Friday, October 16, 2009

Are You Afraid of Momentum?



Years ago, I went on a group bike trip on Martha's Vineyard. One afternoon, there was an incredibly long and thrilling downhill the likes of which I had never experienced before. While I was overjoyed at the feeling of going fast with apparently no effort, I was also afraid. Afraid of going too fast, or that I might fall over or collide with another rider, or that I might never get this kind of thrill again and therefore shouldn't enjoy it too much. It sounds silly, right? I mean, why spoil a good thing? I resisted the urge to brake, and went for it, and my thrill ride ended safe and sound with my coming to a natural slow down and stop at the bottom of the "hill."

We've all learned by now that life has its uphills and downhills, so much so that it has become a cliche, much like the term, "bumps in the road," or "rocky road," or "uphill climb." You get the idea. But I was thinking about the idea of momentum on its own, and realized that there is a distinct psychology to it, particularly in business. For example, you can go from having no clients to five clients, from having no activity to a flurry of activity, like a kid on Christmas morning. Suddenly you get an e mail from someone contacting you that maybe you wanted to hear from for a long time, or you get a phone call, or an invitation for a meeting that you'd been hoping for.

These things happen. Sometimes they mean more then themselves, and sometimes less. They could change your life, or they could just be a temporary flurry. In any case, make the most of your momentum, and don't ruin it by going for the brakes. You'll slow down any way, eventually. It's just the way gravity, and life, work.

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