It’s easy to say that Nikola Tesla was a genius who would enlighten our world. To imagine a world without him, we would have to turn off all the lights. And to complete this particular character, we need to add to it the loneliness and misunderstanding that are often part of great minds. Always so complex, always so fascinating.
One of Tesla’s best-known quotes was the one that was immortalized by the journalists of his time. This phrase outlines his fierce and always so “smart” style: “The present is yours, but the future is mine.”
Maybe he had some point. Several people say that without her, our world would be more like a quiet forest from the story of Princess Rose. Dark earth, no radio, no television, no big industry, no endless buzz of big cities.
We have to thank Tesla for the induction windings that guided us into the radio era. He was also the architect of the transmission system that carries electrical energy into our homes. He was also an architect for remote control, wireless telegraph, X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging. One of his technical dreams, which later failed and was forgotten, was the “Wardenclyffe” project. Its goal was to provide free wireless energy to the entire world.
This modern Prometheus of Serbian descent was forgotten as he tried to face the industrial power of his time and try to make its services more accessible, to all people.
What is not very often talked about is Tesla’s personality; his psychology and this person behind his genius. Join us and learn a little more about this remarkable historical figure.
Creativity and discipline: Nikola Tesla’s complex mind
There are numerous books that dig deep into Nikola Tesla’s universe. Jean Echenozin Des Eclairs (Finnish: “Lightning”) is one of them. Also a book written by the Serbian doctor Zarko Trebjasan, Nikola Tesla: ličnost, neuroza i poslanje (in Finnish “ Nikola Tesla, personality and neurosis” ).
Tesla was always a bright person and had a high IQ. His genius was fueled by what he began at a young age: stubbornness and Irresistible discipline.
Nikola Teslan demons
When an idea came to his mind, he didn’t let go of it until it was properly outlined or completely abandoned. We know he slept a little and ate a little. And early in his life, he believed that creativity requires rigid rules, concrete schedules, and regulated emotions.
His science was as strong as iron, all the way to the point where he wanted to become an ascetic. He wanted to avoid all emotional relationships. According to him, a relationship like this could cause him to lose his objectivity in his creative work.
This was something he no doubt regretted later. In some interviews, he even talked about his loneliness. He admitted that creativity requires passion, but his hungry mind was also one of his greatest enemies. He was always full of ideas. Complex projects attacked him like a storm, and he could only obey its lightning-fast power.
Nikola Tesla arrived in New York in 1885. He took with him only a notebook full of calculations, his mind full of ideas, a few poems, and four cents in his pocket. However, he knew exactly what he wanted to achieve.
Just a year later, he already sold his first patent for an alternating current (AC) motor to George Westinghouse. In addition, Tesla had joined the “war of streams” with his arch-enemy Thomas Edison.
Unfortunately, many of Tesla’s work never materialized. He never got to see the world combined with electricity and invisible systems, at least not as he would have liked. He stumbled upon two major competitors: an iron system and a policy that was inconsistent with Tesla’s “risky” ideas. On top of all that, he suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder that consumed his energy and health in the later stages of his life.
Noble, obsessive mind
Nikola Tesla’s last years of life were tough for him. His obsessive-compulsive disorder took over most of his daily routines. He lived in hotels where he always asked for 18 towels. He ate really rarely, and when he ate, he asked the waiters to put 18 napkins on his table.
Tesla always stayed in room number 207, as this number is divisible by three. His strange obsession with number three as well as the idea that he would give the whole world free wireless energy took away his health and balance. The demands he placed on himself were so high that his neurosis accelerated. Sounds began to cause him pain; he became hypersensitive. Plus, he ran out of all the money because he had no business instinct or ambition at all.
He sold all his patents and died in extreme poverty. He left behind a lot of all sorts of documentaries and works that others used to get rich. Today, Tesla’s name has regained its glory and progress. Today, we associate his name with the altruism of a person who never wanted to become rich himself, but wanted to place science for the benefit of mankind.