Have you ever wondered why things always seem to break down over time when you stop paying it attention? Whether it's an old iPhone battery, your relationship with your partner, ice in room temperature, or a dead body in a casket; across the horizon of time, objects will decay and never return to where it once was, without energy or effort being spent in return. This is the concept of entropy. Around 1850, two scientists, Rudolf Clausius and William Thomson put to paper the second law of thermodynamics. While this law is technically used to explain heat and energy transversions in the physical world, it can also be used to explain entropy, and more specifically why most people’s lives tend toward disorder and why they seldom achieve the goals they set out for themselves. This article will explain everything you need to know about entropy, and how this understanding will help you achieve your goals – despite the undeniable force of chaos.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that entropy, or disorder, always increases over time in a closed system. This principle can also be applied to personal development, as individuals strive for growth and improvement. It is a reminder that without active effort, entropy or disorder will increase over time.
Applications to Personal Development
When it comes to personal development, the Second Law of Thermodynamics is like a personal trainer for your mind. It reminds us that just like a couch potato’s muscles will atrophy without regular exercise, our goals and aspirations will wither away without consistent effort. Take goal setting for example. We’ve all been there, setting ambitious goals with the best of intentions, only to fall short and feel like a failure. Think of it this way instead: when you set a goal, you’re essentially creating a new order within yourself. But without consistent effort to maintain that order, the universe will naturally push you back towards your old, comfortable habits. It’s like trying to build a sandcastle on the beach — without constant maintenance, the tide will inevitably wash it away. This doesn’t mean any efforts are futile, rather it’s a reminder that we need to actively work to maintain the order we want in our lives. Just like how a personal trainer pushes us to break through our own limitations, entropy reminds us to push ourselves to maintain the progress we’ve made.
Applications to Mental and Emotional Well-being
This physical law isn’t just a science lesson, it’s a life lesson. And when it comes to our mental and emotional well-being, it’s a lesson that’s especially relevant. You see, just like how entropy leads to the gradual increase of disorder in the physical world, it can also lead to the gradual increase of negative thoughts patterns in our minds. We’ve all been there, feeling like we never really move past those mental health traps we work against. But just like how entropy is a natural part of the universe, negative thoughts and emotions are a natural part of the human experience. Instead, it is about repeatedly accepting and observing these patterns, without judgement, to stop giving them power. And entropy reminds us that without active effort, we will naturally slip back into old patterns of behaviour. Additionally, cultivating skills such as mindfulness, positive self-talk, identifying cognitive distortions and building a support system are key, and they require up-keep as well. Mindfulness is like pulling out the weeds of negative thoughts and emotions, positive self-talk is like planting the seeds of positivity, and other techniques like journaling, therapy or meditating are like watering and fertilizing these positive thoughts to make them grow.
So, the next time you find yourself stuck in a spiral of negative thoughts and emotions, remember that entropy is a natural part of the universe, and the key to overcoming it is actively working to change our patterns of thinking and emotions.
In summary, entropy is the natural tendency for things to become disordered over time, as described by the process of entropy. This principle can be applied to various aspects of personal development such as goal-setting, mental and emotional well-being. The key to preventing entropy from ruining our lives is through active effort and consistent
maintenance. Setting a high hygiene standard for ourselves, practicing mindfulness, positive self-talk, effective communication, setting boundaries, and focusing on the positive aspects of relationships are all ways to actively work towards reducing entropy in our personal lives.
It’s important to remember that without effort, things will naturally deteriorate over time, and the second law of thermodynamics is a reminder that we must actively work to prevent this from happening.