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Inertia and the Boogie Man

What is one thing that's bugging you because it needs to get done? One thing eating your lunch today? One thing on which you are stuck? The swamp of inertia traps everyone now and then. Leaders just can't afford to camp out there.

Remember being scared of the “boogie man” as a kid? Far from the lovable “Monsters Inc.” version, the real boogie man spooked a lot of kids. Lurking in the closet or under the bed, he lived for the change to pounce—whatever that means.

As a side bar, I'd suggest someone should look into the possibility that the boogie man was invented by the night-lite industry. The point is, all you need to destroy the death grip of the boogie man is a small amount of light. Turn on your Lightning McQueen night-lite or poke a flashlight into that foreboding closet and poof, the boogie man is history.

OK, now make a leap with me. I’d like to suggest that inertia is like the boogie man. 

When you postpone something that needs to be done, allow the backlog of unfinished tasks to accumulate, fail to make a decision, or procrastinate the start of a new initiative, the gravity of your inertia grows geometrically, menacingly, voraciously.

As inertia grows, defeating self-talk swirls in our heads. The workload of overcoming inertia feels paralyzing. That nagging project feels more like Mt. Everest than a freeway on-ramp. That unfinished or complex project growls and moans at us at all hours of the day. We convince ourselves that success is impossible.

Here’s the deal, inertia has no real power.

Inertia lives in our heads. It has no grip on us beyond that irritation of chewing gum stuck on our shoes.

Replacing inertia with momentum doesn’t take much effort at all. Just like the power of a tiny night-lite, in the realm of self-leadership, inertia is conquered with that single first step. Make that phone call. Write that note. Make one decision. It doesn’t have to be the perfect first step and it doesn’t have to be a big step, any first step will do. Just take one and instantly you are “unstuck.” Instantly you have emasculated the boogie man of inertia. He has no more power over you. You have unfrozen the situation and poof, inertia is history.

Where do feel the oppressive gravity of something unfinished, undecided, unresolved, unstarted? The ever-changing dynamics of this pandemic have a way of rocking us back onto our heels and leaving us a bit stuck. So, is there something you are responsible for whose momentum is stalled?

Here's your strategy. Do ONE little thing right now. Step into the action zone with a text message or an email or a phone call. Do something within reach, right now. Open the closet door and shine a light into the darkness. Boom. The boogie man vaporizes..

The freedom you will experience is exhilarating.

In one step you will shift the tides from inertia to movement. And, fresh movement is a great experience. What are you waiting for? What is that step you can to take today?

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