Focus on your potential - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

Get an account to save ideas & make your own & organize them how you wish.

deepstash

Beta

How Isaac Newton Turned Isolation From the Great Plague Into a "Year of Wonders" | Kerry McDonald

Focus on your potential

Our lives are upended and our routines are disrupted due to the pandemic. While there is much to despair about, we could also use this time for reflection and discovery.

The sudden change could unleash your imagination and inventiveness in ways that could not be possible under normal circumstances. This could be your year of greatness.

182 SAVES


This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How Isaac Newton Turned Isolation From the Great Plague Into a "Year of Wonders" | Kerry McDonald

How Isaac Newton Turned Isolation From the Great Plague Into a "Year of Wonders" | Kerry McDonald

https://fee.org/articles/how-isaac-newton-turned-isolation-from-the-great-plague-into-a-year-of-wonders/

fee.org

3

Key Ideas

Isaac Newton's Quarantine

During the bubonic plague in 1665, Newton was among the students forced to return home from Trinity College, Cambridge.

Away from university life, curriculum constraints, and professors to guide him, Newton seemed to thrive. At home, he built bookshelves and created a small office for himself. Free from distractions, Newton discovered differential and integral calculus, formulated a theory of universal gravitation, and explored optics.

Creativity unleashed

Isaac Newton mentioned that during his isolation days, he was in the prime for his age for invention and focused on Mathematics and Philosophy more than any other time.

His forced time away from university life allowed his creativity to flourish. The discoveries he made during his time of social distancing would form the foundation of his career for years to come.

Focus on your potential

Our lives are upended and our routines are disrupted due to the pandemic. While there is much to despair about, we could also use this time for reflection and discovery.

The sudden change could unleash your imagination and inventiveness in ways that could not be possible under normal circumstances. This could be your year of greatness.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Isaac Newton's productivity
Isaac Newton's productivity

In 1665 Isaac Newton, a young scholar of Trinity College, fled from the Bubonic plague to his home, about sixty miles from the university. While in solitude, he would invent calculus, create the sc...

Newton's brilliance

The idea that the plague woke the brilliance in Newton is wrong and misleading as a measure of how well we apply ourselves during our own plague spring.

Isaac Newton had begun to think about the most pressing questions in science in 1664, a year before the plague broke out. Similarly, when the epidemic finally burned itself out in 1666, Newton kept on doing the same kind of work when he returned to Trinity College. Retreating to the country itself was not the decisive reason for his inventions.

Keep stoking your passion

Doing the work was what mattered to Isaac Newton. He kept at it before the plague, during, and after his return to college. He wrote that during the plague year, he had been in the prime of his age for invention and minded Mathematics and Philosophy more than at any time since.

Newton was able to do what he did not because of the forced solitude, but because of who he was. You should use this time of solitude, not to emulate an impossible standard, but to keep going at whatever aspect of your life that fires your passion.

Where ideas come from

Ideas come to us when we have a specific problem but we do not focus on solving the problem directly.

It’s not at all obvious how to go about thinking up some new twist on these things...

Unconscious processing

Henri Poincaré, the father of chaos theory and the co-discoverer of special relativity, relates his own discovery. "the idea came to me, without anything in my former thoughts seeming to have paved the way for it.”

The Irish mathematician, Sir William Rowan Hamilton, had a similar epiphany while strolling by the Brougham Bridge. He was so delighted that he stopped and carved the defining algebraic equation into the bridge.

Don't overthink

The first phase of solving can be described as “worrying” about a problem or idea. It evokes anxiety and gives the impression of productivity.

But, overthinking can lead to a dead end. The key to solving the problem is to take a break from worrying. Focus your attention on some other activity. Take a long hike or a long drive, to give your mind the space to have a good idea.

one more idea

Insights of Albert Einstein
Insights of Albert Einstein

Many insights of Albert Einstein are now part of popular imagination: black holes, time warps, and wormholes show up in movies and books.

Less famous, but probably the most revolutionary pa...

Some changes don't change anything

The most fundamental aspects of nature stay the same.

For example, Einstein's papers on relativity show that the relationship between energy and mass is invariant, even though energy and mass can take on many different forms.

Even though matter produces energy, the energy-matter content of the universe never changes. Matter and energy are less fundamental than the underlying relationship between them.

Relationships over things

We often think of things as the heart of reality. But most often the relationship is more important, not the stuff.

We may think "stuff" like space and time are unchangeable aspects of nature. In reality, the relationship between space and time stays the same.

9 more ideas

Early accomplishments addiction

Nowadays everybody seems to be obsessed with the idea of early achievements: parents encourage their children to work for good marks in order to be able to attend and graduate a famous college, and...

The obsession for early achievement

While encouraging your child to be ambitious and hard-working is a good thing, putting pressure on him in order to be sure that he will have great success throughout his lifetime can prove quite risky.

