I challenge you to a duel…
If that’s what it takes to finally unleash the Big Idea that’s buried inside you.
That’s what it took for Évariste Galois.
Galois was born in France in 1811. During his teens he showed extraordinary brilliance as a mathematician, particularly in algebra. For years he struggled obsessively with a set of algebraic equations.
Then at age 20, he fell in love with a young woman who unfortunately was the fiancée of an artillery officer. When the officer found out about his affections, he challenged Galois to a duel.
Being mightier with his No. 2 pencil (they had those then, right?) than with a pistol, Galois felt certain he’d be killed.
The night before the fateful duel, Galois wrote a summary of all his thoughts on algebraic equations. He poured out ideas, some that he had struggled with for years and many new ones that occurred to him in the hours leading up to the duel.
He wrote with great vigor, nonstop all throughout the night until the final minute before reaching for his dueling weapon. read more »