Not just for Dads

Intentional Influence – Thoughts for Leaders and Fathers…and anyone who knows some!

Isaac Newton and You – Part 2: Friction, Momentum and the Rest

In my last post, I talked about how the law of inertia can help to explain our tendency towards procrastination.
The first step towards success is “getting started”. Now, admittedly, that is a very simple approach. Because it makes things sound a lot easier than they are. So consider with me these three ideas to help us move on once we’ve started: Friction, Momentum and the Rest.

For the sake of simplicity I said we would forget about gravity and friction (after all, that is usually what physics teacher do to explain why the results of an experiment don’t match our experience in “real life”). But we all know that real life doesn’t work without friction.

And that’s all there is to it! Realizing that there will always be friction is the key to success. Things will be harder than we expect, and take more energy than we calculated. Realizing this can help us with two things:
– Take measures to reduce the friction (e.g. plan ahead, communicate well, etc.)
– Not to be surprised, when things get tough.

Momentum is defined as the product of the mass and velocity of an object. That sounds very technical, but it’s quite simple actually: “Momentum describes the resistance to stop”. Now the last thing we want to do after we got started is to stop. And momentum says: the bigger the mass and the bigger the speed, the harder it is to stop an object.
In other words: the bigger and the faster something is, the harder it is to stop.
Don’t believe me? Consider this: try stopping a car at 100 kph then try stopping a truck at 100kph. Which one had more momentum?

How does that apply to us? Well, the best way I know how to increase the mass and the speed is to team up with an accountability partner or a group. That increases the mass (unless you partner with vacuum) and usually increases the speed by creating excitement, competition and accountability.
With a team of support behind us, we are less likely to quit when things get a little (or a lot) difficult.
The more people we are, moving in the same direction, the harder it is to stop us.

The Rest:
We humans are not “perpetual motion machines”…we can’t just keep going indefinitely. I know, Newton said we could…but remember friction?

So in order to stay functional, we need to rest.
If you don’t rest, you will crash.
You can’t blame Newton.
You certainly can’t blame me.
You can only blame yourself.
Take a rest and you will get a lot further.

In summary:
Reduce the effect of friction by planning ahead. Nothing can surprise you, if you are expecting it!
Increase momentum by building a team. Anyone can walk alone, when it’s easy. It’s when things get tough that we need support.
Take a rest to stay your best. You can’t keep going at full speed all the time.

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One thought on “Isaac Newton and You – Part 2: Friction, Momentum and the Rest

  1. Pingback: Isaac Newton and You – Part 2: Friction, Momentum and the Rest | Not just for Dads

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