Why is it that successful people tend to become more successful? Why do the rich get richer while the poor get poorer? Why do happy people become more happy yet depressed people become more depressed? The answer is one word: momentum.
What Is Momentum?
In physics, the momentum of an object is its mass times its velocity (momentum = mass * velocity). In other words, the more mass and/or velocity an object has, the more momentum it has.
Take the example of a person skiing down a hill; the more that person weighs ― in other words the more ‘mass’ that person has ― the faster that person will fly down the hill and consequently the more momentum they will have.
Alternatively, a rocket burns most of its fuel during the first few moment of flight, as it overcomes inertia and the gravitational pull of the earth. However, once it is out of the earth’s atmosphere, thanks to momentum, it moves effortlessly.
However, momentum is not only an aspect of physics, it is also a feature of human experience that is often overlooked, and as a result, underutilized.
The Power Of Momentum
In psychology, this principle is referred to as The Matthew Effect, inspired by the Gospel Reading from Matthew 13:12: “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.” In simpler teams, those with an advantage accumulate more advantage over time and those with a disadvantage accumulate more disadvantage over time.
Momentum in a more practical sense is defined by the force gained by a series of behaviours ― for better or for worse. Wherever there is motion there is momentum. Motion drives actions and actions drive momentum, creating a self-fulfilling cycle.
When viewed through this lens, momentum applies to every area of your life including your health, wealth, relationships and business. Therefore, understanding and then learning to effectively harness the power of momentum is essential to success.
Momentum is why people who achieve tend to achieve more, it’s why the rich tend to get richer while the poor tend to get poorer and why happy people tend to become more happy while depressed people tend to become more depressed.
Harness The Power Of Momentum
The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your habits. Therefore, you can harness the power of momentum by developing habits that align with the goals you want to achieve and the quality of life you desire and breaking habits that don’t.
By consciously making different choices and focusing on healthy habits, you build momentum in areas that empower you to achieve your goals and the quality of life you desire and break momentum in areas that don’t.
While motivation is the why of change, momentum is the how.
“The key to momentum is to learn to use it instead of having it use you.”
Momentum is the force gained by a series of behaviours. The more you engage in a specific behaviour, the more momentum you will create ― for better or for worse.
We can harness the power of momentum by building habits that align with our goals and the life we desire and breaking habits that don’t. The more we engage in healthy and empowering habits, the more momentum we build, the more we will continue to engage in those same behaviours, creating a self-fulfilling cycle.