Momentum is not the result of one push; it is the result of many continual pushes overtime – John Maxwell
Life Is Full Of Obstacles
You and I have one thing in common. We face obstacles every day. No one lives free from obstacles; they are part and parcel of life. Without them, we would not grow. Author Stephen Covey said, “We develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and obstacles.” Look back over your life, and you will discover that growth occurred where obstacles were present. Although defined as anything that impedes progress, obstacles can pull out of us resilience, determination, and greater effort; qualities that sustain progress. Otherwise stated, an obstacle serves as a revealer. An obstacle reveals your attitude and perception of life. How do you view the obstacle you are facing? Do you see it as a reminder that you will never progress and reach your goals and purpose in life? Or a stepping stone towards your goals or purpose? Our view of obstacles determines whether we shrink back in fear or face them with the perspective that they are part of the path to our destiny. Although obstacles are inevitable, I have learned that giving in to or overcoming them is optional.
One thing is clear; no one overcomes an obstacle by staring at it. Building momentum is key to defeating obstacles and putting them in your rearview. Momentum begins the moment a decision is made in a specific direction. A variety of things trigger these moments of decision. Before 2020, our decisions and actions did not reveal or reflect our commitment to being debt-free. Now and then a surprise expense would appear, and we caved into using credit cards. When the pandemic hit in 2020, my wife and I decided to go all in to become debt-free. We started with plastic surgery on our finances. We cut up all our credit cards and, in essence, removed the pseudo safety net we assumed we couldn’t function without. It turns out life is possible without credit cards. The decision became an action that produced movement or progress. Momentum grew as we stuck to our decision with daily action. Small actions sustained over a long period build momentum that crushes obstacles.
The Power of Chain-Link-Actions
For momentum to develop, we must cross the bridge from decision to action and keep walking. Many people don’t see the results that momentum can create because instead of crossing the bridge, we find ourselves in a valley. Making a decision is exciting and can give us an emotional high but turning the decision into sustainable action is one of the biggest challenges we all deal with. One chain link doesn’t make much of a difference. It’s diminutive in size, but when more chain links are connected, as shown below, strength is created.
Our decision to a debt-free life in 2020 initiated a chain of actions that pulled us out of debt and into debt freedom. We paid off more debt in one year than we did in the prior five years. Our chain-link-actions created momentum or what Good-to-Great author Jim Collins called the FlyWheel Effect.
A flywheel is a large disk engine part that creates momentum. Getting a flywheel moving requires substantial effort in the beginning. But, little by little, momentum is generated. As momentum builds, so does movement. Distance to the desired result is closed. As the flywheel generates more speed breakthrough is reached. It’s never one thing that causes success or breakthrough, but a series of “pushes” or consistent action.
Unfortunately, most people don’t keep pushing for chain-link-actions that produce much-needed momentum. Along the way, they give in to excuses and neglect, or as I call them, momentum killers. In the beginning, these killers appear harmless, but like a mouse chewing on electric wires in a home, or termites eating away at the structure of a house, massive damage is the outcome. Allowing these momentum killers to run rampant in our lives causes irreparable damage of stagnation and, worse yet, leaves us wondering what could have been if we overcame these killers.
Here is a roadmap for February’s blog series:
Excuses ( 2/10/2022)
Neglect ( 2/17/2022)
How To Kill Your Rats ( 2/24/2022)
Final Thought: Think about the obstacle(s) you face. What comes to mind? Fear? Anxiety? Worry? Defeat? What if you saw the obstacle as a stepping stone instead of a barrier to your destiny? I believe this slight change of perspective will sharpen your focus and renew your resolve to create a chain link of actions that generate momentum towards your goals.
Keep on Keeping on!