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George Washington - Guardian Supervisor (ESTJ) Mother Teresa - Guardian Protector (ISFJ) Albert Einstein - Rational Architect (INTP) Margaret Thatcher - Rational Fieldmarshal (ENTJ) Mikhail Gorbachev - Idealist Teacher (ENFJ) Eleanor Roosevelt - Idealist Counselor (INFJ) Elvis Presley - Artisan Performer (ESFP) Jacqueline Onasis - Artisan Composer (ISFP) Dolley Madison - Guardian Provider (ESFJ) Queen Victoria - Guardian Inspector (ISTJ) Walt Disney - Rational Inventor (ENTP) Dwight David Eisenhower - Rational Mastermind (INTJ) Thomas Paine - Idealist Champion (ENFP) Princess Diana - Idealist Healer (INFP) Charles Lindberg - Artisan Crafter (ISTP) George S. Patton - Artisan Promoter (ESTP)


"To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that there is."

These are the words with which Albert Einstein concluded My Credo, a statement of his philosophy of life he made in 1932, and they express the essence of his fascination with science. Einstein's insatiable curiosity about the secrets of the natural world, coupled with his prodigious (and reportedly rather arrogant) ability to grasp mentally the structure of "all that there is," enabled him to change fundamentally the way in which, not just physicists, but all of us look at the universe. From 1905 to 1925, Einstein's genius ranged wide, not only conceiving the theory of relativity, but making indispensable contributions to new understandings of thermodynamics, the nature of light, atomic structure, and quantum physics, and creating in the process -- and with a rigorous mathematical formalism -- nothing less than the first new model of the universe since Isaac Newton's, over two centuries earlier.

A truly astonishing achievement for any human being, but particularly for someone who was considered a slow-learner as a child, who dropped out of (and then was expelled from) his secondary school, who graduated from a mere technical college with a teaching diploma, and who, of all his classmates, was passed over for a teaching position and postdoctorate appointment. Rejected by academia, Einstein went his own way and took a job at the Swiss Patent Office as a technical expert, evaluating the plans of would-be inventors, correcting errors of design, and deciding (he could do this almost instantaneously) whether an idea would actually work. In his youth, Einstein had greatly enjoyed building models and playing with mechanical devices, and so his work at the Patent Office taxed him very little, and left him free in his spare time, and on his own, to do the theoretical work that would change the face of physics for the rest of the century.

As his fame grew so did the legend of his eccentric character. Shy and introverted as a child, with a calm detachment from all personal ties, Einstein grew into an emotionally and intellectually independent young man, quite popular with his colleagues and students, but always remote, enjoying the company of other highly intelligent human beings, but letting no one get close to him. And then in his later years he became very nearly an icon of the absent-minded professor, the abstract, fuzzy-haired scientific genius all but unaware of the people and social "reality" around him. Stories about his forgetfulness are legion, but one is delightfully succinct: on his way to an important meeting, Einstein telephoned his wife and asked, "Where am I and where am I meant to be?"

Einstein was also out of touch with manners and etiquette, often going off into a vague, abstracted mood at social gatherings, as if oblivious to those around him. It may well be, however, that he was inattentive more out of rebelliousness than obliviousness. All his life Einstein resented orthodoxy and resisted authority, and he used his reputation for forgetfulness to defy social decorum. Thus he would appear at formal university functions wearing dress shoes but no socks, an oversight quite consciously designed to needle the pretensions of his hosts. In all aspects of his life, Einstein's aim was calmly to ignore conventions and to avoid emotional subjectivity, doing instead what he called the "never-ending task of reason," which brings us to Plato's Rationals.

Excerpted from Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey, PhD

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