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One of the coolest stories is way back when Galileo was sitting in church.


And while he was bored, he looked up at all the chandeliers swinging.

And he noticed that they had different periods.

Some were swinging back and forth pretty quickly.

Some were swinging back and forth pretty slowly.

So Galileo, being the young scientist that he was, wanted data.

Problem was this mind experiment was WAY before they invented clocks.

The first clocks were based on pendulums.

But that was only after Galileo had figured out how to measure the periods of pendulums upon which clocks were based.

So, what did Galileo use to come up with a measuring system?

His own heartbeat.

Siting in church bored creates a pretty consistent heartbeat.

Simple pendulums, once they figured out how they worked, can be used for a lot of things.

Clocks, obviously.

To see the rotation of the Earth.

Even for wicked torture chambers, like in one of Edgar Allen Poe's stories.

The Pit and the Pendulum.

The slow, methodic, relentless swinging of the pendulum serves for a perfect metaphor in plenty of areas.

A natural flow, back and forth.

On a much deeper level, the mathematics (trigonometry) that describe the naturally swinging back and forth of the pendulum describe pretty much everything.

The tides coming in an receding.

Sunrise, sunset, our biological clocks.

Stocks going up, and then down, and then up, and down.

It's very easy to get caught up in this natural flow.

To "go" with the flow.

We are, after all, pack animals.

Hierarchical pack animals.

It's very, very difficult to think separately from the hive mind.

To decide what you want, and to go after it, whether or not the hive mind approves of it.

But if you want to get something different than what exists smack dab in the middle of the hive mind, you must.

Empire builders, conquerors, inventors, writers and poets didn't copy and paste ideas like most of us.

They thought outside the box.

They lived outside the box.

But if you can manage to do that, a funny thing happens.

At first, it can be TERRIFYING to lose the safety of the back.

To leave the safety of the flock where the rules are simple.

And there's ZERO guarantees that if you DO leave the flock, or the herd, or the school, you'll be successful.

But if you DO manage to think for yourself, and you DO manage to do so confidently and successfully, EVERYBODY will follow you.

And being in FRONT of the pack has much, much greater rewards that being smack dab in the middle.

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