Inertia – the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion.
We are inertial beings.
Two weeks ago, I started eating my primal diet again. I started eating healthier foods back in March, but since May, I’ve been pretty inconsistent. After finishing all my traveling with vacations, summer camp, and conferences, I decided to get back on the wagon again.
When I started eating better food, I was amazed at how used to eating junk I had become. So it was much harder to start back up than I had realized. Bringing about a change in my life too much more effort than I had envisioned. I was facing my own inertia – my stagnancy had accumulated inertia. Spoken another way, I was in a rut. Starting up was much harder than maintaining my progress.
But once I had started, I noticed something else. Even after just two days of healthy eating, I wanted to start going to the gym again. I began lifting weights multiple times in the week and I started walking each day.
I was experiencing the opposite effect of inertia. The more positive motion I made, the more easily I was able to stay in that direction. This isn’t to say that choosing to be healthy became easy, but one successful choice gave me the confidence to make more decisions the same way. Success bred success.
This has led me to believe that nothing in life is neutral. I’ll say that again.
Nothing in life is neutral.
Because of inertia, we’re either moving toward our vision for our life or away from it. Each time we choose inaction, the right choice becomes that much harder, while each time we choose the right choice, we get that much closer to accomplishing our goals.
Consider this. I haven’t written a blog post (excluding my weekly podcast episodes) in two weeks. As my Dmin program has kicked into full gear, I’ve been scrambling to get acclimated to the new workload. In reading about a book a week, I’ve spent what (little) free time I’ve had playing video games.
Each day, I’ve told myself that I’d write another post that evening, or the next morning. And every day that I didn’t write made it that much harder for me to sit down and actually write something. Each day moved me further away from accomplishing my goals in writing, even though I wasn’t actively choosing anything.
There’s a choice involved in every action and inaction. Each choice moves us in one of two directions. Let inertia work for you, not against you.
How have you been affected by your own inertia? When have you seen it help you out? What choice do you need to make today to get moving in the right direction?