I’m a big believer in momentum. I think momentum might be the single most important thing in every aspect of our life. Oh, also I exaggerate. Whether you’re talking about fitness or business or your love life, the laws surrounding inertia are powerful. Objects that are in motion stay in motion and objects that are at rest stay at rest, unless impacted by an external force. What does that actually mean?
Well, for starters, if you’re sitting on your couch reading this in your underwear eating potato chips out of a family sized bag, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll be spending a lot of the foreseeable future there as well. And that’s ok. That happens. I’ve binge watched and ate with the best of them and I eventually got rolling. When it comes to momentum, I find the biggest problem is half measures.
I was once a runner. This was before arthritis from a knee injury finally caught up with me but at one point I was running anywhere from 15-25km each week. I would run to work, run home, run to meetings, run at night, run in the morning, run at the beach. I would run whenever I could run. And then I decided that I would run less. And less. And less. And now, for various reasons, I don’t run. You see, once you start making excuses, settling for second best and scaling back, you’re done. Like when I’m cleaning the house.
I have to clean the house at a breakneck pace. I vacuum and listen to really fast paced hip hop, do the dishes while watching Netflix, dance my way through the bathroom cleanup and finish cleaning up the kids play area while watching/listening to a TED talk or a 99U talk. And then I sit. I don’t slow down at any point during that entire process until I’m finished because my experience is that slowing leads to resting and resting leads to sitting and sitting leads to laying down and then we’re doomed. This has been my experience running, my experience cleaning and absolutely describes my experience in business.
I half ass nothing. There are no half measures. I was once asked by a potential partner if all of my extra-curricular business activities would get in the way of our venture. I explained that keeping a lot of plates in the air is what keeps me motivated. By staying active, I’m able to keep myself constantly motivated. There’s no sitting or laying down on the job. I transition from one task to the next to the next as quickly and as efficiently as possible because I know that as soon as you start to take a break, that’s when it all falls apart.
Now I’m not talking about working yourself into a heart attack or a nervous breakdown. If you’ve read my piece Sprint Til You Sleep, you’ll know that I believe in everything being full speed. Work your ass off. Play your ass off. Sleep your ass off. Love your ass off. Do nothing in half measures.
How do you use this information to get better? Well, for starters, stop reading blogs and get to work. There’s nothing wrong with using someone else’s words as motivation but if you spend most of your time looking for the perfect Pinterest board full of inspirational quotes that will finally get you off your ass, you’re PROBABLY never going to get off your ass. There was a website one time with an article that said, “15 Quotes That Will Finally Motivate You To Get Started With Your Own Business”. If it takes some poetry or quotes from Fortune 500 magnate laid over a picture of a sunset to get you off your ass and working, you’re going to crash and burn. I use cool quotes all the time to help me come to terms with an emotion, an event, a problem or an opportunity. But I don’t use them as that external force that will start my inertia nor should someone’s opinion of you act as that force that stops you.
So start today. Don’t start at the beginning of the month, or the quarter, or the year, or as soon as X happens. You’re making excuses. Finish this post (or better yet, don’t) and go make something happen. And don’t come back til the work is done.