On May 11, 1916, Albert Einstein presented his Theory of Relativity before the Prussian Academy of Sciences. The theory dramatically substituted the curvature of space time as the cause of gravity, rather than the force postulated by Sir Isaac Newton.The theory catapulted Einstein to fame and was the primary reason that he received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921.
Read Related: 10 Albert Einstein Quotes to Share with Your Kids
One of the towering achievements of 20th century physics, the Theory of Relativity explains that what we perceive as gravity is actually an effect of the curvature of spacetime around a heavy object, such as a planet or a star. In the presence of matter and energy, space time can bend, stretch and warp. The orbit of the Earth and the other planets around the sun simply follows the curve caused by the presence of the Sun in our local area of space time.
It’s not the easiest concept for non-scientists to grasp. When asked to explain the Theory of Relativity in layperson’s terms, Albert Einstein cited this example. “When you are courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder, a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.” So, you see, it is all relative. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you remember that life is all about relativity.
1. Stop wearing a watch. Look around you. There are a thousand ways to tell what time it is. Your car has a clock. Your cell phone has the time on it. Many businesses that you frequent have clocks on the wall. Why are you still carrying a watch? Do you really need to know what time it is, all the time? Not wearing a watch could make you feel more liberated.
2. Look at the horizon. Lift up your head. Stop watching the ground in front of you and look at the horizon. It will straighten your posture, steady your gait and keep you focused on your goals.
3. Look at the stars at night. On a clear night, particularly if you are far from the city lights, look at the stars. The best way to look is to lie on your back and simply look up. A good pair of binoculars helps but isn’t absolutely necessary. Now, think about where you are on the surface of the Earth. Unless you are at one of the poles, you aren’t really looking up; you’re looking out. It helps you define your place in the Universe.
4. When you start thinking your life is hard, read about life in a developing nation. Most of us are fortunate enough to have a roof over our heads, food to eat and a bed to sleep in. For much of the population of the world, those are unimaginable luxuries. Reading about or visiting a developing nation helps you to appreciate what you have.
5. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Okay, if the previous passage made you feel good about yourself but, just a little guilty, volunteer at a local soup kitchen. The organization dosomething.org will show you how to get started.
6. Get rid of your scale. Unless you are actively dieting, and maybe not even then, you don’t really need a home scale. Realize that the weight showing on the scale doesn’t say anything about the type of person you are.
7. Make an effort to stop comparing yourself to other people. Are you constantly comparing your appearance, successes or lifestyle to others? Stop it. You are you, not someone else. Learn to be satisfied with yourself. Here are some ways to do it.
8. When your boss asks you to work late, think about people who work in sweatshops. Here are some facts about life in a sweat shop. No matter how much of a jerk your boss is, you’re probably better off than the folks who work in these places.
9. When you’re on vacation, stop and take a few moments to stop time and appreciate the moment. Don’t rush through your vacation. Take the time to really enjoy it. Here’s how to live in the moment.
10. When you’re upset about something, fill your time with chores and activities. It will go by in a flash. You can spend your time worrying, or you can do something to take your mind off of your troubles. Speaking personally, there always seems to be something to do around the house or yard. You’ll take your mind off your problems and your digs will look better.
11. When you want to hit snooze on your alarm clock, think about people who have to be at work by 7am. So, don’t go back to sleep. Think about folks who have to be at work before you are. Aren’t you lucky? Again, looking at others’ lives can make you realize just how lucky you are (unless you’re one of those people who has to be at work by 7).
12. When your two children seem overwhelming, watch an episode of 19 Kids & Counting. Admittedly, the Duggars are a bit extreme. However, taking care of 19 kids each day pretty much reduces your child problems into insignificance.
13. When cleaning up the household clutter seems daunting, watch an episode of Hoarders. You think your house is a mess? These folks go well beyond ‘cluttered,’ and kind of help us put our daily grind in perspective.
14. Take time to stop and smell the roses. Scientific research now suggests that stopping and smelling flowers is a good idea. This research indicates that learning to appreciate the good things in life helps us to achieve a generally healthier outlook.
15. When you start to feel guilty over splurging on that fabulous bag, check the price of a Birkin bag. If you occasionally splurge on a nice handbag or other luxury purchase, don’t feel too guilty. You could have spent a lot more. So, take a deep breath and resolve to be more thrifty in the future.
16. When you cheat a little on your diet, make up for it the next day. If you are currently on a diet, or have been on one, you know the importance of self-discipline. Still, most of us can’t hold to the diet 24-7. Don’t beat yourself up with guilt, just jump back on the bandwagon the next day. Here are some suggestions on how to do it.
17. When you cheat a little on your diet, make up for it at the gym. Bulked up a little? Exercise those extra pounds off. The endorphins you release while exercising will wipe away that guilty feeling.
18. Take an astronomy class. If looking at the stars is good, studying about them is even better. Here’s what you can expect.
19. When you’re having a crazy day at work, remember there are easy days too. Every day at work is not hard. Some days are outright boring. Here are some ideas to help you get through it all.
20. When your husband leaves the seat up, remember that he also brings you little unexpected gifts from time to time. Put your married life in perspective. Is what is important to you now going to be important in 40 years time? If not, just deal with it.