Overcoming Self-Inertia: 3 Force That You Have To Control When You Have No Motivation

Two days ago, I found an interesting tv-series on National Geographics. It titled “Genius”. Basically, the show tells us the biography of Albert Einstein.

Well, I heard about that and I got excited.

I am always fascinated by the life of a genius person, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, etc. What makes me more excited is because I haven’t read the book yet. So, it’s a win-win for me.

Talking about “Genius”, the shows really focus on Physics and some of its theory. But in this article, I’m not going to talk about Einstein or about the shows. Just a little bit of physics theory.

Don’t worry, it’s not involving any calculation with number and stuff, but more about a physics theory that you can apply to get unstuck when you have no motivation.

It’s one of the popular Newton’s laws of motion, specifically talking about inertia.

Let’s talk about physics!

The Law of Self-Inertia

The simple definition of inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion.

So, what can the resistance of any physical object do to help me unstuck when I have no motivation?

Chill bro, it’s still the definition. Okay, let’s think about the moment you lose your motivation.

You wake up late in the morning, feeling unmotivated to get anything done. No working, no exercising, just doing some effortless stuff like playing video games or binge-watching some tv series.

You don’t even realize that time flies and the day will end soon. You are feeling guilty and tired of not doing anything. But, instead of getting some rest, you sleep late continuing whatever useless thing you do. Because you are feeling lazy even to fall asleep.

And the next morning you wake up with the same state of mind like yesterday. You do the same thing again. It happened over and over again.

Now, let’s think about the inertia again.  When you are being unproductive one day, and the next day, and the next day again, you develop some sort of resistance to be productive again. In that sense, you develop your self-inertia. Well, self-inertia is only a fancy words for exponential laziness.

Self-inertia is driven by habits. The longer you are in the cycle, the harder it will be for you to gain the momentum to become productive.

Can you relate to the story?

Well, I can, it’s happening to me for the last couple months. No productive things, just doing nothing and feeling guilty about it. #TrueStory

Overcoming Self-Inertia

According to Newton’s first law of motion, an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force.

What does it mean?

This means that there is a natural tendency of objects to keep on doing what they’re doing. All objects resist changes in their state of motion. In the absence of a force, an object in motion will maintain this state of motion.

Let’s think of it as an analogy again.

An object – you, resists changing your state of motion – your laziness, in the absence of an unbalanced force – Environment, Community, Willpower.

The law itself says that you are not going to change unless there is a force to change you. The force itself could be an external force or internal force. There are 3 kinds of force that you need to control to get out from self-inertia and gain momentum:

1. Environment Force

The first force is an external force. It is related to the condition of your outside world. What I mean by environment here is your workplace, your room situation, the temperature, the lighting, or anything that may affect your productivity.

According to Marshall Goldsmith in his books Trigger, he stated that if you do not create and control your environment, your environment creates and controls you. More or less, your environment affects you more than you realized.

One of the examples of taking control of your environment to overcome your self-inertia is to listen to Mozart’s classical music, drinking a coffee to boost your focus, clean your room, change your lightbulb to a brighter one, etc.

2. Community Force

The second force is also an external force, it is related to the people who close to you. The social environment around you shapes who you are, what you thought, and what you do. It could be beneficial and at the same times dangerous for you. Therefore, you need to design your inner circle. Decide carefully on who you spent most of your time.

If you spend your time mostly with lazy, uninspired people, soon you will be lazy and uninspired too. In contrast, if you spent your time in a positive environment that embracing each other, you will get inspired to get more things done.

You can also seek for a mentor or role model that could give you a direct advice about your condition right now. Don’t worry, even if you couldn’t find any mentor around you, you could still read a book and take it as your personal mentor.

3. Mental Force

The last force is the hardest to control yet the closest to you. It comes from your internal self. Mental force can also be called as willpower. The source of the mental force is more from understanding your why. Your purpose of life.

I said that it is the hardest to control because to get a clear purpose of life and truly understanding your why, you need to go through some process and time.

Up and down moment, doubt and faith.

Not everyone can just define their life purpose and truly committed to it by the time they define it. Although it needs more effort, it will also give you the largest willpower in a form of self-discipline and perseverance.


Overcoming your self-inertia it’s not an easy task. Self-inertia is driven by habits. The longer you do unhealthy habits, the harder it will be for you to change it. But harder doesn’t necessarily mean impossible.

Start small by controlling what you can control. Create an environment that works best for you (environment force), surround yourself with inspiring and positive people (community force), and live according to your why (mental force). By doing things small but discipline, you can gain momentum to recover and let the physics works. Good luck!

I hope that this article could help you in some way, if you found this article helpful, please share it with your friend. PS. I’m not majoring in physics so if there are some mistakes about the concept, please be willing to correct me 🙂

May all beings live in peace and joy.

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Overcoming Self-Inertia: 3 Force That You Have To Control When You Have No Motivation

by Gilang Agustiar time to read: 4 min