Chapter 9Breaking Inertia

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

—Mark Twain

We are aware that many of the readers of this book are in very different places in their journey, but understanding what a good start to the process looks like is key.

When we had the idea for this book, Jay called a good friend who had published and edited a number of books. His advice was pretty simple: Even though this is a business book, you need to make it entertaining or nobody will read it. Great advice—although for the next hundred words we are going to ignore this advice and get academic.

What did most of us learn on our first day of high school physics? The definition of Newton's first law of motion: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced (external) force. The teacher went on to explain that the term for this concept is inertia. Our textbooks used examples of runaway trains and boulders rolling down mountainsides. We memorized a few formulae in order to pass the test and never thought about inertia again. Eric still gets night sweats when he thinks about calculating force factors.

Inertia can be a good thing. It was positive inertia that catapulted John Wooden's UCLA basketball teams to 10 national championships in 12 years and UCONN's women's basketball team to 6 national championships in 12 years. It was negative inertia that Susan Lucci was nominated for, but lost, ...

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