“No,” he said.
I asked my first question. I was interviewing super physicist Michio Kaku. He went to Harvard. And the guy who invented the hydrogen bomb wrote his letter of recommendation.
He’s never had another career. It’s always been physics.
So I asked him, “Have you ever been discouraged or dissuaded or felt like diving into any other career?”
“Uhhh, no. It all happened when I was 8 years old. And that gave me a focus for the rest of my life.”
It started to sound like a fairytale. Who finds their direction at 8 years old?
And who finds it at all? I feel some people spend their whole lives wondering which way to walk. Focus is hard to gain when you don’t have a path to pursue.
He told me how it happened for him at this young age.
“Everyone was talking about the fact that a great scientist had just died. And I’ll never forget the picture they flashed on the evening news. It was a picture of his desk. And the caption simply said, ‘This is the unfinished manuscript from the greatest scientist of our time.’”
I think there’s a lot tounpack here.
1. Be impressionable
This is a given when you’re young. But it’s also possible at any age. It just depends what happening in your life. And how your mind is adapting.
I try to see the world through the eyes of an alien. I just landed. I don’t know anything about this planet. What are the small people so much happier than the tall people? Why is everyone standing upright? Where are they going? What is their mission?
Questions come pouring out.
And that’s part of being impressionable. You have curiosities. And it’s possible to become a little more curious each day if you just play games in your mind and see where they take you. Then today will be different from tomorrow.
2. Have someone to look up to
The man who died was “the greatest.” No one questioned it. Michio saw that. And clinged on. Maybe he doesn’t look at that scientist as his inspiration today. But he did at one point. And that’s all anyone needs to get started.
Back to Michio’s story.
He saw the manuscript. He saw the caption that said it was “unfishished.”
So he said to himself, ‘Why couldn’t he finish it? What’s so hard? It’s a homework problem, right?’”
Remember… he was 8.
“Couldn’t he ask his mother? What’s so hard that a scientist could not finish it? I had to know.”
That’s number 3.
“I had to know,” he said. “I was obsessed with this question.” It consumed him. All the questions came at once. And he acted.
There are some instincts you can fight.
This is greater.
Michio felt some force. It was a mix of desire and curiosity. Add action and you have conviction.
But it’s hard. Because we forget to grow into ourselves as we grow up. We get routines. We stop trying new things. So we get stuck in the balance. Crying because the magnetic pull is still there in the background, drawing our bones to a deeper desire, showing us our own idea of what a “better life” could be. But it’s been so long.
So we don’t try.
The step before conviction is desire.
Take notice of what you want in life. You’ll be one step closer to actually doing it by just knowing it.
Michio went to the library. “I found out the man was Albert Einstein. And that unfinished manuscript was the theory of everything. He wanted an equation that would allow him to quote, ‘Read the mind of God.’”
“And I said to myself, ‘Woah! That’s for me. That’s what I want to work on.”
Michio’s spent the rest of his of his life trying to finish Einstein’s work.
And he thinks they’ve done it.
He went on to tell me about the theory.
He also wrote about it in his new book, the New York Times bestseller, “The Future of Humanity.”
What I love is that it’s filled with more questions than solutions. And when I told Michio this, he said, “When you look at it that way then you realize that every question has another answer, which begs more questions, but that’s good. Because that’s what science is all about.”
Michio talked to me about time travel, space travel and so much more.
I wish I could understand the theory of everything the way that his mind sees it.
But until then, I’ll just keep asking more questions.
Oh! And I’m also going to be uploading it to my new YouTube channel where I’m going to start sharing all the raw video footage from my podcasts. Coming soon! Make sure to subscribe now.
Links and Resources
- Michio’s books:
- Albert Einstein
- theory of everything
- string theory
- “the theory of everything” (oscar nominated film)
- quantum theory
- interstellar travel
- Alice in wonderland (movie)
- Stephen Hawking
- Shakespeare “The World is a Stage”
- Isaac Newton
- Einstein Rosen Bridge
- “Interstellar” movie
- Singularity (theory)
- The Quantum Principle
- The Uncertainty Principle
- The 5th Dimension
- Quantum Entanglement
- The Matrix (movie)
- The Nation Science Fair
- Star Trek
- Harry Potter (movie)