“I had been constructing with my assistants the first high-frequency alternators (dynamos), of the kind now used for generating power for wireless telegraphy. At three o’clock in the morning I came to the conclusion that I had overcome all the difficulties and that the machine would operate, and I sent my men to get something to eat. While they were gone I finished getting the machine ready, and arranged things so that there was nothing to be done, except to throw in a switch.
“When my assistants returned I took a position in the middle of the laboratory, without any connection whatever between me and the machine to be tested. In each hand I held a long glass tube from which the air had been exhausted. “If my theory is correct,” I said, “when the switch is thrown in these tubes will become swords of fire.” I ordered the room darkened and the switch thrown in—and instantly the glass tubes became brilliant swords of fire.
“Under the influence of great exultation I waved them in circles round and round my head. My men were actually scared, so new and wonderful was the spectacle. They had not known of my wireless light theory, and for a moment they thought I was some kind of a magician or hypnotizer. But the wireless light was a reality, and with that experiment I achieved fame overnight.
“Following this success, people of influence began to take an interest in me. I went into “society,” and I gave entertainments in return; some at home, some in my laboratory–expensive ones, too. For the one and only time in my life, I tried to roar a little bit like a lion.
"But after two years of this, I said to myself, “What have I done in the past twenty-four months?” And the answer was, “Little or nothing.” I recognized that accomplishment requires isolation. I learned that the man who wants to achieve must give up many things—society, diversion, even rest—and must find his sole recreation and happiness in work. He will live largely with his conceptions and enterprises; they will be as real to him as worldly possessions and friends.”
– Nikola Tesla
“Making Your Imagination Work for You.” By M. K. Wisehart. The American Magazine, April 1921.