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What Makes Genius Inventors Tick?

Innovation, Just For Fun

The final results produced by iconic geniuses and inventors have made lasting impressions on the world. However, the creative processes behind these works may leave the average person amazed and even confused. As respected and beloved as they are, these noteworthy inventors and geniuses relied on quizzical methods to make them tick.

Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin remains one of the most iconic Founding Fathers in American history. Few people can dispute the mark he has made on American society with many of his inventions still being used today.

Even so, Franklin did not come up with many of his ingenious ideas on a whim. He relied on some unorthodox practices to inspire and guide him during the creation process.

For example, he was renowned for taking what he dubbed as air baths during which he would lounge naked on his window sills. He also used a cyclic 13-week self-improvement regimen to focus on a different virtue each week. He would repeat this plan four times a year to keep him grounded and focused.

Albert Einstein

The creator of the Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein is an icon in the world of scientific academia. His genius did not come from ordinary lifestyle habits that most people use, however.

Einstein's brilliance may have stemmed from the fact that he slept 10 hours each night and napped regularly throughout the day. He did not deprive himself of sleep and instead made it a priority to rest his brain as often as possible.

Nikola Tesla

American inventor Nikola Tesla remains widely hailed for his invention of the steam-powered oscillating generator as well as a coil that bears his name. His inspiration for these works may have come in part from his devotion to daily exercise.

He made it a habit of walking eight to 10 miles per day. He also ended his day with an unusual habit that he adopted prior to going to sleep for the night. Before he rested, Tesla would always flex his toes 100 times.


Greek philosopher Pythagoras is known best today for his contributions to mathematics and politics. However, he was also a fervent vegetarian and even he insisted that his followers follow the same diet that he consumed each day.

His dietary habits included avoiding legumes like beans at all costs. He would not even touch them nor allow his followers to touch them. His phobia of legumes might have cost him his life as it is believed he avoided fleeing an ambush by running through a bean field. He chose death rather than come into contact with a field full of legumes.

Honore de Balzac

Honore de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright who relied on coffee and caffeine as his source of inspiration. He drank as many as 50 cups of strong brewed coffee each day, sometimes consuming up to three gallons at a time.

Balzac said that the massive amounts of caffeine each day created a flux of creativity that he then harnessed to write his novels and plays. He likened the caffeine high to soldiers charging the battlefield, a sensation that induced bursts of creativity that would then contribute to his writings.


Greek orator Demosthenes had a natural fear of speaking before large audiences. His first attempts as an orator were so disastrous that his audiences ended up laughing at him.

Determined to overcome this challenge, he would practice giving speeches by placing stones in his mouth. He also would hide in an underground room and not come out before he was ready to give a speech to a large audience. He even went so far as to shave half of his head to compel him to stay in the underground room to avoid being laughed at by others.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone

The creators of Comedy Central's South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone thrive on panic and anxiety. They rely on these emotions to inspire them to create and deliver the weekly episodes to the network, often with only a few hours to spare before each episode is to be aired.

They admit that they are cutting it close by delivering such a late product to Comedy Central. However, they acknowledge that the intense pressure and anxiety help them be more creative with each episode's writing, editing, voice acting, and animation.

Great inventors and geniuses often rely on quirky sources of inspiration and guidance. These unconventional ticks have helped many icons create some of the world's greatest masterpieces.