Overwhelming Inertia

Do you ever feel as if you are in a rut, doing the same thing over and over and over again, never making progress?

Most of us tend to get on a track and just keep going, whether the going is good or leading no where.

Sometimes, like at New Years, we try to break out of that mold by making resolutions for the coming year, or defining goals for ourselves to meet some dream we have. Often, we fail to follow through.

According to a Forbes article, research showed (in 2013) that although 40% of us set resolutions, 92% fail to meet them.

We are probably suffering from inertia. You can be overwhelmed with inertia, or you can overwhelm the inertia and get moving again.

Merriam-Webster defines inertia as:

“A property of matter by which it remains at rest or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force.”

In other words:

“Indisposition to motion, exertion, or change.”

So how does one go about overwhelming inertia? How do we get out of our ruts and onto the track of life we want to be on?

But first, how do we get into that rut, or stuck in a situation.

Here are my thoughts.

We are too busy traveling in our rut to stop and think about being in one.

Our parents and our culture taught us certain ways of acting, thinking and doing as youngsters. Unless we have an opportunity to stop and reflect on what we think we want out of life, we will never even consider stopping to figure out if our ways of acting, thinking and doing (our ruts) will get us what we want.

We may be immobilized by life events.

Perhaps we become depressed and lethargic. Nothing we say or do seems to matter, why bother?

Perhaps we are so overwhelmed by a change in circumstance that we are confused about what we should do, or want to do. We walk around randomly picking up and putting down objects (or tasks) in our lives.

Maybe it is as simple as not knowing how to get started. The longest journey starts with a single step but if we don’t know how to take that step, how can we start?

Maybe we are just not wanting to do the thing that we set out to do, so we keep putting it off.

Before we can overwhelm our own inertia, it will probably help if we know what is causing it.

If you are too busy to stop and think about what you want.

Try forcing yourself to take a break. Step out of your routine, take a walk, try meditation or yoga. Use any occasion, such as a graduation, a birthday, a death or a birth, to take stock of your life – what you have been doing and why. What would you do or be if you could accomplish anything? Get excited about realizing that dream.

If you are depressed.

Depression can cause you to not only feel sad, but also to lose interest in anything and everything around you.

If you think you are depressed, seek help. Depression is a serious thing. Much more serious than trying to overcome inertia.

If you are reeling from a life changing event.

A death, being fired, a serious health issue, an accident or tragedy can totally derail us, leaving us so confused we don’t know what to do, or which way to turn.

Most of the advice recommends taking time. Don’t rush into action. If something needs attention, find a trusted person to help out – someone who can make sure you are thinking clearly at this traumatic time. Even if the life changing event is positive – such as winning a lottery – you can benefit from taking time to get used to your new situation before you rush to action.

If you just don’t know how to start.

Sometimes a goal seems so overwhelming that you just can’t get a handle on how to take that first step. Lets say, for instance, that your dream is to make the world sustainable – ecologically. Where do you start? It’s a big dream, a huge goal. Not knowing what to do or where to start can make you just give up.

Sometimes you have to do some research to figure out what has already been done. Sometimes you have to sit and think about things you would like or need to know before you start. Sometimes you just need to start doing SOMETHING, no matter how small. Sometimes you need to connect with others interested in the same dream or goal, to generate ideas as a group.

You can’t always just sit down and lay out a plan with all of the small baby steps to get there.

The key is, to believe that you CAN meet your goal and to just do something towards it.

If you need to get something done you really don’t want to do.

The first question to ask yourself, in my mind, is what is the impact if I never do this thing? Then perhaps you can just drop it. Otherwise, here are a few suggestions:

  • Prepare to get started, by laying out needed equipment, or lining up needed resources. Put them in a very visible space, to remind yourself that you are ready to get started.
  • Create a schedule or deadline to get it done.
  • Commit to working on it for a few minutes each day.
  • Draw up a plan with the steps needed to get the job completed.
  • Reward yourself when you finish each step.

How have you over come inertia?

5 Side Hustles You Can do to Keep your Artistic Fire Burning

The rain was ceaseless and the days were dreary, yet I missed it when it had goneWe were raised and bred to work. Even if you despise working, you have to get your butt off the couch and do it anyway or you’ll starve to death. You either get a job and work for someone else, or be an entrepreneur and work for yourself. Either way, you have to do something to earn the right to keep a dollar. It is what it is.

What If…

…you hated your job or didn’t like the business you got yourself into? What if deep down, you really want to do something else? There are many stories of old timers who regret not having the courage to take a leap of faith and follow their dreams, for fear of not providing enough for their families.

If just dropping everything and moving to Tibet to become a Monk is out of the question, you can still pursue your passions and dreams as a side hustle. You don’t need to leave your crummy job and the boss you hate just yet. All you need to do is carve out some time to do the things that really engage your spirit.

If you’ve got the passion and the skills, here are a few side hustles you can do to stay in touch with your artistic side.

Share Your Thoughts as a Writer

If you know the secret to brushing your teeth with a carrot, share it with the world! Seriously, the world needs quality content and valuable advice from experts. If you’ve become an expert in your field, start a blog and share your thoughts. Don’t worry about money when starting out because it may derail you from writing articles that readers will appreciate. Focus on your writing, and opportunities to monetize your blog will follow. You can also write for a number of other blogs and online publications.

Become a Copywriter

If you don’t like writing articles, but have a knack for writing short one liners that make great copy, you can become a part-time copywriter. There are many copywriting jobs available online and most of them are home based, so you can do it after work or on the weekends. Sites like UpWork and Freelancer are good jump off points to land projects.

Form a Band

If you’re passionate about music, can sing like Jagger or play an instrument at a professional level, you should consider either forming your own band or joining one. But this is way different from the band you formed in high school, because at the end of the day, you need to get paid for your efforts. Musicians get paid well, plus they get free booze, food and loads of attention. As a side hustle, you can have gigs every other night or strictly on weekends. As long as band duties don’t interfere with your work and family life, go live your dream as a rock star.

Become a Sound Engineer

If you can’t carry a tune to save your life and have no business behind any musical instrument, you can still have a side hustle that’s music related. You can try your luck as a Sound Engineer. What does a sound engineer do, exactly? According to retired Canadian Broadcasting Corp. sound engineer Joe Dudych, “SE’s are responsible for achieving artistic content in a recording or via a sound system in a live concert.” In short, music will be crap without a sound engineer behind the mixer. This side gig can actually turn out to be a more stable money maker that can replace your current job, so weigh your options.

Capture Moments as a Photographer

If photography is your hobby and you already have the hardware for it, try turning your hobby into a lucrative side hustle. Offer friends and family members to cover events for free to build up your portfolio. Once you have enough, you can market your services. The only issue here is events are fluid and don’t always happen after work or on the weekends. You can try to focus more on events that happen at night such as concerts or parties and if you become big enough, quit your job and do photography full time.

There are many artistic avenues you can explore if you know what you’re passionate about and are willing to do something about it. You need to have the courage to dive in when no one else is doing it and have the drive to keep your current job until your side hustle proves to be more lucrative. How about you? What would you rather be doing?

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