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.

7 lessons I learned about life and running that running taught me…

On June 8, 2013 I technically started running.  My plan wasn’t to become a runner it was more of a way for me to lose a few pounds that I committed to losing on January 1, 2013.  As I started running (and losing weight) I started really liking it.  At that time, I liked losing weight more than the running.  However, over time I started liking the running just as much.  The morning run at 4:00 am. when no body is awake, just me and my thoughts is one of my favorite parts of the day.

7 lessons:

1.  If you want to lose weight…running is the most efficient way I know to burn calories and lose weight, with proper diet of course.  A good long run can allow you to bank a few calories and you can still eat what you want, in moderation of course.

2.  Goal Setting…As I mentioned I started out running really just to help me lose a few extra pounds.  For most of my life I have always been an athlete.  Playing sports and lifting weights and being fit was a way of life. Since High School, I have lifted weights, but really didn’t have any firm goals set. Running has forced me to set goals in running as well as every other area of my life.

3.  Seeing things differently…I bet I have walked through Cherokee Park a 1000 times throughout my life.  I would take my dog to there almost everyday during the summer for many years.  But running in the park as the sun comes up and it is just you and your thoughts, the park looks differently and it has a different feel to it, it is majestic.  I would have never experienced this if I didn’t start running.

4.  There are no shortcuts…We all know there are no shortcuts on the road to success.  However, in basketball from time to time you will hit a lucky shot, or in football the defense makes a mistake and you are wide open, lifting weights you can tweak your form and cheat to lift more weight.  In running, however far you go, there is only one way back. There are no shortcuts back, it is the same amount of steps.

5.  The last mile…is the hardest.  You are worn out, you’re dehydrated, your body hurts, but you have to finish.  Life is the same way, when you are about to accomplish something worthwhile the last few tasks are the hardest.  In college, the last few classes were the most difficult, every test and every activity was a grind.  In the beginning, they weren’t as bad, you just did it, but as the end drew near, the more cumbersome the tasks get.

6.  The journey is hard…but it is worth it.  Life is hard and sometimes we don’t know what path we are going down and it can get really difficult.  As early as this morning, I was thinking about how hard the run was. My body ached, tired, a lot on my mind, but as I finished the run, I felt better, and I know the run was worth it for my health and well-being.

7.  Life and running…only gives you what you deserve and earn.  I can’t run 7 minute miles unless I earn it through hard work, preparation, and dedication to that goal. These are the same principles needed in life to have a life of success as well.

Until next time….

Brian Willett