Charles Darwin born in the same year as Abraham Lincoln, in 1809, his life was once considered a major failure by even his own father. In fact, it was due to his interest in nature that Darwin ended up neglecting his medical studies at the University of Edinburgh, and in 1827, dropped out and quit school, leading his father to say, “You care for nothing but shooting, dogs and rat catching.”
In a second attempt at school, Darwin enrolled in Christ’s College at the University of Cambridge the following winter semester. In 1831, he realized that this wasn’t for him either, as he was too distracted to finish schooling. Once again, he quit and dropped out of college for the second time.
In his autobiography, Darwin knew that others, including his father, were displeased in him. He stated, “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect.” In effect, he was summed up as a failure in life, or as an “idle gentlemen,” which was another phrase used by his father.
Of course, things didn’t remain that way for Darwin. Today, he is considered as one of the most influential scientific minds of our time. His theories on natural selection and evolution have had a major impact on our understanding of species and life here on earth, along with the progress of biological organisms.
Team Inspiring Life provides you with the 5 life changing lessons to learn from the life of Charles Darwin.
5 life changing lessons from the life of Charles Darwin
1. Adaptability is key to our own survival and development.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
This can be a monumental in any individual’s personal growth. There are many things you will think when you couldn’t do something. When came time to do things out of your comfort zone, you would simply accept that it wasn’t for you or that you couldn’t do it.
At a point of time you have to conquer your fears and have to do the things that you fear. Your success awaits the way you adapt yourself to the changing scenarios and life. Adapting yourself requires you to learn new skill and break the comfort zone slowly but steadily. It’s rather not breaking but shifting the comfort zone little away from you.
2. Extreme Focus Combined with Attentive Energy.
In Darwin’s quest, there was almost nothing relevant to his task at hand — the problem of understanding the origin and development of species — which might have escaped his attention. He had an extremely broad antenna.
From there, as his child grew and developed, Darwin took close notes. How did he figure out that the reflection in the mirror was him? How did he then figure out it was only an image of him, and that any other images that showed up (say, Dad standing behind him) were mere images too – not reality? These were further data in Darwin’s mental model of the accumulation of gradual changes, but more importantly, displayed his attention to detail. Everything eventually came to “bear directly on what I had seen and what I was likely to see.”
And in a practical sense, he was a relentless note-taker. Notebook A, Notebook B, Notebook C, Notebook M, Notebook N…all filled with observations from his study of journals and texts, his own scientific work, his travels, and his life. Once he sat down to write, he had an enormous amount of prior written thought to draw on. He could also see gaps in his understanding, which he diligently filled in.
Thus his work and style provides us to be more attentive and focussed on your work to attain success.
3. Imperfection is the truth of life.
Success does not mean that you have to be perfect or your theory has to be perfection of life time. Darwin’s theory has proved to be one of the most successful in the history of science, but it wasn’t perfect. In fact, some aspects of the original theory were gravely mistaken, such as the idea of blending inheritance, which suggested that offspring take on an average of their parents traits.
Darwin’s work remained an incomplete theory for roughly a half century until scientists independently discovered the same rules of genetics that Mendel had published many years before. What we consider Darwin’s theory today is, in many ways, a combination of the two men’s work.
So, believe it or not the imperfection is a part of life. Don’t stop working for the fear of perfection.
4. Follow your instinct.
“The very essence of instinct is that it’s followed independently of reason.”
Charles Darwin believed in following the instinct. If and only if you can follow your instinct, is that you can reach your goal.
Darwin’s above principle implies that on the voyage towards once own goal, one have to get rid of all reason, the reasons that make you believe that it is not achievable. Just follow the instinct, do what should be done, success will kiss your feet.
5. Don’t Procrastinate.
“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
In his own saying, Darwin always believed that when you are pursuing your life’s goal you have to stop wasting your time and have to believe that an hour lost means you have lost the value of your life.
So, stop procrastinate.