“An object in motion will stay in motion, and an object at rest will stay at rest, unless acted upon by an outside force.”
That is Newton’s First Law Of Motion. It’s application goes far beyond physics.
As I have pointed out before, we have a set of habits that make our lives pretty fucking predictable. Naturally, then, to change your circumstances you need to change your habits.
But as we also know, it usually takes a lot of willpower to change a habit.
Usually you need to have serious emotional pain to find the motivation to go through with the difficult work of changing your habits.
So how do we get around this?
One way is by using that inevitability thinking I talked about in another article. That mindset is a very important one to have.
But inevitability thinking in itself will not solve the problem. You can mentally masturbate all you want, but until you actually take action, nothing is going to change.
What you need is momentum. You need to get yourself in motion so that it takes an outside force to stop you, as opposed to being at rest and having to force yourself to be in motion.
Say you are lonely and want a girlfriend. What could you do to make it inevitable that you will have a girlfriend in, say, a month? Talk to girls, of course!
Now, if you have serious emotional leverage, you will be verymotivated. For example, if you can hear your roommate railing his girlfriend every night, it’s probably going to be easy to get yourself moving.
But let’s say the pain isn’t that severe. Let’s say you want a girlfriend, but it’s limited to when you’re lying in bed alone late at night? When you’re out and about during the day, you don’t feel motivated to blast through your anxiety to talk to girls.
The solution is to get some momentum going. Start by asking random guys what the time is, if you can borrow a pen, where you can plug in your laptop, what he thought about the homework, etc. Then talk to some “hired guns” at restaurants or the store. They are paid to be nice to you. Then move on to saying “hi” to girls sitting near you in the computer lab. Maybe the step before that is to get comfortable sitting next to attractive girls in the computer lab.
Do you see where we are going with this? We are building momentum by constantly moving towards what we want. Each step is small and isn’t all that scary, but they are steps nonetheless. Most importantly, they do not require all that much motivation to complete. In fact, after a while, it will take motivation to stop.
To use another example, say you want to increase the amount of time you can focus on an assignment. Let’s say you can currently focus for 5 minutes and you want to get to an hour.
Start with 10 minutes. Then move up to 15 minutes. Then move up to 20 minutes. You are building momentum.
Another part of this is eliminating stuff that creates “friction” for your momentum. For example, if you want a girlfriend, you should probably masturbate less.
A more advanced concept is to integrate momentum into your everyday life. From the second you wake up, you are constantly moving towards what you want. Implementing the morning ritual is one such example.
I encourage you to think about the different areas of your life where you can apply this concept.