Life Journey

Do You Think of Your Life as a Journey?

by Kalinda Rose Stevenson

Why Inertia Is a Characteristic of a Stressed-Out Life

It is good to have an end to journey toward,
but it is the journey that matters in the end.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Life is a journey that will take you through all kinds of experiences. Inertia is a sign that life has become stagnant. Is it time for you to move forward? The following excerpt is from Stress Relief That Works.)
Life Journey

Your Life Journey

Life is a journey. Life is the moving walkway in the airport. Whether you move or not, the walkway will move you forward  and dump you off at the end. You can't stay where you are. Just as the walkway comes to an end, whatever your phase of life right now will also come to an end. Walking backwards on the walkway to hold you in place is possible in the airport. It's not possible in real life. In life, there's only one direction. Ahead.

Your journey will take you through all kinds of experiences. Some will be wonderful. Some will be painful. Some will excite you. Some will bore you. Some will be easy. Some will challenge you. What's required of you is to keep moving forward.


Although life isn't static, a primary characteristic of a stressed-out life is inertia. Merriam-Webster defines inertia as:

Lack of movement or activity especially when movement or activity is wanted or needed.

Even if you know it's time to move on, time to change, time to do something different, inertia can be a powerful force to overcome.

Remember that Albert Einstein said "nothing happens until something moves." Inertia robs you of the essential characteristic of all living creatures. Living creatures move. The world keeps moving, whether you do or not. Doing something requires action. If you're feeling too stressed-out to do anything, ask yourself what you can do right now to overcome your inertia.

Isaac Newton's "Three Laws of Motion" describe the interrelationship between an object, forces acting on the object, and the motion of the object. The First Law is particularly relevant here. Since Newton published the laws in Latin, the specific English words used to describe these three laws vary depending on the reference.

Here are two contemporary statements of the "First Law of Motion." The first statement is more typical of physics textbooks. The second is simpler:

  • When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force.
  • An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

The second source also describes the First Law of Motion as the "Law of Inertia." Stress seems to operate according to its own Law of Inertia. Sometimes your stress keeps you stuck in inertia. Feeling stressed-out can define your life as lack of movement or activity especially when movement or activity is wanted or needed.

But even in a state of inertia, change is inexorable. Whether or not you stop moving, the moving walkway called "life" won' t stop. Your life will change somehow. The question is whether you're going to succumb to the powerful force of inertia or whether you're going to be the force that gets you moving again.

Surely you have heard the adage, "Move it or lose it." "Moving on"  means packing up and leaving the familiar behind when you're no longer growing, no longer changing, no longer interested in what you're doing. Boredom is a powerful clue that it's time to get moving.

Inertia is your greatest enemy to living a full and vibrant life. Overcoming inertia often means you set out on a new journey. We're a species with legs. We're meant to move. Whether you set out on a real journey to a different place or a journey to a different mindset, your journey will take you to a different life.

[Original Post November 9, 2015]

If you are feeling stressed-out and want to read the whole book, Stress Relief That Works: How To Think Your Way from Stressed-Out to Peaceful  is available on Amazon in either Kindle or paperback versions. Click  Buy Now From Amazon to get your copy right away!

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