A Law of Success

I’m a firm believer in being lazy. Now, now, before you go off thinking I’m a sluggard of a man, hear me out. I’m also a firm believer in working smarter, not harder. If it takes three days to accomplish a task, I want to know how I can cut that time to one day. Like I said, I’m lazy and any time saved is time earned to do other things of interest.

Unbalanced force
Unbalanced force

Welcome to my Freedom Friday post where I open my mind and allow my brains to fall out. Today I would like to place you at a vantage point into my thinking regarding work vs. rest. Don’t worry I’m not introducing anything radical you haven’t heard before. Perhaps, I’ll even learn something myself.

I’ve written about this subject in my posts Sleep and A Day Off. Not to be redundant, but in those posts I had mention how sleep is my secret weapon against creative slumps. I’m trying hard not to make it sound like I’m bragging. I’m relating information that works for me that may also work for others. Anyway, back to the subject at hand. My secret weapon against a creative slump, brain fog, and mind block is sleep. On the weekend, I sleep an inordinate amount of hours because during the week I keep a strict seven-hour sleep schedule, depending on the night and if I have to wake up early the next morning (eg. 4:30 AM—yeah, I’m on farmer’s hours).

Did I ever tell you I suffered from insomnia for a long, long time? I think I had mentioned it. Well, of course I did. I wrote about it in my Insomnia post. For a number of years I averaged two hours of sleep. Yes, you read that right—a number a years, two hours of sleep. I learned a thing or two.

Let’s get to the meat of this post.

Newton’s First Law of Motion states: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

You might ask, “Jack, what are you doing talking about the laws of physics?” Well, let’s take Newton’s First Law of Motion and analyze it further. There may actually be a lesson there for all of us.

Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton

The first part of the law states that an object at rest stays at rest. I learned some time ago that rest replenishes my creative flow by allowing my mind to mull over problems during my sleep cycle. My evidence? Without fail, every morning I wake up with a truckload of ideas I can’t wait to get down on paper. Many of my blog posts come from my early morning shaves soon after a good night’s sleep. I’m so used to it, I can’t wait to fall asleep knowing the next morning I’ll have some other ideas that will catch my fancy.

The second part of the law states that an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction. In my opinion, this is the ideal situation. Wouldn’t it be a grand thing to experience life in a constant predictable cycle? It can be. It means eliminating the distractions and carrying forward without anyone or anything getting in the way. It also means a heightened sense of concentration achieved by allowing you the rest needed to complete a task. Sounds counterproductive, but it does work.

Now, did you catch the fact I didn’t mention the last portion of the law? I left it last to make a point. It simply states that an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

We all have those unbalanced forces in our lives that seem to suck the energy from our productivity. That’s the negative part of the equation. We’re going on our merry way, doing what we set out to do, carrying on with our daily lives when suddenly something happens and we’re stuck in the middle of a battlefield picking up the pieces. Whether it’s a death in the family, job loss, an accident or a real bad day, this happens to everyone and we can’t avoid it.

The other side of the equation involves those same unbalanced forces setting our lives on fire by spectacular means, giving us a new perspective on things and leading us to change. I’m talking about the sudden proposal of marriage, finding out you’re going to have a baby, getting a promotion, deciding to buy a new house, and yes, even winning the lottery. Good things do happen to good people.

The trick to Newton’s law of motion is to keep life at an even keel. Too little rest, we procrastinate. Too much unbalanced force, we stress out. Steady as she goes, and we’re just right. Success comes when we gain that perfect balance. Once we attain that, nothing will stop us from achieving our dreams.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

What other laws of physics can we utilize as a metaphor for success?

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11 thoughts on “A Law of Success

  1. I’m one of those people who needs 8 hours sleep at the very minimum. Anything less and I can’t concentrate on difficult tasks and will spend the day procrastinating (or napping). I’m kind of envious of those people who seem to be able to get by with 5 or 6 hours sleep and still function at 100%.

  2. It’s funny. I adore sleep, and usually can get my Rems without a problem, but if anything minutely stressful enters my life even an hour before sleep time, I’m buggered.

  3. I am searching for that even keel. The last seven months have been chaotic and stressful. I am hoping for rest each day to ensure clear-thinking writing. Some days it comes. Others not so much. I try to make entries each day in my dream journal. I dream in story, so there is plenty of raw creativity there on paper to draw from.

    • Great to hear of all the positive experiences in your life, Tarl. I really like the idea of a dream journal. I have an everyday journal I write my thoughts in order to understand what I go through in life, but a dream journal sounds so creative-focused. I may try, in fact. Great suggestion.

  4. Bravo, Jack…I love reading about your individual creative/life process, and you are obviously manifesting like a madman. Very inspiring, and I definitely know the value of rest…am catching up after posting til 3am the other night…had to get it done, but it cost me! My hope is that aspiring writers take a nugget of this wisdom to nurture themselves and their creative process…cheers, and happy writing, all!

    Always love your pictures, Jack…they’re so clear and pretty! 🙂

    Viva Freedom Friday!

    • Thanks for the kind words regarding the post and the pictures, Kathleen! I had a great time with this one and it really helped me relate science with life. Also, glad to hear of your perseverance. Keep at it, make it a habit and it will eventually pay off in high dividends!

    • I had a lot of fun writing this, Strawberry. I’d always wanted to relate Newton’s Laws of Motion to everyday life. This is the first post and I’m hoping to complete another one soon!

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