inertia. momentum. focus. change.

March 1, 2008


Inertia: a property of matter by which it remains at rest or in uniform motion unless acted upon by some external force.

Momentum: the product of the mass and velocity of an object (thus, momentum increases with mass and/or velocity).

Focus: directed attention.

Change: I’ll leave the definition of change up to you.  Feel free to add your own link in the comments.

Inertia may be thought of as “a tendency to maintain momentum”.  An object with greater mass is more difficult to get moving (inertia), and more difficult to stop (momentum).  And once moving, as velocity increases, it is also more difficult to stop the object (momentum increases).

I started a new exercise routine a while ago using something called a kettlebell, pictured above.

The workouts involve swinging motions with heavy unbalanced weights (36 pound weights for me, initially).  I learned very quickly about inertia and momentum!  I really had to direct my attention – to focus on each movement, each change.

Focus and planning are required to master each new motion.  At first, I was afraid to try new exercises, to make mistakes, as some of the motions are complicated.

While the complicated motions require forethought and positioning (focus) prior to each lift (inertia), once the weight is moving, it is easy to keep it moving through the range of motion (momentum).  The movement cannot be stopped.  The change is inevitable.

I no longer fear attempting a new motion.  I just pick up the weight, and try it.  The absolute worst thing that can happen, is that I drop the weight – and jump out of the way!  I simply pick it up again, and move towards my goals, again and again.

Some of the things we might wish to accomplish in life, some of the changes, are quite “heavy” and complicated.  They possess a lot of inertia, in a manner of speaking.

Focus and planning are required to get things moving.  But, once things are moving, the momentum builds.  It cannot be stopped.  The change is inevitable.

Mistakes will be made along the way, but should not be feared.

Sometimes, like with the weights, the best thing to do is just start.  The worst thing that can happen is that we fail.

Drop the weight, so to speak, and be sure to jump out of the way as it falls.

And then – pick it up again.  Lift the weight.  Keep moving towards your goals, again and again.

If you need some inspiration, have a look here, or here, or maybe here.


2 Responses to “inertia. momentum. focus. change.”

  1. Francis Kopke Says:

    I love how you combined physics and life here. And you are so very right.
    As I was reading it I realized how right. My momentum is so hard to change because of the speed at which it is traveling. I need to reduce speed, therefor momentum to make change.
    That is a scarey thought! But again you are right, once moving in the new direction the momentum is hard to stop. Eight years ago I made massive change in direction and it has sustained its momentum ever since.

    Great article, keep buiding momentum!

  2. brettlegree Says:

    Francis – thanks for stopping by to say hello.

    You are very right, it can be hard to change directions – another idea might be to just pick up a second “weight”, so to speak.

    (If I continue the analogy to these weights I’m using, some of the exercises involve moving two weights independently – but in a complimentary way, a balanced way.)

    So I guess, that is what I’m doing with this writing, and my other business ideas. Rather than try to slow the momentum of what’s currently going on in my life, I’ve just added something else new to compliment what I was already doing.

    It may sound crazy, but by taking on more, I’ve had to plan more (obviously) – which seems to make everything work better… go figure.

    Thanks again for your words – and remember, keep on keepin’ on.

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