Create Your Miracle Year
Annus Mirabilis Awaits
Welcome to the YouTopian Journey. Each week I will be sharing unique wisdom that can help you in the daily battles that we must all fight in the game of life. This week we discuss how to create your annus mirabilis a.k.a. the miracle year.
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Now onto the good stuff.
“One’s best success comes after their greatest disappointments.”-Henry Ward Beecher
There were rumblings and rumors.
People were getting sick.
The disease was spreading.
The origin wasn’t important, but the symptoms were. No one wanted to become ill.
Large gatherings were avoided.
Plans were cancelled.
Colleges were closed.
And people fled from the cities to the countryside, isolating themselves from a virus that few understood.
If this sounds like 2020, you wouldn’t be mistaken. However, this was the London plague of 1665, the worst outbreak of bubonic plague since the Black Death of 1348.
It was here that a young Isaac Newton found himself back home. Cambridge, where he was attending university, was closed. Unlike today, there were no virtual classes. No Zoom lectures, no social media, no entertainment. It was simply an individual and his free time. There was nothing to do but wait and in Newton’s case, think.
Lacking the structures of the university and its limited curriculum, Newton’s mind began to wander. He began to question, to engage in deep thoughts, and to experiment. Without anything to distract him, this was perhaps one of the greatest periods of scientific thought in the history of our species.
The plague and the resulting solitude allowed for Newton to develop his theories on optics, calculus, and the laws of motion and gravity. The apple falling from the tree, a story that is universally recognized, occurred during this period of solitude and discovery.
“For in those days I was in the prime of my age for invention & minded Mathematics & Philosophy more than at any time since.”-Isaac Newton
This would be known as the miracle year (or the year of wonders if you prefer), the annus mirabilis. The world was changed from Newton’s period of isolation and study.
He didn’t complain that the pandemic altered his school schedule.
He didn’t bemoan his situation.
He didn’t wish for better circumstances.
He didn’t waste time.
He simply set to work on what he was interested in and made discoveries that have impacted the modern world.
And you can do this to.
There is nothing stopping you from your own annus mirabilis.
You can ignore the distractions and set to work on your goals and desires.
You can focus on the work that awaits you.
You can begin this very moment.
Ultimately, you can change your life and perhaps even change the lives around you for the better!
How do I know this?
Because YouTopian Journey was born from the pandemic. It was birthed among solitude and uncertainty.
Isolated from society, I wanted to use my time wisely. I wanted to create something that was unique and that could benefit the most amount of people. I wanted to stay focused on some task that was important enough to me and that could drown out the distractions. While the rest of the world complained, binged Netflix, engaged in conspiracy theories, or simply wasted away, I saw this period of isolation as Newton saw it, as an opportunity.
I set out to collect wisdom from human history’s greatest leaders, thinkers, philosophers, writers, saints, generals, and more. It was composed throughout the contaminated year of 2020, through painstaking research. I saw YouTopian Journey as something more than a project. I saw it as a personal survival guide. I needed something to help me persevere through the constant barrage of bad news. I needed a guide to keep me calm while the world panicked. I needed a companion to look back to in order to help me make sense of a society that was growing grimmer by the day. I needed something to keep me in the light, while the shadows of the world surrounded me. I needed something to help me focus on the tasks at hand, something I could use again and again. And you know something profoundly interesting?
It worked better than I imagined it could. It made me realize that the pandemic could be used to my advantage. I wanted my own version of a miracle year. I would not give in to doubt, panic, depression, or fear. I would use what I had to make things work. I would make sure this opportunity was not wasted.
You have this opportunity as well.
To focus all of your energies on a meaningful task that can not only benefit you, but society at large.
The best part?
You don’t need to be locked down to engage in this opportunity.
You just need to have the desire to create something and to transform thought into action.
It doesn’t matter where you are or who you are. Your past doesn’t matter. Your resources don’t matter. All that matters is the future. You can start building your future today.
All that you need to do is to begin.
“We are not what happened to us, we are what we wish to become.”-Carl Jung
A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”-Albert Ellis
Man has always been at the mercy of the universe. In the words of David Hume, "the life of man is of no greater importance to the universe than that of an oyster.” Think about that. Do you really believe that the vast universe composed of impossibilities such as black holes, pulsars, quasars, supernovas, dark and exotic matter, truly cares about your goals and dreams?
It never has and it never will.
Call it what you want. An angry God or Gods, fate, a random and chaotic universe, the wheel of fortune that is always turning, the spiritual sword of Damocles that hangs above us each and every day. Either way, the universe is under no obligation to make sense to me or you. It doesn’t favor you or impede you. It just exists, like we do. A force beyond our understanding and beyond our control. Thus, all that we can do is have a mindset that takes events as they are and seeks to find the positive within the negative. We must harness the wisdom of our species, the innate traits that make us human, and come to the realization that we can still improve, we can still move forward, and we can still define and achieve our success, despite the circumstances. We have a power within us to look forward to the coming years as an annus horribilis, a horrible year, or an annus mirabilis, a miracle year. It is all mindset and perspective, which is within our control. And the individual who desires to be a success and make their way in a constantly shifting world must always choose the annus mirabilis, each and every year.
