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Newton’s 2nd Law of Success: Acceleration

Sir Isaac Newton

Last week we started our series, “Newton’s Laws of Success”, with a post about Perpetual Motion which taught us about actively directing our life towards success and happiness instead of allowing a bad day to turn into a bad week.

Today we will look at Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion and see if we can find a way to apply it.

Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion states that the amount of Acceleration (a) on an object is determined by the Mass (m) of the object and the Force (F) placed on it. In other words, if I want to push an object up a hill, the speed in which I can get the to the top depends on how much muscle I put into it and how

heavy the object is. So if I push with the same force, I would be able to get a beach ball to the top of the hill faster than I could get a car to the top of the hill. Sounds logical, right?

There is a great application here to our daily endeavors both big and small. This law describes how quickly we will be able to succeed or accomplish our big goals. This law also proves that acceleration towards our long-term goals is completely dependent on us!

Let me explain.

One of my goals for today is relatively easy, it is cleaning my desk (easy = low mass). I can get it done quickly (high acceleration) with a small amount of energy or thought (low force).

If one of my life goals were to run a marathon (hard = high mass), the speed at which I could accomplish the goal (acceleration) would be completely dependent on the amount of time I was willing to put into training, eating right, and planning (force).

We see this natural law to be true every day in our efforts at work, school, or at home. If we put in the same effort every day, the big tasks (high mass) just take longer than the small tasks (low mass).

So when you have a big goal that will require significant effort to accomplish, the amount of effort we are willing to give on a daily basis will directly determine how soon we accomplish that goal.

Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Mass = Size of your goal

  2. Force = Amount of effort and focus you put into it

  3. Acceleration = How quickly you accomplish it

The final formula looks like this: Acceleration = Force / Mass

The speed with which you move toward your goal depends on how much energy you put in, divided by the size of the goal. If the goal is huge, it will take more force on your part to get it done in the amount of time you’ve set for it.

Here’s the problem!

Most people in the world have big dreams in their head and they want to accomplish them quickly but they aren’t willing to apply the amount of force necessary to accomplish it.

Because of Newton’s 2nd Law, it will be impossible for them to do it! There is no great accomplishment without an equally great effort. If the effort, persistence, work, and dedication aren’t there…the dream goes nowhere.

We have a choice!

The natural laws do not bend or change for us. So we can either accept them and use them to our benefit, or we can kick against them and beat our heads trying to come up with a way around them.

Here is the process I take people through when I first start coaching them on their life-planning:

#1 – Define your vision. Decide what you want from life or what would bring you the greatest happiness. What is the thing that you love so much that you would do it for free? What activity makes you the happiest? Decide in your mind what would be the perfect life for you.

#2 – Find out where you are. Looking at your vision for your ideal life, decide where you are in relation to that goal. Are you miles away in some areas but close in others? Will some aspects take many years to accomplish? What would be needed to get from here to there?

Newton2nd 2

#3 – Decide how much force you want to apply. Are you at a point in your life where you a ready to start setting meaningful goals towards your vision? Are you willing to change your daily habits and routine in order to get what you want? Are you willing to let go of some things that could be holding you back? How much time can you make for yourself every day to accomplish your goals.

We all  fall into one of these categories:

  1. Those who put a lot of force into small tasks and get them done quickly but don’t really progress towards their big goals.

  2. Those who put a little bit of force into small tasks and never really get anything done.

  3. Those who put a little force into their big dreams but not enough to ever get closer to them.

  4. Those who put a lot of force into big dreams. This is where you want to be, These are the people who create their own destiny.

At some point we probably are a mixture of all of these types of people. But the more time we can spend in that group of people with “high mass” goals applying “high force” to those goals, the sooner we will be able to create the successful life we have envisioned.

Next time we will talk about “Newton’s 3rd Law of Success: Action and Reaction

May the “Force” be with you!


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