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Do you ever wonder what it’d be like if things were different?
For instance, if instead of doin this you were doin that?
If instead of goin here you were goin there?
If instead of gettin what’cha always get you got what’cha always wanted?
Well, what if you were doin it?
Not all of the time but some of the time.
What if you were goin there?
You hadn’t yet arrived, but you were headin in the right direction.
And what if you got it?
Just a taste of it that is.
Would that change anything?
Would things be different?
David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, says, “When you start to make things happen, you truly begin to believe that you can make things happen. And that makes things happen.”
Momentum, I believe, is far and away one of the indisputable cornerstones of personal growth and achievement.
When ya got it ya know it. You can feel it. And when you do it’s one of the greatest feelings on the planet bar none.
But let’s not put the forward moving cart before the horse.
Because as monumental as momentum can be there’s something which must always precede it.
ON YOUR MARK, GET SET…
Remember back in grade school when the teacher would dole out those dreaded tests?
Remember how she’d sashay from row to row and lay down that single sheet of school ruled paper on your desk face down?
And do you recall the last thing she said before you nervously flipped it over and discovered rather than that American history test you haphazardly studied for it was some straight-outta-left-field compound fractions pop quiz?
Well, that’s exactly what you need to do.
So, shall we?
Begin that is.
Okay then, let’s suppose it’s a lazy rainy Sunday afternoon. At the foot of the coffee table sits an unopened 500 piece jigsaw puzzle. You curiously eyeball it for a moment and then come to the conclusion, “Ahh what the heck.”
Now I know with the advent of the internet and cable TV this is an unlikely storyline but stay with me.
Now think back: what’s the very first thing you’d do prior to tryin to piece that thing together?
You’d take a close up look at the photo on the front cover of the box right?
Why? To get a better idea of what you’re up against.
So you open the box and empty the contents onto the table or floor. At which point you’re left with a heap of mixed-up mess.
You begin sifting through the stockpile reallocating some of the pieces into smaller bunches, separating them by corresponding colors, recognizable patterns, and the always easy to spot border pieces.
You piece together the border. You assemble a handful of good sized clusters from the smaller bunches. You even manage to snap together a few of the other oddball pieces.
You’re on a roll.
Granted you’re still far from done, but little by little, piece by piece you’re beginning to make some real progress.
You’re beginning to gain some momentum.
You can feel it.
But then, as if by some barbaric whack on the back of the head you’re rudely reminded that Monday morning is quickly approaching and that you have far more pressing responsibilities to attend to. You tell yourself you’ll continue this a lil later, or tomorrow after work at the absolute latest.
But before you know it it’s Thursday afternoon and you haven’t added so much as one additional piece to the puzzle.
And not only that but between the kids the cat and your better half’s round-the-clock relationship with the Dyson hand-vac your earlier work lies in utter disarray.
Oh well, so much for momentum.
Let’s face it as good as it feels to get a burst of momentum under your belt it can be just as frustrating to have to repeatedly start and stop.
It’s like being stuck in rush hour traffic. And we all know how frustrating that can be.
Nevertheless, ya gotta keep pluggin away.
Look, a puzzle has to be put together one piece at a time. Momentum too has to be built one step at a time.
Sure you can get on a kick ass roll. Sure momentum can come along in waves. But whether a jigsaw puzzle, a part time project, or your everyday hopes and dreams, there’s gonna be distractions and interruptions. There’s gonna be setbacks and cluster fucks.
The only difference is when it comes to your EHAD’s chances are there’s gonna be a helluva lot more of em.
Thus…they’re gonna require a helluva lot more patience.
I remember every holiday season my parents would buy us these calendars which went from the 1st to the 25th of December. Each day had it’s own set of small perforated doors, inside of which awaited a yummy bite sized morsel of milk chocolate.
Every morning we’d pry open one more tiny set of doors scarfing down the candy as we hurried off to school knowing…seeing, that it was one day closer to Christmas.
Momentum comes in two sizes: fast and furious and slow and steady.
Fast and furious, whether initiated over time or happened upon during a one time activity, is one you can easily and instantly recognize. You can feel it deep down in your bones. And again, when you do there’s simply no denying it, because it’ll knock your freaking socks off.
Slow and steady on the other hand is more of a “I know I’m making progress but sometimes I can’t help wonder whether or not…” type of thing.
Kinda like rush that hour traffic.
You continue plugging away, you’re convinced it’ll all pay off someday, yet there remains this fits and starts sorta feel to it.
It’s a much more sedate kinda momentum, one that while terribly effective, can’t easily be gauged or measured on a moment to moment or day to day basis.
Or can it?
What if you bought a…oh let’s say, 100 piece jigsaw.puzzle?
And what if each day when you took one more seemingly insignificant and unmeasurable step toward fulfilling your EHAD’s you added one more piece to the puzzle?
This way you could literally see your progress.
Yea you could do a similar thing with a desk calendar or a goals app, but instead of just checking off your daily progress like another item on your grocery list you’d be piecing it together.
In other words, you wouldn’t just be tracking your progress, you’d be emulating it…piece by piece, step by step, day after day.
100 pieces.100 days. What do ya say?
Granted this technique may seem a little different. But hey, unless I’m mistaken isn’t that what you were looking for in the first place?
Oh and by the way, so what if things take a little longer than expected.
So what if they don’t turn out exactly as you’d planned.
So what if by some slim chance you’re everyday hopes and dreams don’t happen to come true.
Then again, what if they do?
See ya on Mar 1st. Till then, keeep it up.