Momentum and inertia

Momentum and inertia

February 1, 2014 Pre India Reflection Thought for the Day 1

The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu is quoted as saying:

 “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

Often that single step can be very hard to take. Even if we are moving toward something that is exciting or that we really want, starting the journey, overcoming the inertia can prove a huge hurdle. This is the case if we are running a marathon or planning to lose weight, starting studies or work. It can be seen in a very real and physical way during The world’s strongest man competition, as in one of the events competitors attempt to pull a truck along a course. Maybe more applicable to everyone is the new year’s resolution. After over indulging at Christmas, many people vowed to stop drinking, start running and many other worthy ideas. Hopefully there will still be lots of people who are keeping up their new year’s resolutions, but by now lots will have fallen by the wayside, as a drink and a sofa seem more appealing than water and a jog. Lots of the resolutions will have been broken in the first couple of days.

One group of people who have taken a first step are the Chennai Challenge 2014 team. They have all attended their first meeting, after already filling application forms. The first step has been taken on a journey that will take them to Chennai in August. This journey has started, but has definitely not finished.

Once we have started moving, we start gaining momentum, and it starts to get easier to carry on. Those people who have kept their new year’s resolutions are now very likely to keep them for a long time, as it becomes a habit. After a month you can have reached the point where a habit has been formed, where you start to do things automatically and easily, because it is part of your routine and who you are. Maybe the Chennai Challenge team will not need to be thinking about the project all the time, but there are still plenty of things that they will need to be doing. One challenge is fundraising. In a similar manner to Lao-tzu,

“Raising £1500 pounds starts with raising £1”

however, you can quote Rob Short for that one. Many people find that once they start fundraising it can seem to get easier, but that first pound is often the most difficult. You could always give them a hand, start them on their journey and donate to one of them here: Tamsin          Mary Suzanne

However fundraising will not be the only way in which the team move on, they will be developing skills in teamwork, organization and leadership, skills that in the future others may look at them and wonder how they became so good at them. In the same way as when we look at professional athletes we can forget the long journey that took them to that place. 13 years ago I first went to Chennai and never expected to be leading teams, and setting up a charity keep doing it.  The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. What is going to be your next step? What is the next thousand mile journey you will start? Do you even realize what journey you are on now?


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