Discover the Madman Within You

Here is a true story of a mad scientist, who, bent on controlling nature, did the unthinkable.

It was just a few years after the first atomic bomb was tested in the desert sands of New Mexico.  Hollywood thrilled audiences with horrific tales of mutant bugs and monstrous beings that resulted from atomic radiation. Mad scientists mixed sinister substances in efforts to create or control life. Their nefarious efforts to control Mother Nature always produced hideous beasts that still haunt many of us to this day.

Were these just stories? Were they just frightening manifestations from the minds of creative writers? Not all.

Following is the true story of a horrible creature… and  a real mad scientist.

There, in his laboratory, he held a gleaming vial to the light. Through the cork seal he drove the needle of his glass syringe and filled its receptacle. He then winced as he plunged the needle into his own arm, injecting the contents into his body.

It was done. There was no going back now.

It’s hard for me to write about what happened next. In his mad zeal, he turned his bloodshot eyes toward his own family. First, his wife; then his three sons. One by one he injected them.

What would cause a scientific genius to turn on himself and his own family? His mad-ness. He focused his intense anger on a crippling disease called polio. Injecting himself and his family showed his conviction of a proposed cure. This “mad” man was none other than Dr. Jonas E. Salk, the savior of millions and inventor of the polio vaccine.

There are two elements of this story toward which I’d like to direct your attention. Without one or the other, it’s likely you’d never heard of Dr. Salk.

Urgency and conviction. Had the urgency to find a cure for polio not been so great, Dr. Salk might have – as he almost had – given up on his virus research. Without the conviction of his beliefs, he wouldn’t have dared to use himself and his family as guinea pigs for his vaccine.

Urgency and conviction drive successful people.  If I were to ask you to name the greatest conviction you have about your life or your work, what would it be? Do you have a unifying guiding principle?

If so, will you act on it with a sense of urgency? Will you put all of your energies into seeing your conviction come to life?

These are two simple and yet sometimes confounding questions we should all answer. I urge you keep these questions in mind today. For most of us, the answers may be far from clear. But simply raising the questions to your consciousness will cause your mind to begin the process of forming answers. Conviction. Urgency. Think about these today.

Jonas Salk was merely human. What can your mind create that might change your world?

This entry was posted in 1. The Power of Who You Are, 3. The Power of Capacity and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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