19 November 2017

Inertia Is Part Of The Problem

I was just reading a great article by Julien over at In Over Your Head about how Information Is Not The Problem. As I started to type a comment, I realized I had more to say than was appropriate for a comment.

Be sure to read Julien’s article, but for the purpose of continuing a branch of the conversation here, I’ll briefly summarize:

  • Information isn’t the problem
  • We have more than enough info to follow our dreams
  • Yet we often don’t follow through

Julien says the reasons are either:

  1. Everything’s there, you just need to do it; OR
  2. Part of the equation is missing. It’s about more than the information. Some of the steps are missing… There is a big X in the equation, an unknown– maybe several of them– and they are stopping you, me, and everyone.

That’s where I’d like to continue.

My vote is with the Second Option, with the X being an unrecognised factor, rather than an unknown. I believe we don’t account enough for the Second Law of Thermodynamics – any object at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts upon it.

In this analogy, before we go for our dreams we’re in a state of inertia. Actually getting up off our butt and going for our dream requires energy, probably a lot more than we figured.

Think about how much energy a rocket uses up in the initial stage to get up off the ground. Apparently it took 34 million Meganewtons to get the Saturn V rocket from the surface of the Earth to 61 km and a combined 5.4 million Meganewtons to get the Moon Lander the rest of the way to the moon (about 384,342 km).source

Just imagine that for a second. Almost SEVEN times the amount of force was used to get started as was used to complete the rest of the task. To put it in other terms (and I’m not sure whether this is technically correct, but go with me), 86% of the energy was used for the first 0.015% of the task.

Remember that next time you start to beat yourself up for not following your dreams. 86% of the job is just getting started.

Knowing how much energy you need to get started, why would you start something big when you’re tired or feeling down? Gather yourself, take a deep breath, and start. Let the rest of the journey take care of itself.

Hopefully that made some sort of sense. Again, make sure you read Information Is Not The Problem and let me know if you think I’m on the right track or totally barking up the wrong tree.

Comments

  1. “86% of the job is just getting started”

    You have yourself, in the above statement, two things:

    1. A kick-ass t-shirt slogan
    2. A very true statement (give or take a couple percentage points, depending upon the individual) on what keeps people from achieving the things they really want to achieve.

    Mike, I would say that inertia, and the struggle daily to overcome ‘being at rest’, is exactly the problem writers face. The best we can hope for is to recognize, and stock up on, the ‘fuel’ required to overcome our personal inertia.

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