Nikola Tesla’s Mind Techniques & Sleep Pattern
Nikola Tesla is not as widely known as Thomas Edison, but those who know about him suggest that his genius for invention surpassed that of Edison. He lacked Edison’s streetwise marketing savvy, but his vision broke new ground on so many levels. Even today Tesla is enjoying a resurgence, as environmentalists look back to his ideas for a free energy system and wonder what might have been, and what might still be resuscitated to save the world.
Nikola Tesla is most famously known for his contributions to the design of the alternating current electricity system, but he’s also credited with around 300 other patents for all kinds of inventions. Throughout his life, he was continually working on projects and getting things done.
This video seeks to extrapolate from Tesla’s life some of the secrets to his prodigious creative thinking. What enabled this giant of science and invention to brainstorm and develop ideas that are still being exploited and studied today, a century later? What can we emulate from Nikola Tesla’s thinking style to unleash our own super creative abilities?
“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart
like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain
unfolding to success… Such emotions make a man forget
food, sleep, friends, love, everything.”
~ Nikola Tesla
The power of imagination
What made Nikola great was his precise and grandiose imagination. He grew up with an intense visual imagination that tormented him when he was unable to control it. It would present itself forcibly unto his mind when he was trying to interact in the real world. He grew up without confidence in himself thinking that this was a shackle destined to cripple his life-long worth and validity. But he learned to control it. And for all the pain he suffered, the sheer beauty of the upside is hard to match. I could do no better to describe it than he:
“I soon discovered that my best comfort was attained if I simply went on in my vision further and further, getting new impressions all the time, and so I began to travel; of course, in my mind. Every night, (and sometimes during the day), when alone, I would start on my journeys – see new places, cities and countries; live there, meet people and make friendship and acquaintances…
This I did constantly until I was about seventeen, when my thoughts turned seriously to invention. Then I observed to my delight that I could visualize with the greatest facility. I need no models, drawings or experiments. I could picture them all as real in my mind… I do not rush into actual work. When I get an idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination. I change the construction, make improvements and operate the device in my mind. It is absolutely immaterial to me whether I run my turbine in thought or test it in my shop.”
If you’re an engineer or “builder” you’re probably feeling jealous right about now; or maybe you think he is crazy. Either way, this guy’s imagination was a private sandbox with zero limitations. It emulated reality so accurately that he could invent and discover in ways that others could not do in hundreds of lifetimes. The electricity powering your screen right now was surely, at least at point, transmitted as alternating current. Nikola did that. Let’s also not forget about the Radio or Electric Motor.
Nikola Tesla had extraordinary visual thinking powers. When he got an idea for a new machine, he was able to “set it up” in his mind and leave it running to see how it would work. His capacity for this was so developed that the results that he got in his mind were incredibly accurate. This was verified when it came to building prototypes for the new machine. He would already know exactly how it would perform because of his “Mind Lab” experiments.
Here is some information, gathered from the book, Nikola Tesla, Humanitarian Genius.
“Tesla’s mental abilities require some mention, since, not only did he have a photographic memory, he was able to use creative visualization with an uncanny and practical intensity.
He describes in his autobiography how he was able to visualize a particular apparatus and was then able to actually test run the apparatus, disassemble it and check for proper action and wear!
During the manufacturing phase of his inventions, he would work with all blueprints and specifications in his head. The invention invariably assembled together without redesign and worked perfectly.
Tesla slept one to 2 hours a day and worked continuously on his inventions and theories without benefit of ordinary relaxation or vacations. He could judge the dimension of an object to a hundredth of an inch and perform difficult computations in his head without benefit of slide rule or mathematical tables.
Far from an ivory tower intellectual, he was very much aware of the issues in the world around him, made it a point to render his ideas accessible to the general public by frequent contributions to the popular press, and to his field by numerous lectures and scientific papers.”
Reading into his history, it seems that Nikola Tesla had strangely powerful visualisation abilities from an early age. Perhaps there was some mental abberation that lent him these abilities (there are suggestions that he had a form of autism that may have contributed to his savant abilities). For the rest of us, we need to develop our powers of visualisation. As with most things, this is something that can be done quite systematically and which improves with time and effort. My strongest recommendation is to practice image streaming and use a mind machine. Nothing opens the third eye of visualisation as readily as using the visual thinking stream on a regular basis.
