In physics, escape velocity is the minimum speed required to escape the gravitational pull of very big things like planets, moons, solar systems, galaxies and even black holes.
The bigger the mass, the larger speed required to escape from its pull.
The moon’s escape velocity is 2.4 km/s. For Earth is about 11 km/s. Jupiter’s is about 60 km/s. For our Solar System to escape our galaxy’s gravitational pull, the escape velocity is about 500 km/s. For a black hole, at the event horizon, is 299,792 km/s – the speed of light!
Let’s picture what this escape velocity thing means.
Imagine one day you got tired of living on this Earth and wanted to escape from it and never return. If you could jump towards the sky with a speed of 40,270 km/h you would never come back down.
Of course, no human, not even Michael Jordan on his best day could jump at even a fraction of that speed.
The only way to escape Earth is with help… lots of help.
Escaping from the moon would be easier. From Jupiter a lot harder. From a black hole… impossible.
In psychology there is a similar effect going on. I believe our mental states have a mysterious force – similar to gravity – that pulls us back to them.
Mental states are like planets. The larger the problem, the stronger it’s is gravitational pull and the harder is to escape it.
For most every day mental states we have enough energy and resources to reach their escape velocity. But when things get very tough, it gets harder to reach that velocity.
There is a moment where we simply don’t have enough energy to escape a shitty mental state.
In physics, if you want to escape Earth’s gravity you call NASA or SpaceX.
In life, when you want to escape from the strong clutch of a negative mind state, you call a professional. Or, take drugs, drink, party, over eat, drink, watch lots of kitty videos, jump from a bridge or a combination of any of the above.
One of the toughest mental states to escape is depression. Although I never got diagnosed, I’m pretty sure I was under the gravitational influence of that planet for a big chunk of my adolescence and early adult life.
It took many years for me to even realize I was under the D-planet’s influence and many more to reach escape velocity.
One of the turning points was when a friend gifted me a book with a super cheesy title: “Psycho Cybernetics 2000” by Maxwell Maltz.
Being a complete skeptic about all self-help things that was probably the last book I would have bought (especially with such a horrendous title) but after a year collecting dust on a shelf, I decided to open it and read it.
Some parts felt like B.S., but some helped bring a new perspective. That stupid book helped!
Maltz’s book was not enough to reach full escape velocity but it got me started on a path of reading a bunch more books on psychology.
Every book was full of case studies, I loved to read about those. I loved to read how other’s reached escape velocity. I loved learning how complex and amazing is the jelly blob inside our skulls.
Of course, how anyone reaches escape velocity is determined by a myriad of factors. It’s unlikely that a single event will give you enough momentum. It’s more like a process of accumulation.
The right book, the right conversation, the right movie, the right medicine, the right exercise, the right relationship, they can all contribute to reduce the size of the problem and therefore its escape velocity.
The bottom line is to realize that given a large enough problem no one has enough energy at their disposal to reach escape velocity on their own.
So what do you do?
Peace, love and happy cookies.
P.S.: With atmospheric air’s resistance accounted for, Earth’s escape velocity would be higher.
P.2: In this analogy a black hole would be death. Try to stay way from that one please.
P.3: This week’s winner of an official Grumo t-shirt is… Donna Barker! (please reply to this email with your shirt size and address) – Do you want to win a FREE Grumo t-shirt? every week I’ll be giving away an official limited edition Grumo t-shirt to one of my readers courtesy of ShirtBattle. To enter the contest just click HERE.
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