The First Law of Thermodynamics
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another.
The first law of thermodynamics plays a crucial role in the scientific community, however it is my stern belief that this is the law which governs human kind itself, and if applied properly can be a catalyst to your future successes and endeavors.
When we begin to produce goals, aspirations or dreams and we envision our highest selves, most usually we deny ourselves the opportunity of the pursuit of Happiness based on the fact that the end goal seems unreasonably difficult to obtain. How do we begin to weave the difficulties of success in our favor and start to understand that neither trying to obtain our highest aspirations, or never trying at all, uses the same amount of available energy in the universe.
Some 60, 70 and maybe through medical advancement, longer years from now, I will eventually be drifting off from my death bed, assuming that I perish of natural certainty. As I drift off I look back on all the times I could have reached my most true potential but didn’t because I took what seemed to be the easier path. In this moment, the first law of thermodynamics becomes apparent to me and I realized where I went wrong and what lessons I might have to learn on the other side of my mortal reality. This scenario is one of my biggest fears, I think about it several times per week and it keeps me at a level of efficiency which I never thought possible previously.
Recently, I gave a speech to a Baltimore based mentorship group on reaching their highest potential and during the speech, one out spoken young man asked me if “anyone has told you that you work too much, because that doesn’t sound fun” as I explained my schedule and my pursuits. I paused and said yes, even though people don’t usually say it with physical words, it is usually through body language when we communicate that I notice they think I’m a little over the top in my pursuits — nevertheless it had me thinking. I asked the young man in return what the difference between work and life is, he shrugged and admitted he didn’t know, I said the difference between work and life is that work is something you show up for, and life is something you live. I am not showing up to my goals, aspirations or highest potential, I’m living them every single day, this personal ideological movement was the number one biggest shift in mentality that I ever could have provided myself with and in so,unknowingly began to live the first law of thermodynamics.
The most broad, seemingly unobtainable goals I set began to creep closer at exponential variants of speed and frequency when I lived the first law of thermodynamics. At every point in my life where I have exceeded my own expectations — from the military, to college, from playing football to starting a business, it was because I realized a simple fact about the complexity of my goals which is that it is a facade of smoke and mirrors. Once I realized and accepted that there is no easy path, things hyper-ironically became easier. It is just as difficult and requires equally as much energy to live average, doing just enough to get by — as it is to excel. and change the world day by day. At the end of my life I will have used _‘x’_ years worth of energy, whether I played it safe or did as much as possible. The first law of thermodynamics: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It is equally as difficult to do nothing as it is to do everything at once, when you recognize and process that, you realize you might as well do more, seeing as it is just as consuming as doing nothing.
The idea that it is easier to settle for less than your absolute best or that there is an easier option we should search for in life which will make us expel, consume or utilize less energy so we do not have to do as much, is a facade. This doesn’t mean you will not be challenged more, just that the challenges change. To the couch potato, it will consume equally as much energy to fix the television and the broken leg on the chair in order to continue resting, as it will for me to type this article to continue pursuing higher attainment, no additional energy was created or destroyed during either.
The precipice of success, I’ve learned, is not really the way we view the cliff of faith we must launch ourselves from, it is in realizing that launching ourselves into the unknown requires just as much effort and energy as observing it. I’m currently reading a book by John C. Maxwell titled The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth in it was a quote which really caught my ear, he said “God’s greatest gift to us is our potential, our greatest gift to God is how we utilize it” most often we curse the world around us and the way that it functions, however if the world around you is dysfunctional it is also a product of your dysfunction too.
The world around me is not in the least dysfunctional these days, I have surrounded myself with functional individuals who are motivated and inspired to complete the tasks and larger goals at hand, they work relentlessly and in return it forces my hand too. I cannot concern myself with dysfunctional events thousand of miles away or even down the road because I am not in control of those events, by controlling and utilizing effort around me I can change my immediate world and create one which is functional, thus improving the larger scheme of things along the way. I spent far too long in a state of dysfunction after the military, trying to grasp my purpose in the world and cosmos, it became apparent by grace and providence that I am utilizing as much energy in dysfunction as I could utilize in total harmony with myself and my surroundings, and in such it profoundly changed my every action from my largest ones like deciding to play college football or start a business, to my smallest ones like making my bed.
As with all things though, our lives do not start or end with the first law of thermodynamics, it is simply a catalyst to help us go further. We are the ones day after day who have to make a choice as to how we are going to approach the tasks at hand. Certainly, along the way there may be some cuss words and frustration, but none more than the frustration or cuss words given if your cable going out when your favorite movie is on. Humans are the only species which can consciously stop itself short of their most attainable selves, no where else in nature does the world prevent itself from doing the most it is capable of, the tree doesn’t stop at 3 feet and consider its difficulties in growth and resources, how high does a tree grow? as high as it can! and in doing so it creates nor destroys anymore energy than was already readily available to do so. Similarly with us as a species, we are neither wasting energy nor creating it by remaining stagnant or reaching our highest goals, we are still utilizing what is readily available, and so if the choice is to suffer in stagnation or rejoice in highest attainment, I will always choose to utilize the same available energy to rejoice and create a functional world around me.