On the Need For Action

I just received a call from my husband, who is on the road to Alabama for work. He mentioned a major wreck that shut down the interstate and expressed appreciation for his GPS which found him an alternate route through the country. He conceded that the alternate path was significantly longer and probably wouldn’t actually save him time over simply waiting for the accident to clear. Then he added,

“As long as I’m moving forward, I’m psychologically happy.”

Pretty profound. And certainly doesn’t just apply to being on the road.

Disney designs their rides to keep the lines flowing towards intermediate goals. Video games are tooled so that plays are rewarded with ever-increasing levels. Students are motivated by graduating from one grade and advancing to the next. The popular “snowball method” of debt management basis its success on the intrinsic rewards found in tangible progress.

As long as we’re moving forward, we’re psychologically happy.

A sensation of being stuck breeds frustration. Forced stillness creates a feeling of being powerless. And the longer you’re immobile, the worse you feel.

Defeated, it’s easy to give up and sit down. To claim that we cannot move forward because of the obstacles in our way. To bemoan the length of the journey and elect to not undertake the path. To put so much energy into cursing what caused the standstill that there is little left over to press the gas pedal. To neglect to consult the GPS and instead passively sit behind the barriers before us, getting more exasperated with each passing minute spent in neutral.

Movement bestows a feeling of influence. Of progress. Of purpose.

As long as we’re moving forward, we’re psychologically happy.

Even if the path is circuitous. Even if the headway is painfully slow. And even if you have to retrace your steps.

Objects at rest tend to stay at rest; objects in motion tend to stay in motion.

Make inertia work for you.

Keep moving forward.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “On the Need For Action

  1. So true, Lisa! I remember when my kids were small, I read somewhere that pulling over on the side of the road would force children to stop fighting and bickering in the backs seat of the car. Why? Because they want to be MOVING. They agree to quiet down if you’ll continue driving ‘moving forward’. Great discipline technique 🙂 Also a great reminder to us adults. Great post and message!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s