impediment, and humanity can evolve much faster.

34. Instinct is something that transcends knowledge. We have, no doubt, some very subtle fibres, which enable us to perceive truths where logical deduction or any other obstinate effort of the brain is futile.

Instincts are what sometimes guide us in our lives, trying to ignore them will be totally in vain.

35. One can feel a sudden wave of sadness and rake his brain in search of an explanation, when he might have realized that it was caused by a cloud that did not let the sun’s rays through.

During his life, Tesla lived through many emotional ups and downs, no doubt he was a really complicated person.

36. We must all have an ideal that governs our conduct and assures us of satisfaction, but it is irrelevant whether it is a creed, an art, a science, or anything else, so long as it serves the function of a dematerializing force.

Having a reason to live can greatly simplify our existence, and can also help us to channel our efforts.

37. Its ultimate goal is the complete mastery of the mind over the material world and the harnessing of the forces of nature in favor of human needs.

The human being tries by all means, including his intellect, to be able to develop his maximum potential as a species.

38. Edison’s work on the incandescent lamp and the DC distribution system, more than that of an inventor, was that of an extraordinarily energetic pioneer endowed with the robustness of a horse: prodigious in quantity, but not creative.

In this quote Tesla subtly and politely leaves the famous Thomas Edison in a rather bad place. They certainly didn’t have any appreciation for each other.

39. If we wish to avoid an imminent catastrophe and a state of affairs that could transform this planet into an inferno, we should promote the development of flying machines and the wireless transmission of energy without delay, and with all the power and resources of the nation.

Tesla thought that the State should put all its efforts into technological development, something that today’s nations do much more effectively.

40. Through this system, for example, a phone subscriber here could call another subscriber in the world and talk to him. A cheap receiver, no bigger than a watch, would allow him to listen from wherever he was, on land or at sea, to a talk or a piece of music being broadcast elsewhere, no matter how far away.

As we can see, for Nikola Tesla, mobiles were something totally feasible, his imagination will never cease to surprise us.

41. Not only that, but through television and telephony we can see and hear each other as perfectly as if we were face to face, even though the distances involved are thousands of miles. The instruments by which we will be able to do this will be astonishingly simple in comparison with our present telephone. They can be carried in a vest pocket.

In this quote Tesla already imagined smartphones and video calls, no doubt this inventor was decades ahead of his time.

42. The meeting with Edison was a memorable event in my life. I was astonished by this wonderful man who, without privileges or scientific training, had achieved so much. I had studied a dozen languages, delved into art and literature, and spent my best years in libraries reading everything I could get my hands on, from Newton’s Principia to Paul de Kock’s novels, and felt that I had wasted most of my life.

Tesla in this quote talks about Edison’s lack of training and shows his surprise for his achievements.

43. I am considered to be one of the most dedicated workers, and if thought is an equivalent of task, perhaps I am, for to it I have devoted almost all my waking hours. But if work is interpreted as a given performance during a specific time according to a rigid rule, then I may have been the worst of the slackers.

No doubt, this scientist was a great worker, but above all and more than anything else he was an intellectual.

44. I am confident that the near future will witness revolutionary achievements in the production, transformation and transmission of energy, in transport and lighting, in the manufacture of chemical components, in telegraphy and telephony and in other arts and industries.

The future looked wonderful from the point of view of this famous scientist. He got many of his theories about the future right.

45. For me, it is absolutely irrelevant whether the turbine is working in my head or whether I test it in the workshop. I even sense if it’s out of balance. There is absolutely no difference, the results are the same. So I am able to quickly develop and perfect a concept without touching anything.

Tesla had inside his head everything he needed to create his invention, his mind was the best workshop he could wish for.

46. Food increases the mass, peace decreases the force that delays, and work increases the force that accelerates human movement. These are the only three possible solutions to the great problem, and all of them have one aim, one purpose, namely, to increase human energy.

For society to improve its performance, these three things are needed: food, peace and work.

47. Man, however, is not an ordinary mass, formed by rotating atoms and molecules, and which simply contains caloric energy. It is a mass which possesses certain superior qualities, by reason of the creative principle of life with which it is endowed.

Human biology was presented to the great Nikola Tesla as a real mystery.

48. When the wireless technique is applied to perfection, the whole earth will become a huge brain, and all things will be particles of a genuine, rhythmic whole.

Did Tesla want to create some kind of Internet? Tesla’s concepts never cease to amaze us.

49. The scientist is not aiming for an immediate result. He does not expect his advanced ideas to be easily accepted. His duty is to lay the foundations for those who are to come, and to point the way.

