Simple, he didn’t act like an adult. He acted more like a child.
Quite simply adulthood means going to a job. Paying bills. Raising children. Living below your means. Own a home(if possible). And fun things should be a rarity.
Children however are infinitely curious and ask lots of questions. They are completely comfortable in being unaware. They don’t think they’re dumb, they don’t think they are smart either. And they spend quite a bit of time imagining things. Pretending to have tea parties. Pretending to be doctors. Building bridges, playing in dirt, playing with toys, imagining dragons who fly, and owls who talk to you and show you their treasure box of rubies and gems. They play games and sometimes make up their own games with their own set of rules. Some of them even re-write the rules because they see their first rules didn’t work out. They adjusted just fine without worrying about perfection.
Accordingly this is how Einstein formed many of his ideas. He just sat and imagined crazy and wild ideas. Most adults would say this is a lazy guy who just daydreams all day. That he is someone who isn’t working hard, contributing to society like an adult should. Yet despite this whole attitude of the “Adult world”, Einstein continued to imagine and “daydream”.
Apparently he just sat and imagined himself riding on top of a photon. He wondered what that would be like. What would he see or experience. This is very childlike in nature. Yet the results are staggering as he revolutionized the way scientists thought about nature and light. To this day Einstein’s theories continue to be found true through experiment after experiment
I encourage each and every one of you to become more childlike in your ways. Daydream, play games, have fun and not worry about whether you are smart or dumb, etc etc. You would be surprised at how liberating and creative you can be.
No you won’t suddenly revolutionize Physics, but life will change. Nothing important or special about becoming a rigid & unhappy adult. Let’s play!!!