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Harnessing Momentum – Transforming Stagnation into Success

Things like to keep doing what they’re doing. So, if something’s not moving, it’ll just sit there. If it’s already moving, it’ll keep moving unless something else makes it stop or change; this is Newton’s First Law of Motion7. What’s fantastic is that it doesn’t discriminate; it doesn’t specify matter, objects, people, or feelings, it’s just true. Yes, it’s a law of physics and does speak of matter and objects, but we can find it applied in business settings, life coaching, and other fields because… it’s true. Since these two fields are what we’re talking about, we’ll focus there.

Name Your “Something Else”

If you’re not moving (growing), you’ll continue to sit there, being unimpressed by yourself, being disappointed in yourself, and being hopeful that something will improve. That is literally insane11. So, you need to “move”; but you need a reason to start, right? Action (change, in this context) is always easier when there’s a definitive starting point – which is why we wait to start our diet until Monday9. You can wait, if it offers you a level of certainty that appeals to you or if you make a deliberate decision for any number of reasons. I’d just caution against waiting for the sake of waiting or because you’re not quite ready. Being ready is something you decide for yourself and action on your own. No one and nothing else will tell you you’re ready. “Something else”, however, can inspire your readiness.

Identify it, declare it, fight it. Hard. Give it meaning by putting a name to it; understand what it is and why it opposes your goal9. Any action not in line with your plan, or any inaction to pursue your plan, is one step closer to being what you don’t want to be.

Build Momentum – Stay in Motion

Intimately understanding what it is you do not want to be can ignite your change, but it doesn’t keep you in motion on its own. We need to build momentum. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Start Small

Look through your milestones. Which are easily achievable? Start with those. If a project fails, it’s often because of poor prioritization – starting with something too big or too costly that skews our timelines or consumes too much effort, causing burnout (the New Year’s fitness bandwagon3). Starting small will eliminate low-tax milestones to free your time, focus, and energy for more significant developmental effort.

Celebrate Achievement

No one becomes a millionaire by waiting until they have a million dollars to put in the bank; you add a few dollars to the bank at a time and over time, it becomes a million dollars. Is this million dollars any less valuable than if you threw it in the bank all at once? Of course not, and it’s probably more meaningful because of the deliberate effort it took to get there. Don’t disrespect accomplishing smaller milestones on your journey; each one is closer to who you want to become and farther from who you don’t. If you focus on big wins, you’ll also focus on big losses. Small victories risk small losses that are more easily corrected and overcome, to turn into wins.

Share Success Stories

Let your community of WayMakers celebrate your wins with you. If they’re in your life to help you win, they get a win too. Sharing with them builds camaraderie, relationships, and momentum because their sense of victory builds their momentum too. Now you have a positive feedback loop.

Personal Factors

Your grit, personal growth initiative, and ability to cope with barriers also impact your momentum but we have definite control over these. A recent study of college students examined their capacity to develop and accommodate joining the professional workforce8. The results indicated that the more gravity you put on your perceived obstacles, the lower your agency and willingness to overcome the obstacles becomes. The results also indicated the opposite – the greater faith you have in yourself, the greater your ability to adapt and change as needed to move toward success. Do you care to guess the most impactful element? Personal growth initiative, by more than double the other factors8. Wanting to grow can carry you through, over, or beyond the barriers you perceive to stand in your way. You know how to become a WayMaker; build a positive feedback loop and watch your success inspire a desire for more success. Break through ceilings, find new blind spots, and unleash your human potential.

As a WayMaker, begin with purpose; take small steps to fend off burnout, and time to celebrate even modest accomplishments. Then, share in victory with your community. Choosing to recognize progress will stimulate, and possibly accelerate, your pursuit of growth along your journey. You’re capable of what you decide you are, but obstacles are also capable of what you decide they are – stay focused on yourself, desire more, pursue more, and become more. Unleash your full potential.

Do you want to learn more? Check out:

The Book: Be Relentless: If the obstacle is the way, then we must be WayMakers.

The Podcast:  “Be Relentless Podcast”!

The Fuel: Sisu Stamina, Performance Evolved

  1. Mayo, J. (2023). Be Relentless: If the Obstacle Is the Way, Then We Must Be WayMakers. Forge Publications, LLC.
  2. Quinata, J. (2023a, September 2). Warriors and WayMakers – to Win the Fight, First, We Must Fight. Universal Learning Approach. https://ulauniverse.com/warriors-and-waymakers-to-win-the-fight-first-we-must-fight/
  3. Quinata, J. (2023b, September 12). Navigating the Transformation Terrain – Charting Your Path to Growth. Universal Learning Approach. https://ulauniverse.com/navigating-the-transformation-terrain-charting-your-path-to-growth/
  4. Quinata, J. (2023c, September 26). From Surviving to Thriving – How Mental Toughness Fuels Vision and Strategy. Universal Learning Approach. https://ulauniverse.com/from-surviving-to-thriving-how-mental-toughness-fuels-vision-and-strategy/
  5. Quinata, J. (2023d, October 10). The Art of Self-Communication – Project Managing Your Life Goals. Universal Learning Approach. https://ulauniverse.com/the-art-of-self-communication-project-managing-your-life-goals/
  6. Quinata, J. (2023, October 24). Curiosity-Driven Growth – Learning as an Adult. Universal Learning Approach. https://ulauniverse.com/curiosity-driven-growth-learning-as-an-adult/
  7. Encyclopedia Britannica. “Newton’s Laws of Motion.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 27 Mar. 2023, http://www.britannica.com/science/Newtons-laws-of-motion.
  8. Gregor, Margo A., et al. “Positive Predictors of Career Adaptability among Diverse Community College Students.” Journal of Career Assessment, 16 June 2020, p. 106907272093253, https://doi.org/10.1177/1069072720932537. Accessed 4 Nov. 2020.
  9. Hopper, Elizabeth. (2020, August 25). Attribution Theory: The Psychology of Interpreting Behavior. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/attribution-theory-4174631.
  10. Mcleod, Saul. “Constructivism as a Theory for Teaching and Learning.” Simply Psychology, 2023, http://www.simplypsychology.org/constructivism.html.
  11. Wilczek, Frank . “Einstein’s Parable of Quantum Insanity.” Scientific American, 23 Sept. 2015, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/einstein-s-parable-of-quantum-insanity/.

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