Nikola Tesla often talked about how he could visualize machines, and rarely drew out schematics before he started building. The process, often referred to as visual thinking, isn’t ingrained in all of us, but we’ve shown you how to identify it before. Even if it’s not a trait most of us have, the idea to just concentrate on the end product is certainly something we’ve talked about before, and creative thinking often requires that you relax and just work through problems in your head.
We can’t all sit around thinking about projects until they become a working machine in our brains, but Tesla’s brand of thinking still works as an experiment most of us will benefit from taking the time to do. More importantly, he wasn’t born with these skills either, he did certain exercises to train his brain as a child. This is what he said.
“Although I must trace to my mother’s influence whatever inventiveness I possess, the training he gave me must have been helpful. It comprised all sorts of exercises—as, guessing one another’s thoughts, discovering the defects of some form or expression, repeating long sentences or performing mental calculations. These daily lessons were intended to strengthen memory and reason and especially to develop the critical sense, and were undoubtedly very beneficial.”
One of the best ways I ever discovered for improving my visualisation skills, was to simply sit in meditation and visualise a series of 3-dimensional geometric shapes rotating in the mind space in front of me. For example, I would visualise a translucent electric blue pyramid, and I would ‘look’ at it from all angles. I was able to see through it and see the structure and changing perspective of its angles. When I had done that for a few minutes, I would then introduce an orange sphere inside the pyramid and try and hold those two images. I might replace the sphere with a pink diamond and then place a third figure into the picture, like a small yellow cube inside the pink diamond or orange sphere.
Maintaining three geometric shapes of different colors is hard to do for any length of time. Indeed to begin with you will struggle with one object. However a few minutes regular practice at odd moments through the day will soon improve your ability to stay concentrated. Try it out. You can then progress to visualising more complex things and situations. Tibetan Buddhists and Hindu Yogis have incredibly complex visualisation practices that involve visualising vast mandala images with different Diving beings inhabiting them. These kind of practices often led to the practitioner developing a photographic memory and powerful visual thinking skills (like Tesla) as well as ‘opening the third eye’ for psychic work.
Sit back, and try to visualize how something might work when you’re done with it. This might be a work project, a DIY project, or even just a change in the way you do things. From the smallest parts to the biggest, go through it in your head to figure out how you want it to work. You might be surprised at how well you can get that machine working in your brain. The idea isn’t all that different from memory tricks like the memory palace, which builds on our spatial reasoning to memorize and visualize things better.
Take a Walk
We’ve seen the benefits of going out for a quick walk time and time again to boost creativity. Tesla seemed to adhere to this idea as well, and although his walking habits eventually became an obsessive compulsive habit, he shares that several of his “eureka” moments came when he was out for a walk. One of the more famous examples of this is when Tesla came up with his idea of the alternating current:
In 1881, Tesla moved to Budapest, after recovering from his breakdown, and he was walking through a park with a friend, reciting poetry, when a vision came to him. There in the park, with a stick, Tesla drew a crude diagram in the dirt—a motor using the principle of rotating magnetic fields created by two or more alternating currents. While AC electrification had been employed before, there would never be a practical, working motor run on alternating current until he invented his induction motor several years later.
The idea here is that when you leave your workspace, take a walk, and let an idea incubate, you’re more likely to come to the solution you’re looking for. It doesn’t have to mean taking a walk, but it’s good to step out of your box, and do some creative thinking on the go now and again.
Work Through Problems with a Bit of Solitude
“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.”
The idea that you need to work in solitude to get things done is by no means new. We’ve talked before about how it can boost creativity, and how setting aside some alone time is a great way to recharge to boose productivity. In the end, it’s all about productive introspection and using your alone time well.
Most of us don’t need to work through as complex of problems as Tesla, but that doesn’t mean we can’t benefit from a little solitude now and again while working through issues. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas or get things done, don’t be afraid to step away for a bit.
Tesla’s sleeping habits were just as odd as the rest of his practices – he slept for no more than a couple of hours each night! But he made up for those with regular day naps which, in his own words, ‘recharged his batteries’! As a child, Tesla used to suffer from nightmares because of how he could visualize things in his mind in three dimensions, which is probably why his sleeping periods were so brief.
