Saturday, July 16, 2011 2 Comments
Activation – Inertia’s Handmaiden
by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
In support of the ADD Basics Series
What’s going on when we wait until the last minute to begin something we’ve know about for months?
What is it about the last minute rush that busts a desperate case of “I just can’t make myself” w-i-d-e open, uncovering a secret activator that we couldn’t, for the life of us, locate the day before?
Closely related both to motivation deficit and under-arousal, insufficient activation is usually misidentified, mislabeled, and totally misunderstood.
Cascading from insufficient ACTIVATION
The lack of activity is notable, of course, but the person who is struggling with activation is almost always scrutinized in a black-and-white manner that seems to make things worse.
Next comes the internalization of the voice of the critic, developed from chronic exposure to the “tough love” theory of motivation. What results is the development of an inner voice that shreds self-esteem and decimates resolve.
I doubt that many of us use the exact words and phrases below in the our
inner dialogue – but I’ll bet most of us recognize the message only too well!
- You are totally unmotivated, undisciplined, and a chronic procrastinator!
- Your will-power is under-developed, kid — your lack of resolve is infinite.
- You’re selfish and self-centered, spoiled rotten, and
- just plain lazy!
Besides black and white thinking, make-wrong, judgment and labeling, what’s going on here? Anything worthwhile?
More to the point, what’s needed instead.
In other words, how DO we self-activate? What IS activation anyway?
The Concept of Inertia
Most dictionaries will define “inertia” in a manner similar to the following:
Unless affected by some outside force,
the tendency of matter to remain in a stable state of activity:
at rest if at rest, to keep moving in the same direction, if moving,
That’s what I was taught in school. How ’bout you?
With apologies to the world of physics, let’s overlook the latest thinking about inertia so that I can use what most of us have always heard to jump-start a conversation to help us understand the CONCEPT of activation.
- With the above caveat, the standard definition of inertia works well enough when we’re talking about matter, that is, physical objects — rocket ships and gyroscopes and such.
- But does it have any value helping us get a handle on behaviors? Possibly.
Inertia operates in psychological realms too
1. The tendency to keep moving in the same direction dynamic makes for “human doings,” not always with much to show for it. Hyperboles of hyperfocus — to the point that lives lack balance.
I call it trouble with transitions — either transitioning out of one activity to be ABLE to move on (some might say “stopping,” but there’s more involved), or transitioning into the next task on the list (“starting?”).
2. The remaining at rest dynamic is a manifestation of getting stuck in the troublesome GAP in the transition between doing nothing and doing anything at all.
In behavioral terms, “some outside force” becomes necessary to move us through those transitions.
- No – not the cajolers and reminders and punishers and reward-ers that surround most of us most of the time.
- Some force outside the energy of the “stable state” but within our very own beings
But what IS it, exactly? I’ve Googled and researched for days and still have nothing I didn’t already have. Other than “activation and depression,” there’s not much out there about the nature of the activation phase of human energy systems, and I wasn’t able to find a single definition of the concept as it applied globally.
If anyone can find a clear explanation anywhere on-line, send me the link.
Meanwhile, I’m going to attempt a discussion of, apparently,
a concept that defies description!
In a series of articles to come, I will “unpack” the various concepts that are included and implied by the points above, along with introducing more than a few more.
Stay tuned – life can be so much better once you learn HOW to manage your energy so that it lines up with your intentions.
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ADD Basics on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
- Distinguishing Can’t from Won’t
- The Link between Attention and Action
- TYPES of Attentional Deficits
- Symptoms of Attentional Struggles
- Brain Waves, Scans and ATTENTION
- The Dynamics of Attending
- What ARE Executive Functions?
- ABOUT Impulsivity
- Working with Impulsivity
- ABOUT Distractions
Related articles ’round the ‘net
- Necromancy Of All Things (dragonintuitive.com)
- The Myth of Willpower (eoghann.com)
- Inertia (coachdeanhebert.wordpress.com)
- Principle of Inertia (iamlivingintentionally.wordpress.com)
- A Brief On Procrastination (thefemininefeminine.wordpress.com)
- Inertia (wounduptight.wordpress.com)
- Inertia and Autism – Why people with Autism often feel stalled in their tracks…… The difficulty in connecting intention with action. (seventhvoice.wordpress.com)
- People are lazy. Here’s how I get shit done. (katemats.com)
- Can Nurses Change Course? Thoughts on Inertia (jparadisirn.com)
- Goal Setting (howictheworld.com)
- 13+ Must-Read Goal Setting Articles for 2013 (smallbusinessbonfire.com)
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