Newton’s first law of motion – sometimes referred to as the law of inertia states that an object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. This, of course, applies to actual physical things and phenomenons like throwing a ball, riding a bike, gravity, etc. but it also very much so applies to our mind state and how we move through life. In my last post, I talked about taking care of your sh*t, or essentially developing habits that will allow you to better tune in to your highest most powerful self. Just like how gravity affects the trajectory of a baseball flying through the air, our thoughts, actions, reactions, choices, etc. affect our trajectory in life. We’re in a constant state of learning, adapting and growing – it’s a pretty beautiful thing.
The difference between our relationship with the law of motion vs. nature’s? We can’t really choose to not be in motion, but we can choose what that motion looks like. As far as nature goes, things sort of just are the way they are (to a certain extent). Gravity doesn’t give you a choice – aside from creating the illusion there is no gravity (e.g., gravitron aka the best ride at any fair) or if you just so happen to be in space (#goals). Take into consideration nature’s most basic example of how Newton’s Law works – picture someone holding a ball out in front of them and letting go – the ball will most certainly fall to the ground; the unbalanced force (aka the ground) has stopped the ball from moving forward. Now, let’s take a second and envision yourself as this ball – you can’t really choose to not be in motion, aside from death, we are always moving forward – time is always moving forward. As a conscious being, you can choose what this movement looks like – you can break through the metaphorical ground (i.e., any given obstacle in your life) or course-correct and head in another direction. You can choose to be in a constant state of learning, growth and change.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to just be (or at least to try and just be), that can be a very beautiful thing – but don’t forget about the ‘unbalanced force’ I mentioned above. In the case of the ball, the unbalanced force is the ground – in our case? It could be anything – a breakup, loss, gain, good change or bad. Again, these things don’t stop you (though sometimes we feel stuck), time is always moving on; we are always almost forced to be in motion, metaphorically bumping into things, learning, picking up the pieces and moving forward. Unlike the baseball, this is not a linear path we are on, but rather one with many twists and turns. Life can get messy, especially considering the world we live in – things are moving so fast, it’s hard to keep up.
You might feel helpless sometimes, like time is just moving on without you, but recognize that you have the ultimate say in what happens in your life. You have the capability to do anything you want, and you should; take the dance class you’ve been wanting to try, apply for the job that seems like a bit of a stretch, start your own business, move to a new city, enroll in a class about something you’re interested in. Don’t be afraid to live the life you’ve imagined. It’s not only about what happens to you, it’s about the force that you are as an individual and your affect on the world around you. We can’t really choose to not be in motion, but we can choose what that motion looks like – your journey begins and ends with you. Stay in a continuous state of learning and appreciating where you’ve been, where you’re going and everything in-between. Know that this moment right now is just another opportunity for you to make a positive impact on the world around you.
You are the decision maker, the mover and the creator. The world is yours – reach out and take it.
Katie Weed is an anthropologist and philosopher at heart. A freelance writer, brand manager, and social media strategist by day. She’s usually one of three places: outside (most likely with her 9-month-old puppy, Finn), taking photos of said puppy, or at the gym. She resides in South Minneapolis.