Overcoming Inertia In Your Work


We’re all ruled by inertia.

I was a mechanical engineer in my past life.  It was drilled into my head that the laws of physics are governed by Newton’s laws of motion.  The first law according to Wikipedia states:

Every body remains in a state of constant velocity unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force.This means that in the absence of a non-zero net force, the center of mass of a body either remains at rest, or moves at a constant velocity.

It is the concept and law of inertia.  Forces acting on a body cause that body to change its state of motion or rest.

This same law acts on us.  Forces such as habits, friendships, thoughts and books motivate us towards movement.  Lacking such forces makes movement difficult.  We can become stuck.

Ironically, it is easier to build something today than ever before.  Automation, systems, order, networks and infrastructure which has been built over the ages has created immense opportunity for those that are in motion.  For those at rest, such opportunity is irrelevant.  It can never be taken advantage of without forces sought out or acting upon them.

Being aware that we need inertia to move us is critical to building something.  Function follows form.  You may need to change something to drive inertia into your actions, motivations and behaviors.  Consider your environment.  Are you in a place which motivates or subdues you?

What about your friends both live and virtual.  Do they propel you to greater things?  Are you reading books which help to shape and broaden your thinking?  The forces that act on you account for your propensity for movement and action.  If you give no thought to what is acting on you then you miss a key aspect of motivation. We are all emotional and forces acting on us are powerful.

Here’s the secret I have discovered: use inertia to help you move to action. Whatever helps you emotionally to increase motivation is fuel. Tap into it and allow it to create momentum for productivity on projects or starting something new. We all need to be inspired. Inertia works both ways. If you are at rest, it can keep you there. If you are in motion, it can accelerate you.

Overcoming Inertia

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

One thought on “Overcoming Inertia In Your Work

  1. One of my biggest ah ha moments in life was realizing that your own thoughts and beliefs are forces. Self esteem is powerful. “If you think you can you can. If you think you can’t, you won’t. Either way you’re right!”-Henry Ford

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