“Inertia” is a word I use often when talking about organizing. Even if relatively little progress is made in the beginning stages of a project, I always want the client to know how darn important it is that they’ve broken the inertia. It’s a point that usually gives someone pause. They recognize that though the goal may still be off in the distance, they are the closest they’ve been to reaching it. This is why I was so pleased to find a beautiful line on inertia in a book I recently picked up.
“To manage others successfully, a man must first manage himself. Personal efficiency is creative self-management. It is not getting ahead of others, but getting ahead of yourself.
It is having the drive to get started on the task at hand. ‘Life leaps like a geyser,’ wrote Alexis Carrel, ‘for those who drill through the rock of inertia.’”
"The Art of Living", section on “The Art of Personal Efficiency”
Like a geyser?! Yes! I have been a eyewitness to this hundreds of times. I love the stories of someone staying up for hours into the night sorting and tossing simply because we trashed 10 folders in an intro session. The beauty of organizing your space is you find that inertia in other areas of life starts breaking down like dominoes!
It was only in hindsight that I realized this passage would be fitting to share. Otherwise, I would have paid close attention so I could give accurate attribution. I’m almost certain The Art of Living was written by Norman Vincent Peale in 1937, but can’t verify it. This little gem of a book is hard to find online! Please, if any of you know who wrote this passage, please let me know in the comments.