Saturday, May 25, 2013

Newton's Laws-Part 3

It has almost been a month now that we have been talking about Newton and his three laws… and we’re almost through. Understanding the Third Law took me a little longer than expected… not because it was difficult but because of the mundane simplicity of this law.

Newton’s Third law states: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

In school your teacher must have given you the typical example of how you experience a kick when you shoot a rifle. It is nothing but the sheer force of propelling the bullet forward that pushes you backward. See Newton’s law working here? The action (sending the bullet whizzing through the barrel) had an equal and opposite reaction (pushing back the shooter with a not-so-negligible force).

How do we apply it to real life?

Let us do some simple Math. If you and me, both of us have 10 apples and I give you one from my stock… how much is the difference between the apples we have now? Two… right? What happened? How did the transfer of one apple magnify the difference two times? The logic is fairly easy to understand. When I gave you one apple, not only was it equivalent to an increment in your stock but also a decrement in my stock. Hence, one action on your stock had an equal and opposite reaction on my stock of apples.

We can apply the same analogy to our habits. Forming one good habit is also equivalent to kicking one bad habit. Say, you used to smoke 2 cigarettes per day. Reducing it by one has a dual effect. You harm yourself a little less by smoking only one and further benefit your health by not smoking the other one (though this doesn’t mean I support smoking… it is a strict No-No).

Take another example… most young people my age find fighting with their parents a rather amusing activity. Let us say that for one day we took a vow not to argue with them. What happens? Not only do we escape a day filled with sarcastic taunts and angry outbursts, we also experience peace and a certain sense of joy. You see the dual benefit here?

How does it help us?

Newton’s third law gives us this simple formula:
One bad thing less, two good things more

(This seems to be a less elegant version of the maxim adopted by the animal of Animal Farm by George Orwell… Anyone read it?)

#1 Identify the good and the bad that you do. Contrary to our expectations and wishes, life rarely has grey areas. Classify your actions in black and white.

#2 Identify the black habit which can be turned white with the least effort.

#3 What are you waiting for? Turn it white!!!

These three simple steps will guarantee your success in life. And why not… don’t we know that good things come in small packages?

With this we come to the end of the Newton series. I know not if you enjoyed it as much as I did… but even if you didn’t, give these laws a try… they just might help.

Based on the awesome inspirational posts at

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