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.