Understand the concept of “Initial Inertia”, use GungHo as a mental start gun and take one step at a time…
You are sitting at your desk or slouching in a comfortable chair with just one series of thoughts in your head: “I can’t study; I don’t want to study; I need to study; I really need to study; I just dread doing it.” Sound familiar?
What you are suffering from has been called “Initial Inertia”. Think of a pool ball sitting on the table. It just wants to keep sitting there. It is the old principle of physics: An object at rest tends to stay at rest, and resists efforts to move it. As humans we are subject to the some psychological equivalent of that law. The complement of the physical law is that an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Is there a psychological equivalent to that principle? I think there is. We experience it all the time. Once we get going on something, we find it easy to just keep going. Sometimes this urge is so great that it takes someone yelling, “Stop it!” to make us back off.
So, anyway, there you sit (or slouch), staring at the unopended book you have to read 65 pages out of by tomorrow. But you can’t seem to make an effort to do it. Your initial inertia is too much to overcome. It hurts to even think about it. And the anxiety grows: ”Why, oh why, can’t I just do it?” Well, here’s the (relatively) painless solution I learned many years ago and which has saved me from many an educational disaster. It goes like this. You are going to do no more than what is possible, from moment to moment. Ask yourself, “What act is possible for me to do? Of all the actions required to successfully engage in studying, which one can I do?” If you are slouching, can you stand up? Yes, well then, do it. You are standing. Good job! Can you walk over to the desk? Yes, well then just do that much. When you are at the desk, ask yourself, “Can I sit down?” Maybe all you can do is look at the chair. Whatever it is that you can do, do that much. Eventually, through this process you will sitting in the chair looking at the unopened book on the table. You are overcoming the initial inertia, and it hasn’t been painful at all. The ball is beginning to move and the inertia is changing in your favor. If you need another push, grab a GungHo shot from your desk and take it. Look at the book. Can you open it. Good. Can you flip through some pages? Can you find the first page you are supposed to read? Can you read the first word on the page? The first sentence? The second sentence? How about a whole paragraph? Can you find a pencil? A notepad? Is there something in the paragraph you just read that you think you should note on the pad? Can you pick up the pencil and write just one word? Two? A sentence?
Now you get the idea. Pretty soon, you will find yourself studying the whole chapter and wondering how you got there. You have made inertia begin to work for you instead of against you through this process. You don’t need to tackle a big project all at once. Just pick the pieces that you CAN DO RIGHT NOW. Nothing more. And keep asking yourself the same question: what part can I do now? GungHo can help you not only get started, but t’ll also give you the improved mental clarity and energy you need; momentum to keep going and retain what you learn. Take a GungHo shot, get that book open and you will be able to study and stick at it.
Good luck in your educational endeavors!