The sleep pattern of Nikola Tesla, is gaining some popularity, and was widely used throughout history from one of the greatest, like Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill and much more. This incredible sleep pattern, is called polyphasic sleeping.
Polyphasic sleep is known to sleep researchers as a variant of a sleep pattern that is set in opposition to monophasic sleep. In monophasic sleep, an individual or an animal sleeps in a single block during a single wake-sleep cycle of 24 hours. Polyphasic sleep is also set apart from a biphasic sleep in which there are two blocks of sleep in 24 hours, i.e. the night sleep and the typical Latin siesta – the “6th hour nap”.
Polyphasic sleep is quite widespread in animal kingdom. In a recapitulation of phylogeny, human babies also sleep polyphasically, and gradually lose their nap slots until they become roughly biphasic around the age of one. Human adults, as much as all great apes, are largely biphasic. Although a majority of westerners do not nap on a regular basis their alertness shows a slump in alertness in the middle of the subjective day. This slump can consolidate in a short block of sleep in free-running conditions.
The theory behind the polyphasic sleeping, is that with some effort, we can entrain our brain to sleep along the ancient polyphasic cycle, and gain lots of waking time on the way, mostly by shedding the lesser important stages of sleep, for example shortening the first Stage of sleeping, which seems to be just a transition state, to the more “useful” stages of slow wave sleep, and the Rapid Eye movement.
Together with the polyphasic sleep cycle, Nikola Tesla very probably used a mental technique, described by Henri Poincare, in his “Science and Method.” It’s a method for harnessing your own Unconscious, your Inner Savant. This is done by first, taking very seriously all your spontaneous unconscious messages, ideas, and dreams. Write them down. Carry around a notepad, always. When weird thoughts come to you out of nowhere, always try to record and preserve them, or at least get them into conscious memory, discarding nothing. Before getting out of bed each morning, try to recall details of one or more dreams, and perhaps write them down (perhaps keep a dream journal for a few years.) Learn meditation, existing with all your inner verbal thoughts shut down; thinking in pictures and pure concepts only. I’m convinced that normal adults treat the Unconscious channel as disgusting trash or worthless fantasy/ daydreaming, and all of us successfully suppress it. We reject our original thinking methods, leaving them behind as we grow up and learn thinking-in-words and logical reasoning. But to become a “grownup” is to become a non-genius. If instead we treat those thoughts/fantasies/daydreams like gold, then we reinforce the flow, and with luck open the floodgates. So, in other words, we’re striving to return to our long-lost childhood mental state, living half in a daydream, with no internal verbal chatter or “grownup” logical thinking barriers blocking off the creative flow.
Nikola Tesla came from a very troubled part of the world. He had seen poverty, pain and the sufferings of common people. Once established in America, much of the focus of his work was driven by humanitarian ideals. He wanted to make this world a better, easier place to live. He wanted to enable people to communicate with oneanother across vast distances. He wanted to help bring electricity to homes across the planet so that everyone could benefit from labour saving devices. He wanted there to be a free energy system that could ensure that everyone always had access to the energy sources they needed to operate their machinery, and transport systems. Some of his suggested inventions were aimed at preventing warfare. Tesla was driven to invent by his strong altruistic streak to help people and make this world a better place.
Your mission to get creative
You can activate your own creative thinking by linking it to your own humanitarian, charitable and altruistic ideals. Since the beginnings of civilisation, mankind has been inspired to service. This may have been nationalistic service to the king, tribe leader or country. Or it may have been religious service, dedicating the work done to God, the gods or a spiritual leader. Or service done for the love of a romantic partner, family, community or for mankind in general. I like to think of the sense of purpose that the Knights of the Arthurian Legends had. Their call to service was so strong that they would gladly embark on arduous trials and fight against all manner of foes to achieve their mission and fulfil their commitment to service. Even if you are a complete pacifist, most of feel our chests swell with the idea of the heroic soldier battling for the cause. It’s a kind of archetypal image that we can embrace to go to war “creatively” against the problems that face us personally, in our communities and companies, or in the world at large.
Videos about Nikola Tesla:
Nikola Tesla Time Travel Experiment: Watch Here
Nikola Tesla on Women – Why He Never Married: Watch Here
Increase Human Energy by Nikola Tesla: Watch Here
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