Overcoming Inertia

Published on 12 June 2020 in Blog


Inertia: A body at rest tends to stay at rest. A body in motion tends to stay in motion.

I awoke today at o-dark-hundred to an achingly cold, rainy morning. I hit the snooze bar and curled back under my perfectly warm down comforter, and listened to the sound of the rain on my bedroom windows.

“I really should get up,” I kept thinking. Today was a gym day and that cheesecake I had last night with dinner wasn’t going work itself off. “But I don’t want to,” said the voice in my head that likes sleeping in on a cold rainy morning.

After a few self indulgent more minutes the voice in my head changed from Sleepy Jack to Carrie-Anne Moss’ character in The Matrix saying, “Get up, Trinity. Get UP!”

Well, ok, FINE. So I got up, made some coffee, and headed to the gym.

When I got to the gym I discovered that despite the steady cold drizzle, the pool was open (I’m in Northern Florida for the holidays, so the pool was outside).

And there, posted on both sides of the pool, were two lifeguards alert and on duty—wearing rain gear over their shoulders in a gallant effort to stave off the achingly cold rain.

That put my effort to overcome morning inertia in perspective. I just had to show up, do some laps, and leave. The lifeguards, on the other hand, had to wake up even earlier than I did, and then had to sit there under the rain for hours—all so I could show up for some convenient exercise.

At the end of my workout I felt great and was energized to seize the day, but I came “this close” to not going at all and sleeping half the day away.

So on the drive home I looked at other tasks I tend to put off because “I don’t want to.” Folding laundry. Filing my taxes. Cold calling to find jobs to fill.

And the funny thing is, once I start those tasks I normally dispatch them fairly quickly. My challenge is not doing, but starting.

What have you been putting off because the voice in your head says, “I don’t want to”?

The trick to overcoming inertia is simply starting.

A body in motion tends to stay in motion.

The rest will take care of itself!

Bonus Points:

If you remember your high school physics, Momentum = Mass x Velocity. So if you really don’t want to start (you have a lot of “mass” to get moving, mental or physical) but do it anyway, just think of all the momentum you’ll have to power through your To Do list and brush aside challenges throughout the day!

Food for thought.


Follow Jack Molisani on Twitter: @JackMolisani.

One Response to “Overcoming Inertia”

  1. Love this article, Jack! Yes, just starting is the hard part. Once you get rolling, it’s easy to continue. When I work with my students in the Financial Stress Reduction telecourse, they often have an initial resistance to doing the things that aren’t the “fun” part of their business. Like every workshop leader would love to just teach their workshops and not have to worry about enrolling the students. But the meat and potatoes of the workshop business is sales, and the gravy is being able to deliver the service. There’s the rub! Thanks for sharing this with us. Happy Holidays!

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