The first law of motion

If you watch TV at all you have inevitably watched the commercial for Celebrex which is an arthritis drug. The commercial states that “a body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest”.

This commercial is based on the first law of motion that Issac Newton published in 1687.  Which states that an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless it is acted upon by an external force.

This week I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine about this very concept. Not Issac Newton, we aren’t that smart.

We were talking about running. I was explaining to him that as a runner, it is very easy for me to go out and fall into a pace that my body is very comfortable with.  It could be an eight minute mile or a seven minute mile.  It just depends on your conditioning.  Whatever that pace is, it is easy to stay at it because your body can do it without efforting.

I am sure there are more scientific ways to explain it, but I am not scientific.

To increase your speed and accomplish running goals you have set for yourself, you must break the inertia, the temptation to stay at the comfortable pace.

It is hard to do, that inertia is so cozy, easy, and feels great that your mind wants to stay right there.  You may call it your comfort zone. But as long as you do this you will never increase your speed or times towards any distance goals you might want to accomplish.

I was a runner for close to six years before I learned how to really train.  For those first six years I definitely became a better runner, with better speeds and times, but it wasn’t until I started training my body to become very uncomfortable that I made significant gains.  By gains, I mean faster miles, longer distances, and winning races I competed in.

In running that training starts with forcing yourself out of that comfort zone for small periods of time over and over and over, until it stops being that uncomfortable to you. As you continue to do this repeatedly you eventually become better conditioned and you start moving the needle towards whatever goals you might have.

At almost 42 years of age, I am probably twice as fast I was when I was 32.  Its isn’t that that I am getting better with age.  That theory doesn’t hold up in athletics and age. Instead it is I am a more educated and I am better at training.

If I would have known how to train at age 32, who knows what I could have accomplished as a runner.

Whether it is running, biking, writing, speaking, investing, you name it.  For you to break any slump or cycle, you must break the inertia.  You must apply force someway and somehow to move yourself out of the comfort zone.

I am a real estate investor. I have purchased many single family homes. When I first started doing it, I was always a little scared.  I would just think things like this.  “Is this a really good deal”, “Will I be able to fund a tenant”, “What if something goes wrong”, “What if someone destroys my property”.  All of these question ran through my head.

Many years later, I never even think about those things. Purchasing single family homes is easy for me.  I never over think it.  However, it is too easy and too comfortable for me, that I can easily fall into the trap of continuing to only purchase single family homes.

For me to scale my real estate portfolio the way I want to, it is going to require me to buy bigger deals.  Multi-Unit/apartment buildings is now the direction I want to go and I must go.

Many of the same concerns and questions I had early in my investing career are popping up in my head. “Will I be able to find tenants for all of the units”, “What if all of my tenants move out at the same time”, “What if all of my hvac systems go out”.

As these questions pop up in my head it is easy for me to want to stick with the single family homes that I am comfortable with. But I am pushing through because I know I must get to the next level and the only way to do this is to go in the new direction.

I share these stories with the intent to inspire you to force yourself out of the comfort zone you find yourself in. Inertia is a bitch.  Without additional force and pressure from yourself or others you will never get out of the rut or zone you are in.

To your success and your future.

Three reasons why you will never fulfill your true potential

This weekend I ran my sixth half marathon.  I personally believe that there are very few things or activities, outside of running, that stretch you and challenge you the way running does.  When I got in to running several years ago, I did it just to lose some weight.  I didn’t know that it would be a catalyst to a process that has pushed me in so many ways.

Most of us have not, or will never, put ourselves in situations that require us to be uncomfortable.  It is not totally our fault, it is unfortunately ingrained in our DNA.

Here are three reasons many out us will never fulfill our true potential and what you can do instead to prevent this from happening.

You will never put yourself in the situation:  When I first got into running, I didn’t know anything about it at all. I just started doing it one day.  Then, I read somewhere that running an eight minute mile was considered really good.  It meant that you were a good runner.  A really good friend of mine told me that anything less than an eight minute mile is considered jogging.  He considered the eight minute mile to be the great separator between runners and joggers.  He said do you want to be a runner or a jogger?

I decided that running an eight minute mile would be my first goal in my new exercise program.  The first time I ran an eight minute mile, I quickly learned what the difference was between what I was doing before and running that eight minute mile.  I felt like the eight minute mile was full on sprint.  I didn’t realize how slow I had actually been running. The day I ran that eight minute mile, everything changed for me.

I now knew what it would take for me to become better than average at running. I then set my next goal.  Which was to run three eight minute miles with an average of eight minutes per mile.

I am proud to say I have accomplished that and then some since then.  I have accomplished many of the goals I have set, and I am still seeking to accomplish a few that I have set that I just can’t seem to get to.

The best thing I did was to put myself in a situation to actually get me out of my comfort zone and push me beyond what I thought I was capable of. As I look back on my life, I now see that of all the things I have accomplished, it required me to go first and actually put myself in situations that I wouldn’t normally put myself in to.

To realize your full potential you have to seek out situations and activities that you have never been in before.  They just won’t happen on accident.  You must go to them.

