Isaac Newton was the greatest mathematician, physicist, astronomer, and author of his generation. His discoveries in optics, calculus, and the three laws of motion—the basic principles of modern physics are the reasons why he is considered an important figure. But Sir Isaac Newton had a rocky path to success and faced hardships while growing up.
Early life and hurdles faced by Newton
Newton came from a family of farmers but never knew his father. His father died in October 1642, three months before his son was born. He was born prematurely and the doctor did not expect him to survive. Fortunately, a miracle saved him and he was a very small child. When Newton was three, his mother decided to remarry and went to live with her new husband. He did not like his stepfather and he spent his childhood living with his grandmother. Isaac’s childhood was anything but happy and he did not have a lot of friends to play with. To keep himself busy, he played with little mechanical devices and models. After nine years, his mother returned as her husband had died.
Isaac was admitted to a new school two years later. He stayed with his uncle during this time. In school, he spent most of his time on independent pursuits and did poorly in his studies. But his mother removed him from school to make him work at a family farm. Isaac hated farming and showed no enthusiasm. The headmaster of King’s school persuaded his mother to send him back to school so that he could complete his education. If it wasn’t for him, who recognized Isaac’s intelligence, he would have remained a farmer throughout his life. At school, Isaac did very well and became the top-ranked student.
His later life and journey towards success
Isaac’s mother could not afford the fees when he went to attend Cambridge University. He earned money by cleaning the rooms of scholars, serving at the high table, and doing small jobs for his seniors. At Cambridge, Newton began to formulate his early theories about movements and forces. In 1665, he graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Arts. During the same year, the universities closed due to the Plague. During these eighteen months, between 1665 till 1667, Newton developed the theory of gravity. He also discovered differential Calculus, the nature of white light, and the three laws of motion. In the following year, he published his book Principia, the single most influential book on physics.
In 1669, Cambridge appointed Newton as a professor but he showed little interest in teaching or in his students. His lectures were rarely attended and sometimes, no one showed up at all. Newton’s attention was centered on his own research. In 1678, he suffered serious emotional breakdowns, and in the following year, his mother died. In response, Newton cut off contact with others and focused on research. In March 1727, Sir Isaac Newton died at the age of 84.
Lessons we can learn from Isaac Newton
Newton faced a lot of hardships in his life while growing up. His unhappy childhood shaped his personality and was protective of his privacy. But, this did not stop him from becoming one of the greatest scientists the world has ever known. Newton is among the 17th century’s most influential scientists, and his groundbreaking work is now the foundation for modern physics. Newton once said, “I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” By this, he means that one needs to face up to the challenges and realities of the ocean and discover the “great ocean” rather than just playing around the seashore.
If you have a dream and a passion to succeed in a chosen field, you must immerse yourself in it, work hard at it and surround yourself with people who are heading in the same direction. When we feel the passion in our lives, we have a more positive outlook, higher energy, and greater confidence. We’re not merely going through the motions, but actively taking steps to create the success that we want.