Albert Einstein. His struggles. His failures.

The man you should know more about. 

Arthur Chung
3 min readMay 5, 2014

It’s a sunny, and warm afternoon. You’re watching your favourite show at home. Someone knocks on your door. You open the door, and a young man in a business suit asks you:

“Good Afternoon. My name is Albert Einstein. I’m offering very affordable life insurance for you, and your family. Would you be interested ?”

The Struggling Graduate

Einstein graduated from the renowned Swiss Polytechnic Institute at the age of 21, and he was struggling to find employment. To make matters worse, Einstein had a terrible reputation as a student.

He skipped class, and his professors never took him seriously. Moreover, Einstein never performed spectacular in school. He did so poorly that he nearly decided to drop out, and just sell life insurance.

After graduating, Einstein had to work many odd jobs to sustain himself. Einstein’s father died believing he was a complete failure. Einstein was absolutely heartbroken.

Eventually, he found legitimate employment as a patent clerk. Every day, he would sit down, review patents, and analyze mathematical equations (patents had a lot of math in them). And Einstein loved it (and the rest is history from here).

The cost of Einstein’s work

Einstein’s work transformed the way physicists thought about light, gravity, and space. More famously, he argued light can bend. Of course, physicists thought he was crazy.

But Einstein’s work came at a very steep cost. He had to divorce his wife, and lose his children. He was also alone in his theoretical work, but only he remained convinced that his work was right.

Years into his research, Einstein became mentally and physically ill. The enormous amount of stress had really taken a toll onto his health. He felt extremely exhausted, and very unhappy. To make matters worse, World War Two breaks out, and his years and years of research is put on a halt. Since Einstein was a German-Jew, Einstein’s safety was also at risk.

But long story short, with unstoppable perseverance and an iron will — Einstein eventually proves the scientific community wrong. His work revolutionized how scientist perceive space, time, gravity and light. In fact, because of Einstein, gravity is no longer viewed as a mere “pulling force” … it’s actually a pushing force !

Life is more than just smarts

Einstein remains to be one of the most iconic people of all time.

But I believe people should be amazed at more than his intellectual capacity, but his doggedness and incredible patience.

He spent decades researching, defending his work, and proving the scientific community incorrect. So my friends, don’t give up. Einstein failed a lot, and struggled a lot — but his story should remain us struggling is always part of us.

Thanks for reading ! :-) More stories to come.

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”

Albert Einstein



Arthur Chung

Life is short. Therefore, my stories are meant to be even shorter. Read here for impactful facts to satisfy your natural curiosity.