Friday, July 24, 2009

Energy

In physics, the term energy describes the amount of work which may potentially be done by forces within a system. The amazing thing about energy is that within a system it may be transformed so that it resides in a different state. This means that whatever energy is being built up within a system can be transferred into another venue while maintaining the same amounts of energy previously accumulated.

Generically, an internal combustion engine converts the potential chemical energy in gasoline and oxygen into heat, which is then transformed into propulsive energy. Propulsive energy is kinetic energy or energy in a system that may be transferred so that it resides in a different state. Having gained energy during its acceleration, the system maintains its kinetic energy unless its speed changes.

For example, a cyclist uses the chemical energy from food to accelerate the bicycle to its desired speed. Without air resistance or friction, this speed would be maintained without further work due to the kinetic energy accumulated. Because we live in a world with resistance and friction, this cyclist could potentially face a hill where they could come to a slow crawl and the kinetic energy would be replaced by gravitational potential energy. This gravitational energy can then be released as the cyclist freewheels down the other side of the hill, never destroying the energy, only recreating it into another form.

So why is this important? On any given day we are faced with many forces of energy and these forces dictate our mood, ability to function, and directly relate to our performance. So the negative energy that is accumulated through our morning commute has the ability to build and dictate the rest of our day when gone unchecked. In fact, we are much better built psychologically to pass negative energy on than we are positive energy. Our bad day very easily builds up kinetic energy internally and is passed onto others through our interactions with them externally starting a cycle where we are surrounded by negative energy.

What we forget is that energy can be transferred into a different state, so the negative energy we carry with us can easily be turned into productive/positive energy when we allow ourselves to be aware of what we are feeling internally before interacting externally. Great athletes do this all the time. The nervous energy created before a performance is channeled into positive energy that will facilitate, not debilitate, performance.

The first thing that needs to happen is introspection, or a detailed mental examination of your feelings, thoughts, and motives. Life is filled with transitional periods, and these transitional periods are where we have the time to internally check what types of energy we are detaining, question what type of energy is needed for the task at hand, and then transfer the energy into what we want it to be.

Much like the cyclist, we have the ability to go from complete rest to movement, face a challenge and overcome it, and then build up the necessary speed to face our next challenge. This work is all accomplished by the same forces transferred into different dimensions of energy which are to be thoughtfully transformed into productive states that will allow us to excel. It is when we as individuals refuse to transfer energy into its correct venue that we deny the process of turning potential energy into propulsive energy, where we allow external negative energy to become internal (or vice versa), and when we allow our surroundings to control our personal environment.

In fully understanding the scope by which our thoughts initiate our actions we must become aware of how the energy we hold is either facilitating or debilitating our efforts. Through understanding how energy works within us we then have the ability to choose which energy we need to use for the desired results we seek.

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