a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged.
“the bureaucratic inertia of government”
a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.
Thank God for Google. You can find just about anything you need plus a whole lot that you don’t. I wasn’t feeling particularly energetic today and the list of things that I need/want to get done was paralyzingly daunting. Such a feeling tends to lead to complete inaction.
Today, though, I decided I’m going to do one very simple thing. One of the projects that I wanted to get done was getting rid of the bed in the downstairs guest room and moving one of the couches in there to make it a sitting/reading room. I figured if I strip the bedding and even leave it on the floor it will motivate me eventually to finish the job as the sheets and comforter collecting dust will drive me nuts. Well, it worked.
The funny thing was that it worked faster than I imagined. No sooner had the bedding hit the floor than I gathered it up and took it down to put in the washer. By the time I made it back up from the basement I was feeling my energy increasing and my capacity for achievement growing in direct relation to it. So, I grabbed the mattress, flipped it up and headed for the alley. The box spring went right after it and then I vacuumed under where the bed had been, grabbed the sofa I wanted to move from the living room and man-handled it into the guest-room-turned-sitting-room.
And there it was. All done. Well, actually not. I vacuumed under where that couch had been, rearranged the living room furniture, went to my upstairs office in the church and dusted, vacuumed, wrote a little, meditated, made some phone calls that I’d been putting off and then sat down to write this.
Now, if you’re feeling jealous right about now – it’s ok. There’s a support group for that. Just kidding. I’m actually not writing all this to brag, but rather to share my realization: as I was getting things done, the word inertia came to mind.
I was thinking how inertia is the continuous motion of an object until an opposing force acts upon to make it slow down, stop, or change direction. Interestingly, it wasn’t until I searched the definition on good ‘ol Google that the “other” definition caught my eye: “a tendency to do nothing or remain unchanged.”
Eureka! While I was caught up in the great awareness that merely by doing one very simple thing, I could build momentum to complete much more, I failed to be cognizant of another truth: doing nothing is also inertia! That is, unless I take action, everything will remain unchanged and my to-do list will only grow while tasks become more and more daunting.
So, one moral of this story is as our friend Phil Knight (or more accurately his marketers at Nike) encourages us: Just Do It! If you have a list of things to do that would put the U.S. Tax Code to shame, it’s ok! Just pick one very simple thing and do it. By taking action, you will not only stop the inertia of stagnation, but will set into motion something much more worthwhile and fulfilling – most likely for you and those around.
This basic principle can be applied to just about any facet of life. From cleaning your house to changing your neighborhood or even the world, all you have to do is start and the laws of physics, the universe, and the Creator of all that is will make the path before you unfold.
Blessings on the Journey,