Friday, December 12, 2008


The rubbing together of the Earth’s crust has the ability to form mountains, rubbing wood together can form fire, and a pebble of sand implanted in an oyster can create a pearl. These are all forms of friction and they are all forms of beauty and wonder.

Typically when we think of friction we think of conflict that just stops short of or leads to violence between people. In fact, the majority of the time the opposite is true. Friction is essential in creating new beginnings.

If we are able to understand the absolute necessity of friction in our lives then we will be able to better utilize the idea of creating friction in a healthy way so that we can grow. Healthy friction is the act of breaking the old to create new. Think of therapeutic rubbing where friction has the ability to stimulate blood circulation and create healing, not arguing with your coworker about whose turn it is to bring the boss coffee.

Healthy friction is internally motivated in it root; we recognize that we have become content or stale and decide that we need to reorganize who we want to become. Our initial idea to transform when not internally based will not lead to adherence therefore will not generate enough friction to make us happy. Instead we will give in to the temptation to return to our comfortable state because we did not shake the foundation well enough to fall outside our comfort levels. Our goal must be to cause enough friction through our will to become something better so we gain strength through discomfort leading to transformation.

This is where our well known definition of friction and our intent of creating healthy friction meet common ground. All friction at some point nears violence because it is creating massive change. When using healthy friction, our violent metamorphosis is controlled and calculated as opposed to the anger and spite that fuels conflict friction. In our ability to control the amount of friction we impose upon ourselves, we generate the confidence necessary to comprehend the benefit of the friction we have created, therefore adhering to the transformation we have decided to make.

As we grow we need to understand when and how much friction is necessary to continue to succeed. Remember, all things created by friction take time to reach their apex, and it is within our power to decide just how much friction we can handle at any give time. The planet Earth (4.5 billion years old) experiences and earthquake every 11 seconds, a pearl takes about 5 years of continual friction to reach 3mm, and we have roughly 78 years to become the best person we can possibly be.

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