Stirling Visualisation

I Love Physics
Here’s a video of my little model Stirling Engine. You can see that initially when i nudge it, it stops quite quickly, but when placed on a cup of warm coffee (and that’s all it is, just warm coffee), it not only carries on but goes faster and faster. Physics is great, isn’t it? For a detailed explanation see here, but in short, what drives it is the differential in heat between the top and bottom plates of the main body. Eventually, as the coffee cools and the difference in temperature reduces, it will stop again.

My Point?
I think we can use this as a metaphor; The temperature difference between the top and bottom plates in my engine is what keeps it moving. In our lives, we have our current situation and we have our goals. Over time the gap between our situation and our goals will  reduce, but this could be by either changing our current situation and moving towards our goals or conversely, by reducing our goals to fit our current situation (See Figure 1, below).

Figure 1.

In the example of my little Stirling engine, it’s the addition of the heat from the coffee that drives the engine and keeps it moving. When the coffee cools, the temperature between the plates will even out and as you can see, the engine stops. Likewise, in our lives, without some heat to motivate us, some reason to get up and get on with it, we tend to let our goal reduce until we forget it and settle for our current situation.

The only way I know to keep that heat coming in my life is regular visualisation of my goals, which I tend to do every morning. This way I can keep them in mind and I have something to drive for. As soon as I lose sight of my goals, I lose momentum as I lose the reason behind the movement. This visualisation of goals can take many forms; there are those that insist that writing them down by hand is essential. Some use a vision board, on which you can stick pictures depicting scenes a desired lifestyle, perhaps in the form of a dream home or a dream car.

I even have a vision board folder on my Google Drive so I can access it anywhere via PC or smartphone. I think the important thing is not how you do it, but just that you do it.

Replace your hot coffee on a daily basis or your engine will eventually grind to a halt.
PS. Remember this is a metaphor; I strongly advise against attempting to run your car engine on coffee.

2 thoughts on “Stirling Visualisation”

    1. I first came across these years ago when I was looking for a Mamot for my eldest boy. I’d never heard of Stirling engines at the time but the more I looked into it the more fascinated I got. I found someone on YouTube that made one out of a used coke can!

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