In my high school physics class I learned that an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Due to the same natural laws an object at rest will remain at rest until acted upon.
In addition to these two laws, I also learned that the force of friction is always acting upon objects, slowing them down unless an outside force continues to accelerate them.
Two weeks ago I spent my last 10 hour day in the office. That morning, before work, I had gone to the gym between 6AM and 7AM and was in the office at 8AM. I worked my butt off until 6PM when I sent my boss a final ‘Thank You And Goodbye’ email.
For the past two months I had been hustling 10 hour days mixed with 12 hour days in order to close sales. I had built up a work ethic and I was zipping along with the momentum of a freight train.
Nothing could keep me from sending just that one more email or making just one more call. Little objects in my way (feeling tired, getting rejected by a prospect, losing a sale I thought was in the bag) didn’t slow me down in the least. Every single day I turned the lights on and every single day I turned them off.
Closing my laptop that Friday evening two weeks ago, I left my employers office for the last time. The next morning I hopped on a plane home to California for a much needed period of relaxation.
When I arrived home I deliberately chose to relax as much as possible and work as little as possible. Having successfully completed my two month ‘sprint’ I wanted to make sure I got a chance to relax. (Something I knew I had been bad at giving myself the time for in the past)
I’m glad to say I was successful. I completed less than 4 total hours of work during the two week period preceding New Years Eve. All of this was minimal follow-up work related to my sales position in which staying in contact with a few warm leads closed a little extra cash for minimal effort.
While I was relaxing I realized that if I still took my goals seriously I would need to get back to work at some point. Because of this, I set a ‘start date’ of January 1st when I would begin once again to work very, very hard.
As soon as the new year arrived I would hit the ground running. I would start to get some real results for my own personal business and I would begin to earn the funds that would help me travel the world forever.
When January 1st rolled around, I found this much more challenging than I expected…
On the first day of 2015 I did spend a good deal of time searching for new work opportunities. I applied to 30 job applications, each of which has the potential to become a paying client of mine. This took me a total of 4-5 hours.
The next three days, I only applied to 10 job applications. I did this again the next day, as well as the next. On the last day (today) I spent about 1 hour sending in applications and that was all I did that day.
10 hour days used to be the norm for me, but after two weeks of virtual inactivity even 1 hour feels like ‘enough’.
‘Phew! I’m done…’ pops into my head as soon as I send in that tenth application after a mere 60 minutes of work. Just like an object that has slowed down and then needs a lot of energy to move slowly, I was oozing at a snails pace and putting in what felt like a lot of effort.
I was sure that I would be able to simply get back to a full 8 hours of work on day one as if I had never stopped. It proved to be a lot more challenging to build up the necessary activation energy than I expected, and I failed to put in the time I thought I would.
Now on day four I feel my work ethic slowly coming back, but I feel like I am just barely gaining momentum. I’m at least doing something every day, but it’s not nearly at the level I expected myself to hop back into.
I believe that with more force, (more mental will power) I would have been able to jump back into my work more quickly. Putting in the amount I expected to be necessary, however, left me completing only 4 hours of work.
I worked hard to build up my willpower and I let it go for a few weeks while I relaxed at home. Now it seems I will need to work again to build it up. It appears that I will need to push harder than I initially expected in order to get myself going, and it will probably take me a few days of slapping myself in the face to wake up to bring me back to where I was initially.
I’m like a heavy box sitting on rollers. (Just like the examples my physics teacher used) When the box is entirely at rest, it needs great deal of energy to break the initial friction it has with the ground. Once it is moving it will still need a lot of energy over an extended period of time to help it build speed.
Once it is traveling at a steady clip, however, it will take just one finger pushing it ahead to maintain its momentum. Just like the box, once I get back up to speed it will be easy to keep myself going.