5 Must-Read Life Lessons from Alexander Graham Bell


Alexander Graham Bell was a prominent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first “practical” telephone, although some believe he stole the idea from Elisha Gray.

Bell’s father, grandfather, and brother were all involved with work on speech and elocution, and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell’s life’s work.

Bell’s research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices. These experimentations eventually resulted in Bell being awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone in 1876.  Interestingly enough, Bell considered his invention an interference with his “real” work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study.

Bell is also known for many other landmark inventions including his work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils and aeronautics.   In 1888, Bell became one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society.


5 Must-Read Life Lessons from Alexander Graham Bell:


1. Development

“A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with – a man is what he makes of himself.”

You are what you make of yourself!

This is why self-development is so important; you are “exactly” what you have spent your time developing into.  You decide what you become.  You can develop into success or failure.  You can get better or worse, you decide.  A man, or woman, is what they make of themselves.

2. Preparation

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

Les Brown said, “It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, then to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”  Are you prepared to succeed?  If the opportunity you’ve been waiting for suddenly appeared, would you be ready for it?

The first step to success is to be prepared.

3. Concentration

“Concentrate all of your thoughts upon the work at hand.  The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”

Alexander Graham Bell said, “What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.”  Are you concentrating?  Are you focusing all of your power on the work at hand?  You’ll never know your potential if you don’t focus your power.

4. Look for Open Doors

“Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open.”

Every time a door closes another one opens, look for the open doors, look for the opportunities that are in front of you.

Are you looking for opportunities?  It’s hard to find an opportunity if you’re not looking for it.  With every closed door there is a seed for something greater.

5. Steady Progress

“The most successful men in the end are those whose success is the result of steady accretion.”

Most people want overnight success, however, those who succeed, succeed as a result of many years of steady progress.  Are you making progress?  Are you closer to your goal this year in comparison to last year?

To succeed you have to make progress, you have to be consistent to win the race.  As the quote goes, “The race is not given to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to the one who endures until the end.


Please tweet or stumble to motivate someone else!

Mr. Self Development is an author who teaches a motivational and practical guide to success.
Please visit him at Mr. Self Development.com.



Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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