A pendulum is a simple mechanical device made of a suspended weight that oscillates around a central point of equilibrium. The motion of a pendulum is one of the simplest types of oscillations. Pendulums are used in clocks, as well as instruments that measure gravity and seismographic activity.

Pendulums are used in clocks because they keep a regular rhythm. A metronome, used to set a pace or tempo when practicing music, is a type of pendulum. A swing on a playground is another kind of pendulum.

Think of the swing on a playground. In order to get started you need to push off to start the oscillation. Once you are swinging, you need to pump your legs to keep the swing going, or eventually inertia will make it stop. When you want to stop, you might scrape your feet on the ground. This is called dampening.

Mood swings are another kind of oscillation that are harder to control than the motion of a swing. Sometimes a minor setback can be enough to swing you from an even-keel flow into doom-and-gloom, or a simple moment of praise or appreciation can make your entire day.

Life can swing you in many different ways. Oscillation, like you feel on a swing, can be enjoyable when you feel like you are in control. When oscillation is not under your control it can be frightening.

Are you experiencing oscillation in your life or work? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? If it’s good, can you keep it going, or even increase your momentum? If it’s bad, can you slow or stop the oscillation by dampening it somehow? If you can’t change it, can you find a way to endure it, or even enjoy it?

See also: Momentum, Flywheel, Solar system, Infinite loop, Highs and lows, Causal loops, Cycle.


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