Dictionary.com offers two pertinent definitions for inertia. They are:
- Inertness, especially with regard to effort, motion, action, and the like; inactivity; sluggishness.
- The property of matter by which it retains its state of rest or its velocity along a straight line so long as it is not acted upon by an external force (from Physics).
The first definition highlights the primary connotation we typically apply to the term. When it comes to life and business, inertia (the lack of effort or activity) is a negative thing. If we also include the definition that comes from the study of physics, inertia is both a positive and negative force. It can either help keep us going or help keep us stuck in place. Being aware of the former definition of inertia helps overcome the latter definition, and that’s what I’ll focus on today.
Take a look at that second definition once again. If you’re in motion, you tend to stay in motion. If you’re at rest, you tend to stay at rest. What causes a change in state? This happens when you introduce an external force. However, we’re not talking about physics. We’re discussing people. Does this rule still apply? It most definitely does apply. Then what is this external force that can get us going when we’re stopped, speed us up when we’re moving, or bring us to a crashing halt? It’s our mind.
The Power of the Mind
Have you ever felt like you’re on top of the world? It’s that feeling that comes when everything is firing on all cylinders, and you know things are going your way? Then, a problem arises, and one of two things happens.
In one scenario, you power through the problem, changing and adapting to the new circumstances. You deal with the problem and move forward with renewed vigor, assured and confident.
In the other scenario, the problem hits you like the proverbial ton of bricks. You can’t think straight. It feels like the whole world is crashing down around your ears and nothing you do seems to make a difference. The problem stops you in your tracks, and you can’t figure out how to make things right.
Although presented hypothetically, those are real situations. I know because I’ve experienced both.
What determined whether the first or second scenario applied? It was the power of my mind. In the first case, I approached the problem with confidence. No matter what happened, I never wavered in my determination to see the problem to its finish and continue enjoying the success I worked so hard to attain. In the second instance, instead of feeling confident, something about the situation caused me to doubt myself, and that led to the slow unraveling of everything around me.
Our minds are incredible instruments. As such, they require constant, meticulous care. What we feed our mind determines how it responds in any given situation. Thus, if we want to experience more of the first scenario mentioned above, we need to let our minds feast on a constant diet of upbuilding thoughts. Those come from the printed page (whether literal or digital) and the spoken word. Ultimately, it comes down to those whom we choose as associates. Whether we hang out with them after work, invite them over to our homes for a meal, or invite them into our lives by reading their thoughts, watching them in some sort of presentation, or entertaining their ideas in our conversations, those with whom we associate have a powerful influence on our minds.
Since our mind is the “external force” that is the key to controlling inertia, especially the kind that tends to keep us stagnated (at status quo) or bogs us down through inactivity, how can we protect and master this amazing and unique faculty?
Safeguard Your Mind
Let’s recap what we have so far:
- Inertia is a real part of our lives, and can work for us or against us.
- To overcome inertia, you need an external force.
- That external force is our mind.
- The way our mind works in a given situation depends on the things we feed it. A big source of our “feeding” comes from our associates.
- We associate with others by the things we read (whether online or in print, including chat conversations) and the things we hear (whether in a live or online audio interchange, other audio commentary, or the things we watch).
Therefore, if we want to control inertia, we need to guard our associations. Here are some questions that may help you think about ways in which you associate:
- What shows do you watch on TV or the Internet? What movies do you enjoy? What performances do you attend? Are the characters portrayed therein people with whom you would choose as associates in your life?
- What are the lyrics of the songs to which you listen? Is their message consistent with your goals in life?
- What kind of jokes do you tell, and what things make you laugh? Are they things you feel comfortable repeating?
- What stories do you read, and are the people portrayed in them (if they are works of fiction) those with whom you would normally spend time?
- While keeping abreast of current events, do you find yourself immersed in constant negative news, or do you gravitate more towards articles that uplift?
- With whom do we spend time outside of work? What things do we do together? Are those activities in keeping with my purpose in life?
You may find these questions and their answers lead to more questions. That’s a good thing. Pursue the line of questioning this discussion sparks, and let it lead you to a better understanding of the things you do and the reasons behind doing them. Ultimately, it will shed light on the various ways in which you associate with others, and may lead to you making better choices regarding your associations. Those choices will help guide your thinking into more positive directions, and ultimately will give you that external force needed to overcome inertia. Doing so will help get you moving if you’ve stopped, can help keep you in motion, and ultimately help you speed up to reach even higher levels of accomplishment.
Inertia is a part of our lives, and not just as it relates to the physical laws. When it comes to our roles as leaders, it’s important to understand inertia and to take control of that external force which overcomes it, our minds. If we carefully guard what we feed our minds (our associations), we’ll be more in control of how we handle the situations life throws at us. So let’s make a point of putting our minds on a diet of positive things.
How do you handle inertia? What do you find effective in guarding your associations to help you unleash the power of your mind? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
- Inertia: The Most Powerful Force (silverzebras.com)
- Inertia (earthwhims.wordpress.com)
- Inertia, Friend or Foe? (hellodayblog.com)
- Over Come Your Own Inertia (beautifulsummermorning.com)
- Quantum Theory of Consciousness | “Quantum Key” Teaches People How to… (prweb.com)
- The Power of Inertia (amymillsguest.wordpress.com)