Newton’s First Law and You
The first Physics topic Mr Obinna taught when he came into my class as an SS2 student was Newton’s law of motion. I paid keen attention to him not just because I was a science student but because of the way, he taught them diagrammatically. Of the three laws, the one that remained imprinted in my mind was the first law – the Law of Inertia. This law states that at an inertial frame, an object will remain in a state of rest or continue to move at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force. In other words, objects remain the way they are until they are moved by something or someone. Such a pragmatic law! I memorized the law as I did to the definition of photosynthesis. Well, it was my first time of meeting the word inertia; that may have been the reason it registered easily into my long-term memory. Over the years, I have come to realize that Newton’s first law of inertia goes beyond classical mechanics.
This law is so powerful and at work in our daily lives, whether we acknowledge it or not. When we kick a football, it heads to the direction of our kick until it is acted upon by an external force greater than the inertial frame. That is just how it is with our lives. Like football, our life is moving along a path that is taking us to our future and it will continue in that direction until acted upon by a force. It is not about what we wish, jumping up and down and shouting I receive it. Our intentions are nothing as compared to the force of our actions. This is a law, it is objective, and it is universal.
We have all made our 2019 New Year resolutions (they are mere intentions), but nothing may change if a corresponding action (force) does not act on them. Your 2018 will be just the same (or even worse) as 2019 if force is not applied in the right direction. No force, no change!
It’s simple. If you are not where you want to be, apply force and change your direction. It is not surprising that Einstein describes insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. New actions will produce new results. Every action has a corresponding reaction or consequence. Paul warns us that we reap what we sow (Gal 6:7-9). Ralph Waldo Emerson later wrote that Law of Cause and Effect is the “law of laws”. Newton eventually stated it as his third law of motion that “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction“. This implies that for every thought, word and deed that we set in motion, will eventually come back to us whether desired or not.
There is no short cut to greatness.
There is no short cut to true wealth
There is no short cut to getting that desired body shape.
They all call out for action, action, action – hard work.
My favourite nursery rhyme far back in Giant Step School states: Good, Better, Best, I shall never rest…until my Good is Better and my Better Best.
Work hard! It has been said that hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard. A onetime classmate of Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos told Wired that once Bezos says that he will be the high school valedictorian, “everyone would just know that they were working for second place.” The early days at Amazon were characterized by working 12-hour days, seven days a week, and being up until 3 a.m. to get books shipped. Today he is the world’s richest man. Famous Christiano Ronaldo trains four hours daily for five days in a week. Real success has no short cut.
If we work harder than we did in 2018, then we will do better in 2019.
If we make sacrifices now, then we are investing in our future.
If we improve our relationships, then we feel better.
If we improve our leadership, people will follow us.
If we seek, then we find.
If we read the right things and meet the right people, then we enrich our mind with positive values.
We cannot eat our cake and still have it. We shall not keep telling ourselves it is well when we are actually heading the wrong path. We have to consider our path, acknowledge that we have drifted and made amends immediately. We all have directions that need to be changed.
We must understand what worked for us in 2018 and what did not.
You may ask yourself the following:
- What habits held back our success?
- Who or what drained most of our time and attention?
- Am I relaxing too much or am I working around a vicious circle without achieving anything?
- Do I eat a lot, sleep a lot and play a lot?
- Am I taking care of myself through exercise and good healthy feeding?
- Am I living within my means or above it?
- How much do I want to make in 2019 and how do I legally go about it?
- What weakness do I need to work on?
- What addiction do I need to quit?
- How can I improve my efforts in academics?
- How can I improve and increase my productivity in my workplace?
- What type of relationship do I need to build for myself?
- Who and who should be and should not be in my friendship circle?
- Where do I need to grow?
- What are the kind of books I need to read?
- What mistakes affected my business, my academics and my spiritual life?
After all these considerations, then we must decide to take a step in the right path because the journey of a hundred mile begins with a step. This decision might make us uncomfortable for a while but it will yield greater good tomorrow. If you can get a coach, a mentor, a spiritual director, an accountability partner who will push you harder, please do.
Remember, your focus has to be on the required action and not on the end result.
I pray for everyone that we might understand the law of inertia and apply the right actions towards achieving our dearest dreams this year.
God’s grace is already sufficient for us.