Ironically, we are connected to everything and everyone, except ourselves. In a time of great strife, one can choose to be miraculous or mediocre. The miraculous choice is one of constant growth and self-improvement. The miraculous choice is one of self-transformation and risk. The miraculous choice is the mindset of the annus mirabilis.
Everything else is mediocrity.
Everything else is beneath you.
You don’t need to be a Newton to choose to have an annus mirabilis. All you need is a desire to choose your mentality. The mindset that we choose can be a companion for life, an inner guardian that continues to help as we navigate whatever the storm of life throws at us. We have no time to get bogged down by the minor setbacks and drama, because we have a goal to accomplish, each and every year. That goal to make our years full of marvels, to boldly declare that no matter what transpires, we shall have an annus mirabilis.
“No dark fate determines the future. We do.”-Dalai Lama XIV
UP TO US AND US ALONE
“In nooks all over the earth sit men who are waiting, scarcely knowing in what way they are waiting, much less that they are waiting in vain. Occasionally the call that awakens– that accident which gives the “permission to act — comes too late, when the best youth and strength for action has already been used up by sitting still; and many have found to their horror when they ‘leaped up’ that their limbs had gone to sleep and their spirit had become to heavy. ‘It is too late,’ they said to themselves, having lost their faith in themselves and henceforth forever useless.”-Friedrich Nietzsche
One of the most perplexing issues that I witness among people is that they are always waiting for something or someone to wrestle them from their lethargy. Among founders and would be entrepreneurs, it is the investor, the person who will write them a check so that they can begin and continue their work. Among creators, it is inspiration, some person or event that will inspire them to fill in the blank canvas or page. And among the masses? The masses wait for permission. They await the greenlight from some authority figure who will let them begin what it is that they desire to do.
This is no way to have a miracle year!
“We cannot put off living till we are ready.”-Jose Gasset Y Ortega
A miracle year is up to us and us alone. We must set the bar high and shoot for the moon. We must take action while we still have the energy to do so. We must attack the challenges and obstacles in our path, hammering away at them until there is a breach.
And we must begin at this very moment.
It is 2022. You cannot afford to waste any more time. You must make every single moment count. You must position yourself to have a miracle year. You must take action immediately.
No one can do this for you.
No one will do this for you.
Take action now. Strive to be something more than you currently are. Realize that anything is possible through dreaming and hard work. Don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way.
Above all, don’t let yourself stand in your way.
Don’t make excuses.
Don’t remain hidden in the shadows, hoping for better circumstances.
Believe in your dreams, they are legitimate.
Believe in yourself, you can make these dreams a reality.
Endeavor to shoot for the moon and land among the stars.
Begin now and I promise you that by next year, your life will look different because you will be different.
“If those committed to the quest fail, they will be forgiven. When lost, they will find another way. The moral imperative of humanism is the endeavor alone, whether successful or not, provided the effort is honorable and failure memorable”.-E. O. Wilson
CAN I HELP YOU?
I have spent the past several years working with entrepreneurs, executives, celebrities, writers, creatives, and dreamers to achieve their personal and professional goals. I now open this up to you, my subscribers. If you are looking for help in having your own miracle year, reply to this email and let’s see how we can collaborate.
IN OTHER NEWS
I am honored to announce that YouTopian Journey was shortlisted as a finalist by the EU Tech Chamber for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
This is a true honor as the objective of YouTopian Journey is to help readers become mentally stronger in a world that is constantly attempting to keep them weak. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of you, our readers who keep me motivated to deliver the best possible content week after week. Thank you.
A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS
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I’m Shaun Gold and if you are reading this, you are already on your journey. Catch you next week.
Your comments re newton were more than uplifting. They can liberate people from the popular misconception that health and well being are inextricably linked to and with a big social circle. As Newton's case reveals, his scientific insights pierced the stratosphere when he was isolated from others. Don't get me wrong; I do preach that we all become hermits. However, I am saying that many social interactions are a distracting waste of time. Sometimes, when people congregate in cliques and clans they simply gossip and bitch
Also, sometimes when we are submerged in a group of chatty ignoramuses, we only hear the conventional wisdom ad nauseum. Galbraith said the conventional wisdom was WHAT EVERYBODY THINkS THAT IS NEVETHELESS DEAD WRONG. Examples: Infectious diseases are caused by evil thoughts or "miasmas," Jews caused the bubonic plague by poisoning the wells, the communists set the Reichstag fire (hitler caused the fire and convinced everyone that the culprit was Jews and communists. )
Make improvement your preferred form of entertainment.