There are two words I want to talk about today: Activation Energy.
Now this is pretty much what it says on the tin. Activation energy is the amount of energy needed to start a process. It can be a chemical reaction, if can be a car going from a standstill to moving, it can be a rocket lifting off into space, it can be changing the direction of your day…or your life.
As you may have guessed, there are different kinds of activation energy. Physical and mental. I’m going to give you a few seconds to guess which of the two is harder to muster.
If you answered, “It depends.” then you got it right. There’s a boatload of things that can have an impact on activation energy. Is the car on an incline? Do you really want to do that thing? Do you really not want to do that thing? And it might not even be a matter of whether or not you actually want to do that particular thing. I’m here to tell you that there have been days where it was harder to shove a car up a hill than it was to get up and move on something.
I very nearly missed out on an awesome bit of my morning yesterday because of this. I went out for an early morning walk. The sky was clear, there was a nice chill in the wind, and the world smelled like Autumn – if you know, you know. AND I did it without wearing any trackers, or earbuds, nothing. Well, almost nothing. I did bring the phone along so I could use the GPS to put a finer point on the mileage. And that turned out to be a good thing, because I got some mileage out of the camera while I was out and about.
But get this: No less than three times did I nearly derail myself. Do I really want to do this before I’ve even had any coffee? What do you mean you’re not even taking ear buds? Are you sure your joints are up to a six-mile hike?
And here’s the thing about mental activation energy: That energy cost increases the more you think about it. The second you have the idea to go do something is the point where the activation energy cost is at it’s lowest. If you start to turn the idea over in your head. Poke at it, looking for reasons to pass on it, that cost increases until, maybe it’s more than you’ve got to spend.
And that idea dies.
Maybe you come back to it later on, but maybe not. I’ve got stuff on my plate today and I was going to put off writing this post, until I was done, but I’ve fallen into that trap before.
Do you have an idea? Act on it. Right now. Set something in motion. Why the rush? Two reasons: The first I’ve already talked about. The second is inertia. Something in motion is harder to stop. Momentum is something you can build on. Once you’ve gotten something going, you can add to it and that momentum increases, until it becomes darn near unstoppable.
Start something today.
Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.
I’ll see you on Thursday.
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