Life’s Limiting Reagent

One of the components of the fuel mixture on the Apollo lunar module involved a reaction with hydrazine and dinitrogen tetraoxide.  If the balanced equation for this reaction is:

2 N2H4 (l) + N2O4 (g) → 3 N2 (g) + 4 H2O (g)

What volume of nitrogen gas (measured at STP) would result from the reaction of 1500 kg of hydrazine and 1000 kg of dintrogen tetraoxide?

If it’s been a while since you’ve taken a Chemistry class, allow me to refresh your memory on (or introduce you to) limiting reagent problems.  The purpose of this problem is to identify which of the two reactants will be consumed first in the reaction, either the hydrazine or dinitrogen tetraoxide.  By determining which reactant is limiting, you can calculate exactly how much product, in this case nitrogen gas, will be produced.

Consider your own life.  Are there aspects of your life that you can identify as limiting your potential to grow, expand or produce?  Is there something preventing you from realizing your maximum potential?  Are you as happy as your heart tells you you ought to be?  Are you earning what you’re worth at your job?  Are you free from debt?  Does your schedule allow you to pursue goals, hobbies and passions or do you wish there was more time in the day?  Are you active and healthy or is it a struggle to climb a couple of flights of stairs?

Consider your own life and all the factors you have identified as being the limiting reagents.  Consider the money problems, your unsatisfying career and your neglected and deteriorating relationship with the love of your life.  Take a few moments to really consider your life and all that is limiting it.

Consider them and ask yourself, “What do all these things have in common?”

The answer is you!  You are the common bond and, therefore, you are the limiting reagent in your life.  Not the money.  Not the career.  Not the schedule.  Not the debt.  Not the kids.  Nothing is limiting your potential but you.  No one else is restricting your happiness.  The possibility of your life is only possible with your effort.

Your life is a chemical reaction.  If you want a little more product – more results, more happiness and satisfaction, more money, no debt, that old spark – you’ve got to add a little more YOU to the mixture.

Want to get out of debt?  Add a little more effort on your part to get out of debt.  Want to lose weight?  You have to start exercising and eating right.  Are you sick of your career?  Find a more meaningful method of supporting yourself financially.

You can’t expect a chemical reaction to happen without adding the right amounts of chemicals and you can’t expect your life to improve or progress any further without YOU being proactive and aggressive.  If you want more product,  you must add more YOU to the reaction.

Now that you’ve identified the real limiting reagent in your life, add as much of it as you can and produce as much product as your life will allow.

Class dismissed!

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