Hi there Crusaders
I trust you’ve had a great week so far
This week I want to confront a myth that many people hold about how top achievers operate.
There is a broadly-held misconception that everything the successful minority do is based on their sheer willpower to succeed.
Now, I’m not saying that willpower isn’t important; it is – very important. You absolutely need it to get through tough obstacles and to persevere with your plan.
But, relying on willpower alone will never bring you success. Willpower gets depleted during the day as you make use of it. It is not an unlimited resource.
If you rely only on it, you will falter and burn out.
Another crucial attribute that is at least as important as willpower, if not more so, is . . .
Most people who are looking in at success from the outside either completely miss or downplay this component completely.
So, what is momentum?
Well, it can be defined as the impetus gained by a moving object. In other words, the internal forces at work that try to keep that motion going.
So, it takes a lot less energy to keep moving once you’ve started than it does to start moving.
As I’m an avid cyclist, I have a fun experiment for you that illustrates this concept very well . . .
- Take your bicycle to a road in a hilly area, and position yourself between two hills.
- Start at the bottom of a hill, (in the valley), and ride up it from a standing start.
- Every time you push the pedal it’s a strain of exertion.
- Now that’s what we would call sheer willpower.
- Go to the top of the previous hill and cycle quickly down the hill towards your starting point in step 1.
- Then, when you get to the initial starting point, continue to pedal up the hill as you did in step 1.
- How much easier is it to pedal up the hill?
- In fact, if you’re going fast enough, and the hill is gentle enough, you might even get up over the second hill without exerting any effort at all.
- That’s momentum.
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Now, compare the cyclist who focuses only on willpower versus the cyclist who knows how to generate momentum and uses it to his advantage. Who would you bet on to win the race?
So, which concept are you going to focus more attention on in future?
Yup . . . Me too.
But, how do you create momentum?
Well, in the simplest terms, you start with a small, relatively easy step in the right direction, and let it build on itself from there.
If you relate it to the cycling analogy, take your first step of the journey on a downhill, not on an uphill.
A practical example from my life is in my morning routine.
I have a structured routine that takes between 60 and 90 minutes each morning, and step 1 is simply to get out of bed and brush my teeth.This is an easy, simple, mindless task in itself, but it creates momentum so that the second step becomes more automatic. Also, by the time I’ve finished brushing my teeth, I’m fully awake.So, by forcing myself to just get up and take that first simple step at 05h00 every morning, the rest of my routine just flows . . . and by 06h30 I’m ready to tackle whatever the day throws at me.
I hope my examples have painted a picture that you can associate with.
Well, that’s my view on motivation versus willpower.
Your takeaway from it should be this:
You need to build momentum-generating activities into the beginning of your projects.That way, you only need willpower to actually take that first step, and then the momentum drives you through the process.
I hope that makes sense to you.
Have an awesome week, and take care out there.
All the best
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