Momentum (Part 2)

Think of a child learing to walk. Think of the time delay of losing weight. You

A hiker who conquers a peak will often eye the next one. From his vantage point atop the peak, the distance to the next peak looks short. However, on his way to the next peak, he must traverse a deep valley. At the bottom of the valley, the perspective is that he's not making any progress towards it, as it seems futher away. But the truth is, he's much closer than when he started. He just failed to recognize the fact he must travel by land, not by air. The lesson is that the route to our desired result is more often greater than we think when we first realize it.

Reward progress, not results

Progress is a measure of our effort, and our effort is the only thing within our control. To measure yourself on results (which are largely out of your control) is unfair.

Just because our society values results over effort, doesn't mean you have to.

The relationship between the actions you take and the results you get will impact your future decisions.

Because the effort to acheive a desired results is usually far greater than we expect, there's a tendency is to give up.

But what if instead of focusing on the outcome, you focused on the effort?

Example: I have back pain. Desired result: I want it to go away. Expectation: I will do yoga, and the pain will go away. Actual outcome: It took a year of doing yoga before the back pain went away.

When we don't get the desired result, we have to make a decision: 1. Give up 2. Continue 3. Change course

If we are measuring ourselves to the result, we'll likely give up because we didn't achieve the result. But if we measure ourself on the effort, we'll be more likely to continue. To change course is a form of giving up, because we may be much closer to the result, changing course can be like starting over.

In 1952, Florence Chadwick stepped into the waters of the Pacific Ocean off Catalina Island, determined to be the first women to swim to the shore of California. It was a foggy day. She swam for fifteen hours, but the fog never lifted. Physically and emotionally exhausted, she stopped swimming and was pulled out. It wasn’t until she was on the boat that she discovered the shore was less than half a mile away.

The mantra of persistance:

Success exists just beyond the point when our desire to quit is the strongest.

Our desire to quit will be the strongest just before we succeed. This is illustrated so well in concept of a rubber band. If you were given the task to touch a wall across the room, but I wrapped a giant rubberband around you, the resistance would be the greatest just before you touched the far wall.

This is also illustrated in the idea of birth.

You grow until your mother can no longer contain you in her belly. You push your edge until you breakthrough. In the case of birth, you breakthrough to life. In the case of life, you breakthrough to death. Death may breakthrough again to life, we have no way of knowing. But each time we breakthrough, we can't recall the prior phase.


It's our perspective on time that can make all the difference. If I set the expectation that a result is likely to occur after an hour of effort, you are likely to be willing to invest an hour of your time to produce that result. But if after an hour, the result doesn't occur, do you give up?

If I didn't set the expectation, would you have started?

How many things in life do we fail to start because we are uncertain of the effort involved?

The path will only be revealed after you travel it. This is the primary reason why you are better served to measure yourself on effort, not results.

Results assume that you've travelled the path before.

Indeed, an outcome can be measured only AFTER we have a true understanding of the effort involved. But how often do measure an outcome before the effort is truly known?

If we paid the price for produce that reflected the effort to produce it, we'd be willing to pay far more.

If we paid the price for a course that reflected the true effort (which we'll never know) that the teacher put into, we'd be willing to pay more.

But that's not how the world works. You are not paid for your effort, you are paid for your result. We are not measured by the effort, but rather the result.

It would make sense then that those willing to put in the greatest effort benefit, right?


Since your effort goes largely unnoticed (by everyone except yourself), sustaining effort is largely an inside job.

Rarely are we rewarded for our effort. Even when we are, it's short lived. Results are the only lasting impact.

Effort is the easy part. Making a difference is what's tough.

It may take a song writer 1000 songs to produce 1 hit. It may take an author 1000 words to produce 10 that make an impact.

Effort is the one thing accessible by everyone.
Results are accessible only by those who have put in the effort to produce the result. And despite what you hear, or even what they remember, the amount of effort far outweight the result. The best thing you can do right now is to ingore the effort, and emphasize the result.

The effort will be hard. Delays along the way are inevitbale.

in an hour, you a result is going to take an hour, and you are prepared to invest an hour of your time to achive the desire result, but the result doesn't happen, how does that feel?

Feeding the flywheel of your life.

Passion is the essence of feeling alive.

What are you doing to keep momentum in your life? When was the last time you connected with your passion? How are feeding your flywheel of passion?

Does your life have momentum? Are you in action or just going through the motions?

Ideas that are fueled by deliberate action demands focused attention. Ideas without results in unresolved tension. What wakes you up in the middle of the night are great ideas begging for action.

Getting off the flywheel

Often when an idea or a relationship has run it's course, we need to step off the flywheel. When people are ready to move on, if we try to hold them back, we are attempting to break their momentum towards something new. Being hooked to your past may be hurting your momentum more than you realize.

Let your life become defined by the momentum that carries it. While I am a big fan of time blocking, when you find yourself lost in a task, it's often best to go with it. You may never find the momentum again. Although the next task may be begging for you to stop what you are doing, it's often better to delay a start then to stop too soon. Rest assured, you'll have momentum and make up the time on the next task.

Read more on the flywheel concept.

Momentum killers

Stay vigilant on the MKs in your life. Examples:

Set expirations

If a task lingers for too long, you begin to lose momentum. Set an expiration date.

When you shift gears, it's a given that you will lose a little momentum, pay close attention to the transitions.

Find ways to build & keep momentum.


Power = Momentum

Your power is a function of velocity, that is to say, your power is a function of the rate at which you translate intention into reality. Most of us disempower ourselves by finding a way to slow, impede, or make more complex than necessary the process of translating intention into reality.

There two factors that impair velocity (momentum), in our disempowering ourselves.

Velocity is our self-efficacy.


The first is the domain of reasonableness. When we deal with our intentions or act to realize our intentions from reasonableness, we are in the realm of slow, we impede and complicate. When we are oriented around the story or the narrative, the explanations, the justifications, we are oriented around that in which there is no velocity, no power. No momentum. Man up.

Results are black and white. In life, one either has results (one’s intentions realized) or one has the reason, story, explanations, and justifications for not having the intended result.

Momentum is achieved by dynamically responding to the situation in each moment. Excuses or explanations only impede progress. Progress is an indicator of momentum. And we need strategies to overcome that (or whom) stops us.


The other factor to be addressed is time. Now never seems to be the right time to act. The right time is always in the future. Usually this appears in the guise of "after I (or we) do so and so, then it will be the right time to act"; or “after so and so occurs, then it will be the right time to act”; or "when so and so occurs, then it will be the right time to act." The guise includes "gathering all the facts," "getting the plan down," "figuring out ‘X’," "getting ready," etc.

Now is the only time you will ever have (in reality). Since now will never 'feel' like the right time to act, why not take action now? Even though "it isn’t the right time," given that the "right time" will never come, acting now is the key.

It is our duty as human beings to proceed as though the limits of our capabilities don't exist. - Teilhard de Chardin

The root of momentum is moment. Momentum does not mean you are right. Don't stop yourself by questioning whether you are right or not. You are always right in the moment when you live in the moment.

Becoming decisive in the moment (the only time it matters) is a matter of momentum. There is no value in waiting for the right moment to arrive, it never will (or it always will).


It's the transitions between activities, especially the changing of environments that is worth paying attention to. How you hand off or set down the task? Are you able to pick it up later? Should you?

The seeds you plant (into your preconscious), repeatedly, are what you harvest later, if you remember where you planted them!

Putting this in to action!

Q. What are your top 3 desired outcomes today?

Use JoesGoals to stay focused!

What is it that you do, when don't realize you're doing it?