Momentum is a mindset. It goes beyond the sum of actions to produce a desired result. It’s a habit. It’s a commitment to create impact for the long term. At the same time, it’s hard to find a precise definition. Paraphrasing Solomon Timothy, this concept can be a broad term whose meaning varies depending on the context.
In sports, it’s a great play or a struck of luck. In music, it’s taking a basic idea and eventually turn into a structured song. The best example that comes to mind is Paul McCartney composing Get Back out of the blue.
While Paul makes it look easy, it is important to state that building momentum may take longer than expected. Dan Cumberland, author of The Meaning Manifesto, uses a great analogy to explain how the process works. I’m breaking it into four bits:
- Momentum is like a merry-go-round: it will take a good amount of force to get it moving.
- You have to push with everything you have to get the first few inches of rotation.
- As it gains speed, less force is required to keep it moving.
- Once you have momentum, it is much easier to keep going.
It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop, as philosopher Confucius once said. That’s why starting small is a great decision.
Momentum as a mindset involves prioritizing progress over production. Progress is the fuel behind every endeavour.
If we’re motivated by signs of progress–that our efforts are worthwhile–we’re inevitably more likely to keep going.
Therefore, the objective is finding ways to move the needle a little bit towards a specific goal. At the end of the day, the aim is creating a snowball effect. Every single effort compounds.
Another component that adds value to momentum as a mindset is defining success. If you’re committing to small steps, what does a daily win look like to you? Visualize it clearly so that you know for sure you’re moving that needle in the direction you intend to. Is it a word count per day? Is it making a list of ideas and scheduling time to execute them? Is it planning content for your new podcast?
Dean Graziosi proposes an effective strategy to keep that momentum going: create more than you consume.
While other creators can influence you in a healthy way, it is important to be selective about all the input you get before you sit to work. His advice is simple, yet powerful: let your mind create from a raw state before you set eyes on content that can drain your energy, especially on social media.
What do you think? How are you building momentum from your mindset?
A note on The Beatles: The band was trying to produce songs in a short period of time. At first, they were going to perform live, but this idea was eventually dismissed. The main focus was getting an album ready and getting the job done as they decided to dissolve the band and move on with other plans. Momentum wasn’t exactly a mindset in this case. It was rather a matter of composing as quickly as possible and finishing. Maybe this is why their last album left a strange aftertaste in them.