Many investigations have no practical application at present, but in time one may be found.

50. The pressure of our occupations and the incessant stream of impressions pouring into our consciousness through all the doors of knowledge make modern existence risky in many ways.

Living in Tesla’s time was a challenge for anyone, and success in life was only allowed for the boldest.

51. I counted the steps in my walks and calculated the cubic content of the soup plates, coffee cups and pieces of food; otherwise, I could not enjoy the food.

As we can see, Tesla had a great predisposition to become obsessed with certain things.

52. Life is and always will be an unsolvable equation, but it contains some known factors. We could say, in short, that it is a movement, even if we do not fully understand its nature.

No one knows for sure what the future holds for them, but we know what can be positive for us in the long run.

53. I don’t think there is any more intense emotion for an inventor than seeing some of his creations work. That emotion makes one forget about eating, sleeping, everything.

For any inventor his creations are almost children, the inventor was in a way, who brought them into the world.

54. If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.

Energy is a fundamental aspect in the universe, thanks to it the most amazing astronomical phenomena take place.

55. Everything that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, fought against, repressed, only to emerge with greater power and more triumphant after the struggle.

As the years go by, the truth always comes out, time can be the one to prove us right in the future.

56. If your hatred could be turned into electricity, it would enlighten everyone.

Hate in certain people can be enormous, we should not encourage that emotion in our lives.

57. I don’t care that they stole my idea… I care that they have nothing of their own.

On several occasions Edison was accused of stealing his ideas from Nikola Tesla, do you think they were right?

58. My brain is only a receptor; in the Universe there is a nucleus from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration.

Where does inspiration come from? That’s a question many people have asked throughout history.

59. The world moves slowly and it is difficult to see the new truths.

Time may seem to pass slowly at times, but it never stops and never slows down.

60. Today’s scientists think deeply instead of clearly. One must be in his right mind to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be completely insane.

Some people came to think that Tesla was not 100% psychologically, he was certainly a very peculiar man.

61. Of all things, I liked books the best.

Books can provide us with great knowledge, we must take advantage of their wisdom.

62. Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to their work and achievements. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.

Today, Tesla is one of the most beloved scientists in history. Time, as he predicted, proved him right.

63. As I review the events of my past life, I realize how subtle are the influences that shape our destinies.

The smallest acts can have great significance in our lives.

64. We are automatons totally controlled by the forces of the environment, shaken like corks on the surface of the water, but we confuse the result of the impulses from the exterior with free will.

Society largely dictates our daily actions; perhaps we are not as free as we really believe.

65. The feeling is constantly growing in me that I have been the first to hear the greeting from one planet to another.

Tesla once revealed that his inspiration came from another planet.

66. Everyone should consider his body as a priceless gift from someone whom he loves above all, a marvelous work of art, of indescribable beauty and mystery beyond human conception, and so delicate that a word, a breath, a look, not a thought, can damage it.

Our body is one of our most valuable assets, we must take care of it and value it.

67. I don’t think you can name many great inventions made by married men.

Singlehood allows inventors to work much longer hours, leaving aside all their social obligations.

68. For a time, I hesitated, impressed by the teacher’s authority, but I soon became convinced that I was right and took up the task with all the ardour and infinite confidence of youth.

It didn’t have to be easy being the teacher of a young Tesla, one of the greatest geniuses in history.

69. If you only knew the magnificence of 3, 6 and 9, then you would have the key to the universe.

There has been much speculation about the meaning of this quote. For Tesla, these three numbers held great hidden power.

70. Every living thing is an engine that drives the wheel of the universe. Although apparently affected only by its immediate surroundings, the external sphere of influence extends over an infinite distance.

We are part of a whole and this whole is the universe, even though it seems not to be so, we are totally influenced by it.

71. What one man calls God, another calls the laws of physics.

Science has taken men away from religions, these men only believe in proven facts.

72. The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will progress more in a decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.

There are certain phenomena that escape science and until it evolves, it cannot study them efficiently.

73. The individual is ephemeral, races and nations come and go, but man remains.

Man is a very resilient species indeed, and even if civilization ends, he will be able to carry on.

74. The implementation of an idea as it is generally done is, I maintain, nothing more than a waste of energy, time and money.

Since Tesla could develop his ideas in his mind, the development costs were obviously lower. He didn’t need a workshop to experiment.

75. It’s not the love you make. It’s the love you give.

The love that we transmit to others every day will remain in the world when we are no longer there.