Momentum is hard to generate.

Back when I was playing golf I couldn’t understand why my game wasn’t improving playing once a month.  The more times I play, the better I get, right?  No.  I was probably just repeating the same mistakes over and over.  There wasn’t enough consistency in my golf game to build any momentum toward improvement.

How do you create momentum?  Occasionally at work I can feel a positive momentum, like I’m riding a wave.  I can see actual progress.  Most days, though, it’s a struggle just to tread water.  Progress seems to die.  It feels like the ‘forces of nature’ are working against me.  Actually, that may not be entirely wrong.  Several laws come to mind that seem to be always working against us.

The Anti-Momentum Laws:

Law #1: (Science) Second Law of Thermodynamics (Law of Entropy)

  • The universe is winding down; the earth and everything in it is moving toward chaos.

Law #2: (Theology) Law of Human Nature

  • We live in a ‘fallen’, imperfect world.  People make mistakes; things happen outside of our control.

Law #3: (Social) Murphy’s Law

  • Anything that can go wrong, usually will.

Along with this is the 50/50/90 Rule: If there is a 50/50 chance to get it right, there is a 90% chance that you will get it wrong.

These laws seem to be constantly working against progress.  Everything takes longer than you think, twice as long as it should, and 3 times as long if the thing seems really easy.  The other line will always move faster.  The printer will always break when you’re rushing to meet a deadline.  And round and round in this broken world we go.

Life often feels like trying to run up an escalator the wrong way.  You must be running fast to make any progress.  To beat these laws of nature, there must be urgent steps taken over a compact period of time.  There must be consistent activity.

“Activity Breeds Activity” – Cole Forsyth

And more activity builds momentum.  This seems to be the thinking of every successful businessman I know.  It can be called the “Rule of Numbers”

Rule of Numbers: With enough of the right activity, the numbers will eventually work in your favor.  One of the keys is a dedication to urgency.  “If it can be done today, let’s do it.”  These businessmen say there is a huge difference between making 10 prospect calls and making 12 prospect calls in a day’s time, between finalizing 5 reports and 6 reports in a week’s time.  That marginal difference is what usually leads to a tipping point, a breakthrough point where momentum begins to build.

“Working with all my heart” (Colossians 3:23) means taking a specific number of steps over a specific period of time.   And as activity breeds more activity, eventually momentum moves in our favor.  We begin to feel we’re running with the escalator, we’re riding the wave.

“All hard work brings profit.” – King Solomon

(Proverbs 14:23)