Updated: Jan 29, 2019
How much of our life is governed by the laws of Nature and how much is governed by Nurture? The argument has yet to be settled even though it has raged for decades. Regardless of whether Nature or Nurture is the most dominant factor in our lives, there is one undeniable reality; there are laws which govern and predict our behaviors. One such Law of Nature is Newton's First Law of Motion which says:
An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
Newton's Law predicts how objects will behave based upon the state of energy applied to them. In a bizarre, yet intriguing way, Newtonian Physics applies all too perfectly to human life. Here is what I mean; people who seem mired in mediocrity tend to remain in mediocrity and people who are in hot pursuit of excellence tend to continue in that pursuit. Neither state of a person's growth and development can be altered unless there is an equal and opposite reaction that effectively redirects the energy being applied.
A Body At Rest
People who appear to be lethargic, and who lack the internal drive to achieve tend to remain "at rest". They continue in lethargy until and unless there is some force of equal or greater magnitude that impacts the person and redirects them toward achievement.
A Body in Motion
Equally true of the individual who is internally motivated and externally active in pursuit of achievement. The person who is driven tends to continue to pursue their purpose. The achiever can and will continue pursuit unless and until some substantive event or circumstance intervenes to disrupt their momentum.
The reality is that not one of us is immune to the challenges of personal entropy1. Just as true is the fact that none of us are so disempowered that we cannot be inspired to passionate pursuit of some worthwhile goal or dream. Personal Entropy means that you and I tend toward disorder in our thoughts and actions unless there is some force that continues to exert energy in the direction of order. Ice will melt unless it is in an environment of sufficiently cold energy to maintain the "Ice" state.
Overcoming Personal Inertia
How do you create a state of perpetual motion and overcome inertia? There is no simple answer to this question. In large part, the answer is determined by both your personal nature and the nurture you experienced in the past and the nurture you enjoy in the present. People who achieve tend to be characterized in one of the two following ways:
Some people require constant validation by some other person or group of people to continue to achieve. Others simply require the personal ambition to achieve beyond their personal accomplishment; meaning they constantly strive to achieve beyond their personal best by competing with themselves.
Which are you? Neither is preferable to the other, but they certainly require different tactics to become and remain effective.
1Entropy: a principle of thermodynamics which states that energy in a closed system will eventually be unavailable to do meaningful work.