Q:Why is it so easy to muster up the strength and energy for unimportant situations (petty arguments) and not for situations that are very important (maintaining health or acquiring wealth)? It seems as if people have little or no energy for what's most important.
A: It boils down to one word. Resistance.
Human Beings and electricity have something in common. Both seek the path of least resistance. That's the reason that we invent so many gizmos- to make life easier and less resistant. And that's the reason that it seems as if it's easier to muster up more energy for less important tasks.
It takes a lot more discipline (resistance) to manage your emotions and properly channel them. Allowing your emotions to run wild, like screaming and yelling at someone, wastes a great deal of energy and time but PERCEPTUALLY there's little resistance because it seems easier than practicing restraint.
Think about how hard it is to resist "snapping on" somebody that you think did something stupid. Or what about how hard it is to resist getting in to an argument when someone is making a statement that you don't agree with. Internally you have to resist the urge to interrupt. It takes great discipline to actually listen to what the other person has to say, make sure that you understand and respect what they have to say, and then state your point of view.
How about this one? "I'm too tired to exercise for an hour today." And then the person ends up hanging out with a friend until the wee hours of the morning. Which one wasted more energy? Which one presented more resistance?
Here's another one. "I'm too tired to cook tonight. I'll just get something from the drive thru." So, you do and you save some time and energy, right? But the fast food is harder on your system, it takes more time and energy to digest, and you body gets less energy (nutrition) in return. So, which one one wasted more energy? Which one presented more resistance?
Last example: Ever notice that reading is a great sleeping pill for most people? Two or three paragraphs and it's a first round knockout. But that same person can stay up, watch TV half the night and then go to work on a few hours of sleep. Wasted energy? More resistance?
Seeking the path of least resistance is practically an unconscious process and a good one at times, otherwise we would not progress. No wheel, no learning how to use fire, computers, etc. But sometimes strengths can also be weaknesses.
Copyright 2005 Al Duncan Enterprises. All rights reserved.
Copyright holder is licensing this under the Creative Commons License, Attribution 3.0.
Please feel free to post this on your blog or email it to whomever you believe would benefit from reading it. Thank you.
Reprint rights of this entire work are granted under the following conditions:
1. Please forward the location & nature of the reprint to Al Duncan Enterprises. firstname.lastname@example.org
2. If using electronic media, provide a direct link to the download (if applicable) or first page of this article.
3. The following byline must be used if this work is reprinted in its entirety.