Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.

Internal Inertia

Posted at — Mar 6, 2020

I have observed, especially as of late, that most concepts in physics draw strong parallels to human behavioural patterns. This will be the first of many posts that explore those connections.

Inertia, as described in physics is the tendency for objects to resist change; that is to stay at rest, or at a constant velocity, unless some external force is applied.

In an effort to optimize how I spend my time, I did a self assessment. Here, I came to the realization that inaction is a characteristic of mine that I’d like to mitigate. Inaction ties closely with this idea of an inertial force that resides within. Times when I decide I want to do something, are often left just there – at the thinking phase. I possess and operate under my own inertial force, and it’s at the root of some bad habits. Time wastage, not being able to get out of bed, and dozing off into hazes are few of the many forms of this inaction. The friction, or inertia, seems to prevent me from acting.

Sticking to the physics connection, to overcome this force then, it’d be important to generate or channel some external force into the system greater than the perceived internal inertia, such that we can overcome this barrier. I’ve identified critical thinking as the path to generating this external force.

By rationally thinking about the task at hand, or the goal you want to achieve, you develop concrete supporting reasons as to why it is beneficial to complete. By explicitly going through this exercise you position your mind, and as an extension, yourself to complete the task. Most people operate under the assumption they’re rational. Most people also act on what they deem rational. What I propose most people miss out on doing is actively thinking about why they should do what they intend on doing. The action follows naturally.

I propose that perhaps the barrier to entry of all positive things is mental fortitude and critical thinking, and the gatekeeper is inertia.

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