You seek comfort over growth:  We all have been really sick before.  You know the feeling.  You just don’t feel very well, and you are not at home.  You may be at work.  You may be on a trip.  Or just visiting with family.  But you are really, really sick and you can’t get comfortable, because you are not at your house and in your bed.  You have to travel back home somehow, and for some length of time.  All you can think about is that bed and how comfortable it will be when you finally get home.  When you finally do get home, and you get in your bed.  You immediately have this comfort feeling wash all over you.  Now don’t get me wrong, you are still sick, but you are at least comfortable.

The comfort we seek in our every day life is no different from the comfort we seek when we are sick.  The only difference is, when we are sick we know we are uncomfortable and we seek what will provide us comfort.  Our bed, may be some type of medication, etc.  However,  when we are not sick and we are just living, we are never forced in to an uncomfortable situation. Instead we just live in the comfort zone.  Most of us will never force ourselves outside of our comfort zone, because we don’t have to.  We go through each day just being comfortable.  It is easy, it doesn’t require much.

To get out of your comfort zone it requires you to put yourself in a situation where the chance to get out of the comfort zone could occur.  Most of the time, people avoid this possibility at all cost.  For you to grow and realize your full potential.  You have to get outside of what is comfortable and plan, prepare, and seek opportunities that will force you outside of your every day comfort zone.

You think you have all you need:  I recently talked to a person that said they have everything they need.  They are an accomplished professional that has their own business. They live in paradise, they have their health, and everyone in their life seems to be doing well.  Most people would agree that this person has it all.  Having it all is great, and I have no doubt that this person is happy.

However, when you get to a point where you feel like you have everything you need and you are satisfied with  where you are in your life, many times you stop seeking growth and development.  Life is not all about getting to a point and saying, “I have made it, this is all I am going to be.”  No.  Life is all about maximizing and realizing your full potential.  All of us have to be willing to try to reach our full potential.  If you are capable of more, you must be willing to go out and do more.  This is what life should be all about.

Like the individual I recently talked to that said they everything they need.  The really interesting thing is that they said they have everything they need.  In their conscious brain, they believe this to be true.  However, in their subconscious brain, the part of the brain that doesn’t allow ourselves off the hook, is telling them that they are capable of more.  Which is why I connected with them in the first place.  They came to me, looking for more.  They came to me and said, I know I need to work with you on these things.

What this situation tells me and what I already know.  We as humans are always seeking more.  In it is built-in to our DNA and genetic code.  Many people may say they are content, but that is only because they have decided that is what they want to say.  The real you, inside of you, is wanting more, you just have to listen to it and be willing to embrace it.

As I have recovered this weekend from my sixth half-marathon, I have already started planning for what I must do next.  I am not satisfied with my results from my last race, because I know I am capable of more.  I know I haven’t maximized and reached my full potential.

Let me ask you.  Have you reached your full potential?  Are you capable of more?  Let me answer for you.  No.  You have not reached your full potential.  And yes.  You are capable of more.  The question is: What are you going to do about it?

To your success and your future.



Are you in a rut

I heard this little saying this past weekend.  What a rut really is.  Pretty funny and true.  A rut is just a grave without the dirt kicked in.  Anyone who has been off-road in a vehicle knows exactly what a rut looks like.  If it is wet and muddy you cant get your car out of it.  If it is solid and dry, your car is guided by it and it is hard to get out of it.

So how do you get out of rut.  I guess it is different for everybody.  But here are a few things that I have started doing that has slowly gotten me of ruts before and is getting me out of ruts now.

All motivation begins with inspiration. And inspiration usually begins with some kind of further education and experience.  Maybe you had a chance to see a new venture. Or someone came along and showed you a way you could make some additional money.  Or maybe someone showed you how you can actually lose that 15 pounds you have been talking about for three years.  Whatever it is, getting out of rut usually begins with some kind of inspiration which comes from some further education.

Be willing to take new risks.  This is a topic I like to write about, but for the most part I have lived a pretty risk free life myself.  I have taken a few big risks at times, some I thought I lost, but I actually won, and some I just lost.  So I guess my advice here is to be willing to take some calculated risks.  That is where my risk meter kind of stays, the calculated risk point on the meter.  However, as I continue this journey my confidence continues to grow and my calculated risk meter continues to gain momentum.

Walk away from everything and everybody that is keeping you in the rut.  If you were talking about this or that a year ago and you are still talking about it, it may be time to move on and get around some people who inspire you to take action.  This goes back to your associations.  You are who you spend most of your time with.  You are what you spend your time thinking and talking about.  So to get out of that rut get around some people who inspire you to think outside the rut.


Make some goals and write them down.  This is where all motivation and inspiration begins really in my opinion.  I am coaching a few clients on goal setting and goal developing as we speak (BTW: I am doing this as well) and the things that they are accomplishing and I am accomplishing are just truly amazing.

So are you stuck in a rut?  The key is to take action, do something different.  I would love to hear from you on what you are doing to get out of the rut.

Brian Willett