Have you ever ridden a bike downhill? How much effort did it take on your part to keep moving? How much effort would it take to stop?
Chances are you can reach 30+ mph without doing a thing. Just letting the wheels turn and letting gravity take control. Your job is to just steer that momentum. On the other hand, slamming on the brakes may flip you over the handlebars. Trying to stop momentum can be tricky business.
How can we take control of the momentum in our life and steer it in a positive direction? I think it comes down to two things:
Action vs. Inaction
Time Doing vs. Time Thinking About Doing
Act. Do. Make it happen. Execute.
Once you have a goal, and you’ve formulated some way of making it happen, start making the dominoes fall. Put the work in and begin to let the change begin. You can’t create the change in your life by obsessing about every move you need to make in order to get to your end goal. Work on step one, and dominate that step. Then when it comes time for step two, dominate again. So on and so forth. You can’t overthink the process. The process only becomes a process once the wheels start to turn and the momentum starts to flow. Sitting back and staring at the vision board or outlining every single detail of where you need to end up won’t create any positive momentum.
“But what if something goes wrong? What if my plan doesn’t work? What if my goals change?”
The best part of acting, doing and creating momentum is that it breathes actual information into your plan and goals. As many of us set goals and make plans for bigger and better things, we are basing our plan off of projections and what we anticipate needs to happen. By getting into the thick of it, really diving into the work, we are producing factual evidence of what works and what doesn’t. To come back to the analogy of the bike’s downhill momentum, this is your opportunity to grab the handlebars and steer your path where it needs to go. This information is so much more powerful than our projections because it is real. You can’t get that same information by sitting back and waiting. The more time you let pass, the more you will create…
Time can be your biggest enemy in accomplishing anything. The more time you let pass between making a plan and executing that plan, the less likely you are to get the job done. In Grant Cardone’s no nonsense, motivational book The 10x Rule, he dedicates an entire chapter to fear and how it gets in the way of getting things done. Fear is paralyzing. It can make the most incredible and capable people stop in their tracks. By letting time pass, you’re letting fear gain momentum. One excellent quote from Cardone’s book is:
“Starve fear of it’s favorite food by removing time from the menu”
If you want to get something done, do it. Right now. The more time you allow yourself, the more likely it is that you will talk yourself out of doing it. Whether it be some task you need to get done at work, calling that girl that you want to take out, or starting a blog of your own, take time off of the menu and take care of business right now. If you don’t, the negative snowball of thoughts will become too overwhelming to overcome. “I can do that tomorrow”, “She’s out of my league”, “I’m not creative enough to start my own blog”, etc. This negative momentum can be as hard to stop as the bike on a downhill slope. Don’t allow it to happen.
Another book that gives quality insight to this kind of negative momentum is Seth Godin’s Linchpin. He refers to this negative self talk and progress killer as “The Resistance”. It is that voice in your head that tells you’re not good enough. The voice that tells you to keep putting things off, because it’s easier to procrastinate than to act with intention and create positive change. The more time you let pass and the more inaction you have, the louder The Resistance will be. The only way to shut up The Resistance is to give things a try and let go of what might happen. You might fail. Scratch that, you will fail. Everyone does. No one is exempt from it. It’s not about failing as much as it is about using the information provided to get better.
Momentum is a fact of life both in the physical world (bike on a hill) and in your mindset. You can’t fight it, but you can harness it. Get the ball rolling and start making things happen. Adjust as needed and learn from your mistakes. There is no failure, just feedback.
Until next time my friends. Be great today. Don’t wait until tomorrow.