Scientist, mathematician, academic and so much more; there are very people who have had as far reaching an impact on the past, present and future of science as Sir Isaac Newton. The list of his achievements in the scientific world is practically endless.
Be it the formulation of the three laws of motion, which govern so much of the physics that students across the world study in their formative years; be it in his invention of differential and integral calculus; be it his significant achievements in the field of optics; or be it his most well-known contribution – the law of universal gravitation; Sir Isaac Newton was on a constant journey of exploration and discovery.
While the most famous anecdote relating to Sir Newton has to do with a certain fruit, (the veracity of which is actually debated; it is often said to be a story propagated by the thinker Voltaire, than being a source of inspiration to Newton.) There is another, far more insightful story about him that goes back all the way to his school days; one which perhaps laid the foundation for his constant endeavour to learn, study and discover.
As a boy, young Isaac wasn’t particularly interested in studying. He was an average, almost inconspicuous student. Because he was low-key, he was picked on by the school bully, a boy who also incidentally excelled in academics. One day, young Isaac decided to fight back. He discovered that when he chose to retort, he was actually able to fend for himself quite well, managing to beat the bully.
But that didn’t satisfy young Isaac. He wanted to beat the bully in every sphere, even academics. That was what prompted him to work exceedingly hard at his studies, which eventually led him to top his class. Once he got to the top, he liked staying there. If his grades ever fell for any reason, he’d work doubly hard to ensure that he got back to the top.
This eventually became a habit, as he went on to develop a strong penchant for learning, which eventually led him to never waste a moment or an opportunity to question and discover; and make all those significant discoveries that have impacted the world for centuries.
Don’t ever simply accept a negative situation. Instead, face it. If Newton hadn’t stood up to the bully, he’d never have known that he could beat him. (That said, violence is condemnable and must only ever be the last resort!)
Winning is a habit. If you win once, you’ll want to win always. So give it your all to try and win that first time. It might just be something that will stick.
If you haven’t yet discovered what it is that you’re the best at, then keep looking. Because everyone has something that they were meant to do; and if you’re doing it, then that’s your best chance of achieving something out of the ordinary.
~ Pradeep Menon