the art of frictionless living

“The world is wide, and I will not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.” ~Frances E. Willard


Brilliant quote. It has an expansive, ephemeral note to it, yeah? You don’t have to think too much to get it.

But I couldn’t help myself…

I can be wading my way through life when suddenly I get a sense that there’s friction somewhere. It feels bloody annoying. And it plays out as grumpiness and irritation. My heart rate increases. I drive faster and get shitty with people who travel 5 under the speed limit. Why are all the dumb people out today, getting in my way? I am, I should confess, the world’s most impatient person and my inner dialogue can get damn ugly when I’m in friction.

In the past 6 months, though, I’ve practiced asking myself when this happens: “where’s the issue?”. Invariably, I realise I’m in friction. I’ve wedged myself into some round hole, when, in actuality, I’m a square peg. MasterChef was that. I was irritated the whole time. In the final month or so I realised I was being shoved into holes that were the wrong shape. The whole surface of my being was left chaffed. So I left.

Where’s the issue? What’s the friction?

I now make my decisions along these lines. I feel for the friction. For the niggling, annoying feeling that something is rubbing wrong, stopping a nice glide into place. Once I identify it I know it’s time to shift.

You can waste your life trying to find a way to smooth out the friction. Or you can give up on smoothing it out. And instead leverage off the energy created from rubbing the fur the wrong way. I have an image of a high jumper who needs an abrasive surface in their run-up to be able to jump. Friction can funnel momentum. You just need to steer it up, up and away. Simply identifying your friction is enough. It stops rubbing as soon as I see it. And I can make a shift. Even a small one.

Hmmmm, a bit heavy for a Monday, hey. But the world is wide. And Monday’s are a good day for stepping into it.

Share this post