We gain the meaning of some words from the act of living and momentum is just one of those words. I think the meaning of momentum usually crystallizes right about the time that we first ride a bike down a hill. For the lucky ones the meaning isn’t written in bruises and scabs.
According to the Lexicon Universal Encyclopedia momentum ‘is a property possessed by an object by virtue of its motion. The linear momentum of an object is equal to its mass times its velocity.’ It goes on with more math, but we get the picture.
Personal momentum is similar to this physics concept and also more involved. Think about how hard inertia pulls to keep you asleep and in bed every morning, unless you are one of those very few folks who bounds easily out of bed. You have to counteract that inertia and build enough momentum to propel you into starting the day.
The Little Engine That Could thinks he can and thinks he can until he builds up enough power to force his weight up the mountain. He is successful in large part because he has a singular focus directing all energy toward making it up the track on the mountain.
We modern folk seem to think that it is necessary to keep momentum with a dozen or so activities all at once. Then we are consternated when we feel run down, scattered and worse, develop a sense that we aren’t progressing toward any of our goals. Much as I hate to give much credit to math, this is a math issue.
Each of us only has the potential to generate a finite amount of energy (mental and/or physical) during a set period of time. If we are trying to keep the momentum going for multiple tasks at the same time, we are dividing our potential energy with the addition of each task. This division is affected by the types of tasks we are attempting. Complimentary tasks may not necessarily divide your momentum, certainly not as much as completely disparate tasks.
Since very few of us can afford an assistant (darn it), we most likely can’t reduce the number of necessary tasks easily. But we can consider how best to group them to retain or build our momentum, or use the idea of momentum to offer alternatives to the boss. It’s like we are operating ourselves similar to operating the car for optimal gas mileage thanks to high gas prices.
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