Momentum Marches On
Every minute of every day momentum is moving you in a direction, which means you are becoming more of whatever your momentum is propelling you toward. Whether by design or default, you are a’changin’ and becoming more of something! So I ask you: What are you becoming?
If you’ve allowed yourself to abandon all those lofty New Year’s resolutions or get stuck in a rut, or you are simply not paying attention as you exist from week to week and year to year, don’t be fooled into thinking you’re not really going anywhere. You are. If you’re happy, healthy, growing, and creating, you’re going in a direction that you probably want to maintain. If, however, you’ve found yourself in some sort of rut or unhealthy phase and you don’t redirect it, the momentum that has you going in that direction will continue, digging you in deeper, making you more stuck. Make sense?
The point is, whatever direction you’re moving, momentum typically keeps you moving in the same direction – unless something comes along that causes you to change course. Such an interruption could come directly from you if you’ve become motivated to change your course; it could come from someone else; or it could come from a particular situation or set of circumstances that either inspires you or forces you to change and move in another direction.
Maybe you feel you need or want to change your course but the thought is overwhelming and you’re not sure you’re up to the task, or you’re unsure of where to begin. This can happen when we think we have to jump headfirst into a big, 180-degree turn-about to accomplish (or undo) something. I call b.s. here. Depending on the situation, there are times when extreme and immediate action is necessary. But there are also times when that just sets you up for failure, and a more measured approach is what’s needed.
Making even a small shift – just a tiny degree of change – can redirect your momentum. If you’ve ever been bowling, think about it like this: once the ball has left your hand and begun to roll down the lane it has momentum. If the ball’s momentum is moving it toward the gutter and nothing interrupts it, guess where it’s going to end up? In order to avoid the gutter on your next roll, do you need to make a dramatic, sweeping change in your aim? No; in fact, by over-correcting you’re just as likely to land in the other gutter! You correct course by changing your aim a tiny bit. Just a small degree of adjustment is all that’s needed to avoid ending up in the gutter and hit your target.
So if you’re looking down the bowling lane of your life and not feeling too crazy about where it appears that you’re headed, you’ve got two aspects of momentum you can consider in order to shift things – one, interrupting the direction your momentum is currently moving you in; and two, choosing the degree of correction/action you’ll take. As long as you recalibrate to consciously focus your aim on your desired target, and then steadily act, your momentum will keep moving you in that direction. Determine if you need to take baby steps or if you need to leap into massive action. The choice is yours. Both are effective and will yield results as long as you keep your momentum going in the right direction.
If you’re not sure if the momentum you have going right now is moving you in a desirable direction, take some time to answer the questions below to find out. Think about where you could be five, ten, or twenty years from now if you don’t alter your course but instead let your momentum carry you along your current course.
- What are you becoming?
- Are you becoming what you want to become?
- Who are you becoming?
- Are you becoming more of the kind of person you want to be?
- What will you likely become if you keep doing what you’re doing?
- What’s driving you?
Is momentum moving you in the direction of…
- sinking deeper in quicksand or being able to pull out of it?
- growing wiser or just older??
- becoming healthier or sickly?
- becoming wealthier or deeper in debt?
- becoming more active or more sedentary?
- growing and evolving or staying stagnant and stuck in your ways?
- thriving or merely surviving?
Final thought: If you think you’re heading toward the gutter and don’t change your course, your momentum just might land you there. So interrupt yourself! Happiness is exercising your freedom to take control, make new choices, and actively direct your self-generated momentum.
You can click here to download a worksheet and write out your answers to the questions above. This will really help you think deeply about where you’re at and where you’re going.