Why do some people achieve more than others? How come they’re on point with their lives and routines? What is the secret to getting things done? Read this article to find out what it is.
Why Can’t I Get Things Done?
Have you ever found yourself stuck in overthinking, procrastination or not knowing what to do in the first place? Have you tried to be productive and get over with the things you know you need to do?
You probably have but you still wonder, why haven’t I made progress or why does it take me so long to start going?
The secret reason for your progress is bound to the realm of physics. That’s right, your personal development is also dependent of Newton’s First Law. Here it is:
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion at constant velocity unless acted upon by an opposing force.
- This law is used to depict inertia between physical objects moving around in a space-time continuum. One of those objects is YOU.
- This law depicts the idea that momentum pushes certain objects into motion or sends them into another direction.
And the same principle can be found in the example of nations, cultural ideas, and your brain’s neurons.
How Your Free Will May Not Be So Free At All
The things you do every day are influenced by other bodies and forces in your space-time continuum. We’re more like billiard balls bouncing around on the table.
- Some of the bodies have greater force, thus they influence the presence of other bodies.
- Coming into contact with these bodies will make you either get into motion in a random direction, deviate you from where you were heading or make you push off the opposing force.
Whether or not any real displacement occurs depends upon one of the body’s own force relative to that of the other body.
What determines the strength of a body’s direction?
- In physical objects, it’s determined by the mass and speed of the object i.e. E = mc2
- Newton’s Second Law – The vector sum of the forces F of an object is equal to the mass m of that object multiplied by the acceleration a of the object: F = ma
- In conscious beings and ideas, it’s determined by the concept of ‘will’
Friedrich Nietzsche in his book Will to Power believed that the main driving forces of human behaviors is the will to power – to achieve and strive for a higher position in life.
- ‘Weak will’ suggests a deviation from the projectile’s trajectory due to lack of gravity
- ‘Strong will’ characterizes those occasions when: “the multitude of impulses are given precise and clear direction, possibly coordinated under a single impulse.”
For Nietzsche, to be strong is to acquire “the orientation of a straight line as against wavelike vacillation (Nietzsche 1994: 270).
This is Newton’s Third Law: “When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.”
That’s some quantum shit…
Where Can You Find Your Free Will
It means you as a human being are constantly influenced by external objects, your own internal mental states, other people, widespread beliefs, and ideas.
Nevertheless, you can still stay uninfluenced by these things and maintain the direction you were heading towards.
Viktor Frankl is probably the best example for such willpower.
- He was imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps for 3 years but still survived and didn’t go insane.
- He survived because his personal sense of meaning was stronger than the wills of opposing forces.
Whether or not you can maintain your free will depends on how aware you are of the influences that are pushing you around and how much willpower you have.
The Secret to Getting Things Done
We can see that Newton’s First Law applies to the mental development of humans and it applies to being more productive as well.
The secret to getting things done is using inertia and leveraging momentum.
Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.
We’ve all felt it.
Momentum is the culmination of certain events progressively developing towards something.
- It’s a compounding effect that starts to bring more results the longer you use it.
- It’s a chain reaction of events that keeps growing and growing until it reaches nuclear explosion.
- It’s a domino-effect – one thing leading to another and another until you have something extraordinary.
You’re always in motion and being influenced by momentum.
- You’re either going towards improving, growing and winning or…
- You’re stagnant, degrading, slipping into a downward spiral and losing
How Momentum Works
Initial momentum gets set off by some form of action – something that puts you into motion.
- Reactive momentum is you getting triggered by external cues
- Proactive momentum is you initiating movement yourself
Momentum applies to your overall success in life as well as to doing a particular task or activity.
Have you ever become completely immersed by something? Suddenly, everything just seems to fall into place and you start seeing things more clearly.
This sudden burst of motivation and insight happens because you got some initial results.
- The positive feedback tells your brain that it’s good and you should keep doing it. Like you see your body changing when lifting weights. Thus you begin to repeat your actions.
- The negative feedback can work the same way. You eat refined carbohydrates that stimulate the primal parts of your brain and your mind will try to motivate you to consume more of them. It’s negative momentum.
But there’s a way to leverage momentum even without this initial feedback loop.
How to Leverage Momentum
We can deliberately make ourselves progressively keep on making the same actions by simply taking the first step and initiating motion.
The worst thing we could do is stay motionless. If we’re simply standing there, waiting for the cosmos to drag us in one direction or the other, then we’ll be dragged to pieces.
- First, you have to come to terms with what your desired outcome is. If you don’t know where you’re heading, then you won’t be able to recognize what actions are giving you exactly the feedback, you’re searching for.
- Secondly, you have to initiate motion yourself. Zig Ziglar has a quote: “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” It means showing up and taking action.
- Thirdly, you have to stay in motion – keep taking action. Of course, you’d want to course-correct yourself to make sure you’re heading in the right direction. But the general idea is that the longer you stay in motion, the easier it gets.
The Law of Compounding Effect
This is the law of compounding effect: the more you do something the more momentum you’ll gain.
Look at a space shuttle shooting off into space
- The space shuttle uses half its fuel just to get off the ground
- The space shuttle uses over 90% of its fuel to get one foot into the air
- The space shuttle uses less and less fuel as it climbs higher
- The space shuttle uses almost no fuel at all once it reaches the orbit of the Earth
Einstein called it the 8th wonder of the world and considered it as a universal principle.
- Like attracts more like
- Money makes more money
- Addiction creates more addiction
- Procrastination leads to more procrastination
So it is with you wanting to be productive.
- Even before you sit down and start doing something, you experience immense resistance. It’s as if something’s dragging you down to the ground. You’re like bootstrapped.
- But once you overcome this initial barrier, you’ll gain momentum and hit the Zone. Then your voice of hesitation and procrastination will be silenced and you’ll move through space and time as if on a magic carpet ride
There’s Really No Secret
If you really look at it, then it’s the truth. Although a massive cliche, the Nike slogan is right – Just Do It.
- To get the results you desire, you have to do the work.
- To get into motion, you have to initiate movement.
- To get momentum on your side, you have to keep at it.
- To not get misled by opposing forces, you have to maintain the strength of your will.
And where does it all start? — It starts with the morning.
- The way you wake up determines how you’re going to feel the coming day.
- What you do first thing after waking up will already make the pendulum swing towards one direction or the other.
So, to not become reactive to random events and hoping that everything will turn out fine, you’d want to have a fully optimized morning routine in place that pushes you in the right direction.
I’ve used these principles discussed here to really improve my productivity and effectiveness. Because of that, I have freedom in my schedule, freedom in peace of mind and freedom in my actions.
If you want to avoid the long and difficult process of learning these tactics yourself, then I highly encourage you to check out my Morning Routine Course!