Why You Dont Want to Stop Meditating How Activation Energy and Momentum Work for You

You've probably heard the story that the cost to turn on a light bulb is greater than the cost to run it. Thank goodness for the Mythbusters. That myth has been busted, but it does provide a good window into what sometimes happens when you are working to improve your life. First, let's take a quick look at how activation energy works.

When you turn on a light switch, the electricity flows into the light bulb, heating up a small wire. The wire has to get hot before it will start to glow, so some energy is spent doing that. The same can be said with any self-improvement practice.When you first start out it's going to take a lot of energy to build up.

Eventually, you're going to start seeing results. Usually by this time, the requirements of that new method aren't quite so extreme, since you've had some time to learn. Here is where things get interesting, and where a lot of people lose faith. If you stop now, it is very hard to get started again. You wouldn't ordinarily think so, but it remains the case. Why? Here's where the "activation energy" idea comes into play.

Let's compare two cases. In case number one, you're rolling a large ball along the ground. In case number two you are starting up a light bulb. The ball shows momentum because it keeps going, where as the light stops pretty much instantly.

This is the state we want, but let's focus on the analogy for now. In casse number two, the light bulb immediately goes off. If we start supplying energy to them again, the ball will be easier to start this time, but the light bulb will have to start from the beginning.

For a little flashlight bulb that might be no big thing. For a street light that takes 3 minutes to start up, that is a significant problem. When we are starting out, we are a lot like the light bulb. Results are the product of time, effort, and energy. Like the light bulb - once the energy stops flowing, it's back to square one.

Quite often, we give up at the wrong time. Instead of waiting until we had some real momentum, we stop and we are basically back to square one. If you had to stop, it would be better for you to either stop at the beginning, or after you have mastery. Here is why: When you start and stop over and over, it can set up the idea that the stuff your trying simply doesn't work at all. Even worse, you may think that you are no good. The truth lies in the opposite direction.

If you can learn to gently but firmly keep moving in the right direction for you, you will still get there. Even if you think you aren't seeing the results you wanted, ask yourself if the results you are looking for are doable. If they are and you just need more learning, then keep going. If not, then it's time for a judgment call.

If you can ride it out long enough, and if what you are trying brings benefit to your life, then you'll have momentum, and it won't take much energy. If you've mastered the technique and it still takes too much energy, then by all means, let it go and find something more suited to you. I won't tell you that blindly moving ahead with no regard to safety or sanity is a good thing. However, if you decide that it's easier or better to not even try, then just remember that your loved ones are also being let down, not just you.

Improving yourself is about more than your own viewpoint. Self-development is about improving your world from the inside out. As you improve yourself, you will make the world a better place for you and those around you. If you turn back when the going gets hard, you are turning your back on that which can help you and your loved ones. Give it a shot - keep trying.

John Allison is the author and editor of Technology for Living, a blog and podcast devoted to self-development from a technological view. His free ebook about finding and using techniques for you is available here.


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