It so happens that unless the high expectations are met, both parents and children tend to know depression at its finest level.

Late bloomers and meaningful success

While society encourages individuals to have success as early in their life as possible, following pre-established processes that sometimes end up in huge disappointment, people who know success later on in their life are at least as impressive.

Recent research has shown that it is in our 30s, 40s and even 50s that we reach the peak of our curiosity, executive functioning skills and wisdom. Furthermore, with the age we also get rid of the fear to quit, as we understand that experience, good and bad, eventually does lead to success. So go ahead improve yourself at your own pace, without thinking twice about what the world has to say about it, as this is your own life and your happiness depends on it.

Two of the biggest innovations
Two of the biggest innovations

Two of the biggest innovations of modern times are cars and airplanes. At first, every new invention looks like a toy. It takes decades for people to realise the potential of it.

Innovation is driven by incentives

There are three types of incentives:

  1. "If I don't figure this out, I might get fired." It will get you moving.
  2. "If I figure this out, I might help people and make a lot of money." It will produce creativity.
  3. "If we don't figure this out now, our very existence is threatened." Militaries deal with this, and it will fuel the most incredible problem-solving and innovation in a short time.

During World War II, there was a burst of scientific progress that took place. The government was in effect saying that if a discovery had any possible war value, then it had to be developed and put in use, regardless of the expense.

The conditions for big innovations to happen

The biggest innovations seldom happen when everyone's happy or safe. They happen when people are a little panicked and worried, and when they have to act quickly.

In 1932, the stock market fell by 89%. It was an economic disaster where almost a quarter of Americans were out of work. However, the 1930s was also the most productive and technologically progressive decade in history. Economist Alex Field writes that in 1941, the U.S. economy produced almost 40 percent more output than it had in 1929, with little increase in labor hours or private-sector capital input.

3 more ideas

Loneliness before quarantine

We crave intimacy. And yet, long before the present pandemic, with its forced isolation and social distancing, humans had begun building their own separate cells. 

Before modern times...

Loneliness is a form of grief

It is an umbrella term we use to cover for all sorts of things most people would rather not name and have no idea how to fix.
Plenty of people like to be alone. But solitude and seclusion are different from loneliness. Loneliness is a state of profound distress.

The evolutionary theory of loneliness

Primates need to belong to an intimate social group in order to survive; this is especially true for humans.
Separation from your group (either finding yourself alone or finding yourself among a group of people who do not know and understand you) triggers a fight-or-flight response.

4 more ideas

The new normal

Global companies, from the UK to the US, Japan to South Korea, have recently rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of the new virus.

Working from home will become t...

Clear communication

The key to working from home is clear communication with your boss. Your manager might not be used to managing people virtually or may not have a ready-to-go suite of tools for remote workers.

To prevent a breakdown in communication, you need to know exactly what's expected of you from day-to-day. Ask your boss for a 10-minute video call to start and end the day. Reach out to coworkers and managers regularly so that you won't get forgotten.

Treat it like a real job
  • Don't lounge around in your pajamas. Treat it like a real job.
  • Create a space exclusively for work that is removed from distractions, just like you would at your office desk.
  • Create boundaries within your home that your family members understand when you're 'at work.'
  • Bookend your day. If you can't enter and leave a physical office that creates more precise boundaries, use psychological transitions like a 20-minute coffee in the morning, then exercise right after work.

2 more ideas

Changes you may see

If and when you return to your office after the pandemic, you'll probably notice some changes.

  • The doors of the building may open automatically, so you don't have to touch the handl...
Working from home

Before the pandemic, only 4 percent of the US workforce worked from home at least half the time. However, the trend of working from home had been gaining momentum for years.

It is estimated that within a couple of years, 30% of people will work from home multiple days per week.

Continued remote work
  • Before the pandemic, a lot of company management and leaders were skeptical regarding remote work. But the skepticism will go away because companies recognize that remote work does work.
  • The economic impact of the pandemic will likely force employers to cut costs. They may reduce their rent by letting workers work from home instead of layoffs.
  • Employers had to spend money on new technology and equipment to work from home - a departure from the norm.
  • Employees themselves are also spending more money to create better home offices.

4 more ideas

Purpose Is Essential
Purpose Is Essential

Purpose in life leads to greater well-being, hope and provides a sense of meaning in life.

The positive or negative experiences we have as children play an important role in our sense of pur...

Experiencing Adversity

Individuals who experience adversity at an early age have a decreased sense of purpose according to research.

For some, it works in the reverse, with adversity providing them with the 'kick' they need to pursue a particular calling in life.

Experiencing Conflict

Relationship issues with parents lead to a decreased sense of purpose as the young person grows older.

Frequently fighting or arguing with parents drains the child's energy and enthusiasm.

2 more ideas