Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration
What's the meaning of the phrase 'Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration'?
Genius is largely the result of hard work, rather than an inspired flash of insight.
What's the origin of the phrase 'Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration'?
Few proverbial sayings can be attributed to a named individual. In this case, we can name the coiner of the expression - the American inventor Thomas Alva Edison.
Edison is first reported as saying "Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration" sometime around 1902, in the September 1932 edition of Harper's Monthly Magazine.
It is impossible to know at this remove whether the Harper's journalists were accurate in their attribution, although no one else appears to have uttered the words before they reported them in 1932.
Edison may have come up with the neatest line but several others had expressed very similar thoughts before 1902. The Comte de Buffon (a.k.a. George-Louis Leclerc), 1707–88, was attributed with this line in Hérault de Séchelles' Voyage à Montbar, in 1803:
Genius is only a greater aptitude for patience.
Thomas Carlyle is widely reported to have coined the term "Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains". What he actually said, in the History of Frederick the Great, written 1858–65, was:
'Genius' (which means transcendent capacity of taking trouble, first of all).
Not to be outdone, that disciple of earnest endeavour John Ruskin wasn't to be left out. In Notes by Mr Ruskin on His Collection of Drawings by the late J. M. W. Turner, 1878, he made the observation that:
I know of no genius but the genius of hard work.
See also: the List of Proverbs.
...Mary-Katherine Fowler Engl. 1101 Sec. 12 Dr. Barker Darton State College 30 Nov. 2012 Essay 5 Over the past eighteen years, life has definitely challenged me. I have encountered events that the average teenager is not presented with. When I was six years old, my father was diagnosed with a kidney disorder. Being at a young age, I did not understand exactly what was wrong. As I got older I began to realize that my father’s kidney disorder was serious. At first, I did not know how to accept that my father was ill, and there was nothing I could do. As time progressed, it became clear to me that God was challenging my faith. In 2000, my father received news that his kidneys were beginning to fail. His createnine level, the measure of protein bypassing the kidneys, was above average. The average adult male’s createnine level is anywhere from 0.06 to 1.2 mg/dL and is measured on a scale of one to ten. My father’s createnine level had risen to 5.0, which indicated that his kidneys were in great distress. To lower a person’s createnine, the doctor usually lowers their blood pressure, which would take pressure off the kidneys, and may also prescribed Prednisone, which would reduce swelling and inflammation, but at the same time, it suppresses the immune system. My father’s nephrologist, Dr. Rizvi, prescribed him 160 milligrams of Prednisone. The high dosage of medicine lowered his createnine to 2.3, which was considered an acceptable level by Dr. Rizvi; therefore they...