It’s Easier to Stay Up Than to Get Up

October 5, 2012

Have you ever noticed that when things are going well for you and you project a feeling of satisfaction and gratitude, more and more good things keep happening to you?  Conversely, when you hit a rough patch and you let it take over your life, more and more bad things keep happening to you?

If you are skating and you start to lose your balance, it’s a lot harder to get up from the ground than it is to correct your balance and remain in an upright position.

This ties into Newton’s First Law of Motion, also known as the Law of Inertia, which states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless an external force acts upon it.  Similarly, in connection with Newton’s First Law of Motion, if the object is at rest, it will remain at rest unless an unbalanced force acts upon it.

I like the response of one third grader who was asked to cite Newton’s First Law of Motion.  She said, “Bodies in motion remain in motion, and bodies at rest stay in bed unless their mothers call them to get up.”

We make choices every day of our life from what we’re going to wear, to what we eat, to which tasks we’re going to do and which tasks we’re going to leave for another day.  Therefore, it is not surprising that we also make choices about our attitudes and lifestyles.

We have all heard the saying, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”  What we may not have considered is that when things are going your way, it is much easier to build on that momentum.  Therefore, if you have just closed a lucrative deal, rather than resting on your laurels, if you start planning your next project, the odds are that you will be so successful that people will look at you and think, “See that?  The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”

Some people seem to have the Midas Touch; everything they touch turns to gold.  But what if it’s nothing more than Newton’s First Law of Motion that an object in motion tends to stay in motion?  If that’s the case then everyone can have the Midas Touch.  All we have to do is find one good thing that we can build on, and then make ourselves keep looking for other good things that we can build on.

When nothing is going right, it’s more difficult to find something good to keep the momentum going, but if you’re going to develop the Midas Touch, you’re going to have to get beyond the attitude that’s blocking you from finding that tiny particle of good fortune to build on.  In those dark moments of despair, it might help to remember the words of Confucius, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing but in rising every time we fall.”

We all know that while we’re busy making other plans, Life happens.  People get sick, lose their jobs, have their houses foreclosed, and a myriad of other soul-destroying events that leach the optimism from their psyche.  This, then, is the most crucial time for a person to find that small fragment of good to build on.

I often give clients a homework assignment that I call the Gratitude list.  For a period of three or four months they have to spend an hour a day writing down all the things they are grateful for.

I ask them to find 200 things that don’t cost anything and every day they have to start a new list.  I want them to think about the things that are important in their life and I want them to plug into that goodness until it influences everything they think about and everything they feel.

One client didn’t get the significance of the assignment and when he came to me the following week with his Grateful list, I was in absolute shock because instead of listing things like being grateful for his intelligence or good health or his family and friends, he listed each of his cufflinks and the title of every book in his house.

For the rest of my clients, each one experienced some changes in their thinking and in their behavior and this allowed good things to start coming into their lives.  And as long as they kept up the momentum of searching out the good in each day’s events, they got closer and closer to having the Midas Touch.  This is what Newton’s First Law of Motion is all about, which is just my way of saying that it’s easier to stay up than to get up.

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