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Creative Genius - Nikola Tesla

Updated: May 28, 2021

“The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. No big laboratory is needed in which to think. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born.”

Can creativity be inherited, learned or is there anything that can influence the person to be creative? He is known as a creator, a genius who struggled his whole life for creating useful inventions like A.C, X-ray photographs, fluorescent illumination and many other things. His saying “My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration” shows that he always believed that there are lots of secrets hidden in the Universe which need to be explored.


In 1856, a boy named Nikola Tesla was born in a priest house at Smiljan, Croatia. When Tesla’s brother Daniel was killed in a riding accident, his parent’s expectations turned toward him to become a priest. Tesla's father pushed him to join priesthood but his interest was completely toward science. He returned to Gospic in 1873 and contracted cholera which caused him to be bedridden for 9 months, near to death many times. Tesla’s father, in a moment of misery, agreed to send him to an engineering school on his recovery from the disease. After secondary schooling, he got enrolled in Higher Technical School at Graz, Austria.

First year of studies went well with the highest grades but in the second year, he got into a conflict with the professor. He also got involved in the gambling and in the third year, he got dropped out from the college. For a person to be creative, he needs to follow his dream, to commit to his passion with time and to fully concentrate towards his goals. After leaving Austria, he chose Maribor, Slovenia where he worked as a draftsman in a local engineering firm. He left Gospic and travelled to Prague where he studied in the university as an auditor but did not receive grades for his course.


At the age of six by using his photographic memory, he built a water wheel which was unique. He was very creative; he could do complicated calculations in his mind.

He was a real genius. During his employment, he made numerous improvements and developed an amplifier device. His love for poetry and reading influenced his thought that he was able to come to the development of a great invention, Alternating Current. Later, he moved to France where he got the job of repairing Direct Current power plants with the Continental Edison Company and he converted D.C into A.C. In 1887, he developed an induction motor that ran on alternating current (AC). This power system rapidly expanded in Europe and the United States because of its advantages in long-distance, high-voltage transmission.

Tesla worked in his laboratory and developed some of the first neon and fluorescent illumination, first x-ray photographs and the best of his work was to transmit the energy through the air by illuminating a vacuum wirelessly. George Westinghouse hired Tesla and gave him his own lab. Westinghouse electrified the fair by using A.C of Tesla. Tesla became the corresponding member of the Serbian Royal Academy of Belgrade in 1894 and he became wealthy after making money by licensing his AC patent, which helped him in funding and pursuing his own interest. He experimented with X-rays, piloted a radio-controlled boat around a pool in Madison Square Garden. Tesla and Westinghouse lit the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1891. They partnered with General Electric to install AC generators at Niagara Falls and created the first modern power station.


Tesla faced lots of opposition, limitations and disloyalty from the people whom he trusts; he looked for help for things he was doing not for himself but for humanity. He struggled against professional adversaries like Thomas Edison.

Edison started a campaign to discredit A.C; to save his royalty, he constantly undermined Tesla. He spread misinformation about the danger and accidents alternating current can cause by electrocuting the animals. Due to Edison‘s opposition, Tesla resigned from the company and he moved to the United States.

Tesla’s adversity did not end here. His trip to New York was not easy as he lost his money and luggage; he arrived with few cents in his pocket, few poems and remnants of his belongings. After reaching New York, he tried to patent an arc lightning system and formed a company, “The Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing”. However, he was tricked and forced out of his company, left with worthless stock certificates. He spent a terrible time of 1886/1887 winters and worked as a ditch digger for 2 dollars per day.

In 1895, Tesla’s laboratory got into the fire which destroyed his inventions, models, laboratory data, plans, notes, tools, photographs and all the other valuable things. This was not the first time that Tesla had faced a terrible time.

Initially, he got the financial support and funds from J.P. Morgan and began building a global communications network centred on a giant tower at Wardenclyffe. However, when the funds ran out, Morgan refused to support Tesla’s grandiose schemes.

All of that wasn’t enough to stop him.

Work habits

He spent his life working hard continuously without taking any relaxation and vacationing. He always thought in terms of energy, frequency and vibration. He used to sleep two hours in night and spend the rest of the night experimenting. He suffered an emotional breakdown and many other hurdles but his strive for inventions did not stop him from progressing and he rose every time he fell. When most of his patents ran out and he got bankrupt, he learnt from his failures and nothing stopped him to fulfil his goals and strive for more.

Creative mind of Nikola Tesla

Visual Thinker- Nikola Tesla intelligence can be categorized as a visual intelligence. He had the ability to visualize images and information. He could work out the whole idea mentally and did not need to put a sketch on the paper.

Memorizer: He could recall a photographic record before his eyes, whichever book he read.

Inquisitive: Nikola had the curiosity and fascinated with thunderstorm and lightning which made him think to control the natural power for everyone’s benefit.

Nikola Tesla intelligence can be categorized as a visual intelligence. He had the ability to visualize images and information. He was fascinated with thunderstorm and lightning, which made him think to control the natural power for everyone’s benefit. His genius was inherited from his mother, who was very creative and had invented things to make her household work easy. He worked things in his mind and was able to build his inventions by combining all his visionary experiences. “He was able to visualise an apparatus and was able to test and run the apparatus and disassemble and check for proper action and wear”.

Tesla learned and spoke several languages and had the ability to see the unseen by having a positive imagination. He made some famous friends who were Robert Underwood Johnson and his wife. At their home, he met some important and famous people and made friends with Ignace Paderewski (1860-1941), Polish pianist, composer and statesman (Prime Minister of Polish Government) and Roentgen, the discoverer of x-rays. All three men became famous friends.

At the age of six, by using his photographic memory, he built a water wheel which was unique. Although he was very creative, he could do complicated calculations in his mind but he could not imagine how his imagination could get hurdles as if he had the imagination of the earth conducting the electricity but he had no idea how earth can resist the electricity.

Creative legacy

People still remember Tesla for his creativity, his hard work and his contribution to humanity by inventing A.C and for his remembrance, a car company Tesla motors is named after Nikola Tesla.


Prince, Cameron. “Nikola Tesla time line.” Tesla Universe, https//

Newhall, Marissa. “Top 11 Things You Didn't Know About Nikola Tesla.”, November 18, 2013,

Sasson. Ramez.” Nikola Tesla- Creative Thinking and Imagination.” Success Consciousness,


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