Ever pushed a car on a flat road when it’s been at rest? The initial push requires a lot of effort but once you’ve got the car moving, it becomes easier. Quite often it’s the same when taking action with something new or different.
Recently, while away at a speaking event, I forgot to bring reading material and spent Saturday evening in my hotel room. Being a bit bored I felt like “spacing out” instead of exercising or working. So, I turned on the TV to watch something unmemorable and before I knew it, it was much later than I had planned when I looked at the clock. More than that, it seemed to require so much effort to get off the couch since I’d been sitting there too long.
It reminded me how hard it can be to “get moving again” once we’ve been at rest. As the law of inertia in physics states, “An object at rest remains at rest until another force sets it in motion.”
That thought sparked an investigation within my mind about the types of things that keep us at rest, such as:
- Lack of willpower or energy to make change
- Fear of changing our routine
- Old habits and maintaining the familiar
- Anxiety or fear in moving towards the unknown
- Autosuggestion – the thoughts and images we tell ourselves like running an internal ticker tape of why we cannot versus how we can.
Whether it’s homework, household chores, exercising, or organizing papers to pay bills, the first step is often the most difficult in getting started. Once started, it seems so simple, doesn’t it?
I now laugh at the many times I used to get stuck avoiding what I wanted to get done and yet spent more time of “thinking about it.” How much time do you spend “thinking” about what needs to happen versus just getting started? Tune in for next week’s blog on overcoming inertia.