Your mind and a car: An analogy


Reading time: 2 min 34 sec

You know how a car moves. It takes a lot of force for an engine to start and accelerate a car. It consumes a lot of fuel during the process of acceleration. After attaining the desired momentum, it only requires very less power from the side of the engine. But then the air resistance and ground friction come into play. At that time, if the engine provides no power to push the car forward, eventually it is going to be stopped. These are the details we all know. Okay! Now ask yourself a question. Have you ever thought that our mind also works similar to a car?

Yes. Most of you might have already found this analogy between the working principles of our mind and a car. Continue reading if you want to explore this analogy. At first, let’s see how our mind works. Suppose you are a student who needs to start preparing for exams or a researcher who needs to plan and execute some experiments. Though we are good at planning our work, when the time comes to execute the task, we start to feel mega-lazy. So we postpone our work for some silly reasons although we know that we have an essential job to get done. This situation is similar to the case when the car gets no fuel for its movement. When we are lazy, our mind (the engine) provides no fuel for your body and brain (the car) to start doing the task. Okay! The analogy seems to be perfect, but in real life, what are we supposed to do at this moment of mind-numbness? Apply a great deal of effort from your part, just like how an engine pushes a car with its available fuel.

When you try to start to do your job, it can be felt as mundane, uncomfortable and monotonous. In fact, it is undestandable to feel frustrated at the initial stage of your work because, to start doing your job, like a car engine, you have to invest a great deal of energy, and investing your energy can be frustrating. Here you are pulling yourself up from a pit of laziness to the heights of excitements. Such a process naturally comes along with a sense of exhaustion. But many people quit at this initial stage as they think that this frustration is going to be with them as long as they do the work. This is where these people are insanely wrong!

Similar to a car, which attains the desired momentum after a while, our mind also takes a sense of momentum naturally once you get the momentum. The time needed to get this momentum may vary depending upon your inherent interest in the work. Once you get the momentum, the effort from your side is the minimum. When you are on the track, you start to feel the excitement. You feel joy and comfort as you ride along with your momentum. Now you are in the flow and things happen effortlessly!

But then the ‘air and ground resistance’ comes into play. Your friends, chats, emails everything starts to slow down your momentum. This is the time you really need to feed some extra effort consciously to keep yourself on track with the right pace. Otherwise, you are going to slow down and come back yourself to your old state of mind-numbness. External distractions can quickly derail you and make you lazy again.

Takehome lesson: A mind and a car are definitely two different things. But their working principles are similar in the context we have already seen. Similar to a great deal of effort needed for a car to move, an effort must be needed for us to start doing something new. Alike a car, that runs without much engine power after gaining the right momentum, once our mind reaches a state of flow, we begin to feel the joy of easiness. At the same time, we have to look for the distractions which can potentially retard our pace. Under these circumstances, keep yourself on track by fueling it with your vision just like how a car engine compensates its speed by giving more power to the engine against friction. It seems that the basic principles are the same although they are seemingly unrelated.

Just reminding what Leonardo da Vinci said: “Everything is connected to everything else. It is just that we have to look close enough to see it.”

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