The Power of Inertia

A Motivational Message from Leadership Expert Jim Stovall

Whether we’re aware of it or not, we are all subject to a principle known as inertia in our personal and professional lives. Sir Isaac Newton defined inertia by explaining that an object at rest remains at rest, and an object in motion remains in motion at a constant speed and in a straight line unless acted on by an outside force.

We can see this in the lives of people who are succeeding as well as in the lives of those who are failing. We live our lives in patterns and through the habits we form. The way we do anything is the way we do everything. People who are successful have developed positive habits that generate ongoing success in their personal or professional lives. When you encounter someone whose success or performance you admire, and you ask them about their daily habits and, particularly, their morning routine, you will find that their positive results are on autopilot and, to a great extent, occur without them even thinking about it.

On the other hand, when you observe someone who is failing to achieve the results they desire in their personal or professional life, they are falling victim to a series of habits that they may not even be aware of having. These failure habits are often not consciously formed but, rather, are a result of procrastination, lack of focus, and reacting to life instead of acting upon it.

When we face adversity in our lives, we can either create a positive habit to avoid it in the future or allow ourselves to become victims repeatedly. In his humorous and thought-provoking way, Mark Twain explained that once a cat sits on a hot stove, he’ll never sit on a hot stove again. But he won’t sit on a cold stove either.

Most people have had an investment, a venture, or a relationship that didn’t turn out the way they wanted. Those who succeed in life create habits and patterns to learn from the experience and grow. Those who fail in life simply internalize the disappointment and regret as part of their life moving forward.

As you go through your day today, remember the wisdom of Sir Isaac Newton and Mark Twain, and create positive habits for lifelong success.

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of the Emmy-award winning Narrative Television Network as well as a published author of more than 50 books—eight of which have been turned into movies. He is also a highly sought-after platform speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK  74145-9082; by email at; or by phone at 918-627-1000.

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