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The Power of Pausing

By: Michael Blankenship |

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” 

– Peter Drucker

In the vibrant academic corridors of Cambridge University in the 17th century, a young student named Isaac Newton was on the cusp of forging a legendary scientific path. Yet, in a twist of fate, the Great Plague of London in 1665 caused the university’s doors to shut, pushing Newton away from the hum of academic discussions and into the quiet confines of his family home in the countryside.

One might assume this sudden isolation to be detrimental to a budding scientist. However, for Newton, the opposite proved true. This forced retreat from the world became a crucible of creativity. Without the daily distractions and demands of university life, he plunged into deep reflection and study. The apple tree in his garden, the play of light and shadow, all became subjects of his contemplation. It was during this time that he birthed the foundational theories on calculus, optics, and the famed law of gravitation. This unplanned hiatus, away from the rush of the world, led to what is now referred to as his “Annus Mirabilis” or “Year of Wonders.”

Such is the power of pause.

We often equate busyness with productivity, believing that constant action is the pathway to success. Yet, as Newton’s “Annus Mirabilis” demonstrates, there’s immense power in stepping back and allowing oneself the space for reflection. The silence and solitude, far from being barren, can be fertile grounds for innovation, clarity, and profound insights.

Embrace the power of pause. Your own next breakthrough very well might just be a reflective moment away.

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