Secret Style Icon No.23: Albert Einstein

I’ve become infatuated with a theoretical physicist. I guess it’s the sort of thing that happens, in the end days of capitalism, as ice bergs melt and we continue to deny that climate change is happening and meanwhile put all our energy and resources into killing each other in much faster ways.

I’ve been searching for words of comfort, hope and wisdom; ideally from someone wearing bunny slippers. I believe, readers, I have now found that person.

This is love.

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Now, how to take inspiration from this man’s style? Well of course you’ll need to get fluffy. But more-so, it’s his general stance of unblemished awesomeness that I think we should all be aiming for. Let us examine the ways in which he rocks.

1. Einstein said: “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” If everyone really followed his advice, would we not see human progress take stratospheric leaps? And wouldn’t there be an awful lot more collaboration in the world, and an awful lot less jealousy? Not to mention very glamorous, daring, nude trapeze parties for everyone? Also, people who are obsessed with their own success and prestige are really horrendous people. Less of them, please.

2. He described himself as having no special talent but to be ‘passionately curious’. The tenderness, the modesty, the open-mindedness, the tenacity, in that little phrase. I would like to have a tenth of this curiosity. Then I might try and fix things I’ve broken rather than just feel puzzled and sad about it.

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3. He treated road safety with the seriousness it deserves: “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” Is it hot in here or am I just a lil bit flustered?

4. When Marie Curie was about to receive her second Nobel Prize, the great mob-minded public were more interested in her romance with a married physicist, branding her a ‘foreign Jewish home wrecker’. How extremely charming, aren’t people wonderful, and isn’t your sex life and background what Nobel Prizes for Physics are all about? Albert Einstein wrote a letter of support and consolation in which he told Curie to stay classy. He further mentioned that haters gonna hate, and that she just had to be herself, live her best life, and ignore the sexist trolls* [*modern translation]. That is Champion Level Friending.

5. Actually, in the letter to Marie Curie, Einstein wrote about how the rabble must ‘satiate its lust for sensationalism’. A handsome way with words, no?

6. Perhaps the greatest bit of advice I found is his explanation of his own achievements: ‘It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” This goes against so much of our modern attitude to brilliance. The idea of hard work, perseverance, and giving it time – I love it all. From now on I plan to explain my lack of achievements at the age of 30 like so: Me: ‘just… I stay with problems longer. Y’know, So I’m just working on a lot of… problems… right now’ [Exits, pursued by bear].

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Young Einstein: ‘dudes, I’ve got problems to work on’.

7. Also apparently he revolutionized physics and science and sums, and helped us to understand our place in the universe better. For a man who believed in value rather than success, he really did extraordinarily well at being. And his hair! Did you see? That hair. Floofy.

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