Are you moving or at rest?

Why is momentum so hard to get going, yet so easy to lose?

Wow. I took one day off from posting and it turned into three days! I had a goal to post every day this month and as of Day 11, I was 10 for 11. And that was only because I delayed publishing one post to switch from an evening time to a morning time. In other words, I wrote the post in the evening, but scheduled it to post the following morning.

But this past weekend, I just chose to skip Saturday because I was focused on getting our family room painted, which took all day (I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow). And then Sunday, we were out of town most of the day for a soccer day with my youngest son. The day started early at 5:00AM with a departure time of 5:30AM, and by the time we got home about eleven hours later, I felt behind on other tasks around the house and skipped posting again.

By Monday, yesterday, the momentum had clearly swung to the other side of NOT posting. My enthusiasm had diminished, which bled into depleting my motivation. My creativity was sapped. It was just easier now to skip it than it was to try to ramp up again and get going.

It brings to mind something we learned in high school physics, which is Newton’s First Law of Motion (Yes, I had to look it up*). It states:

“An object at rest tends to remain at rest, and an object in motion tends to remain in motion with a constant velocity (constant speed and direction of motion), unless it is acted on by a nonzero net force.”

Furthermore, “The tendency of an object to maintain its state of motion, to remain at rest or to keep moving at a constant velocity, is known as inertia.

This was certainly true of me. I had positive inertia at the beginning of the month when I started this experiment. But after one day off, my inertia slowed down and shifted in the other direction.

As I reflect on this, it’s not hard to find other examples of this same pattern throughout my life. Starting things with great enthusiasm and excitement, only to taper off and lose momentum altogether. I think the key phrase to this whole thing is “nonzero net force” which is the “sum of all forces acting on the object”. For example, friction is a force that can affect inertia.

I didn’t mean for this to turn into a physics lesson, but when I referenced Newton’s Law about motion, I got some inertia going on the subject and it has turned into an interesting parallel to some other things I’ve posted about previously and I want to explore it more.

So I’ll end with these questions:

  1. What positive inertia do you have or want right now? What negative inertia are you experiencing and/or battling?
  2. What are some “forces” in your life that are helping or hindering both the positive and negative motions?

For your advantage,

Brian

 

*reference: physics.bu.edu/~duffy/py105/Newton.html

 

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