Momentum: That beautiful force which removes factors of resistance and propels you forward towards your dreams and goals. Like a domino effect, when momentum is on your side, little effort creates a series of rewards. One success follows another, life moves effortlessly and it feels great.
In times like these however, momentum has come to a screeching halt. Morale has dropped, hope is wearing thin and our actions have become tentative, as measurements of financial, health and lifestyle success shrink.
So what is it we need to do to regain that driving force of momentum? What must we do to situate ourselves to rebuild morale, security, hope, peace of mind and a sense of well being where we can once more thrive, rather than merely survive? I have compiled five key actions that are fully within your control to initiate and once applied will be instrumental in recapturing some desperately needed momentum.
1. STOP INCESSANTLY TALKING AND READING ABOUT THE DOOM AND GLOOM. When mishaps occur, there is an inclination to chat about the specifics. This is great … up to the point where you have found a solution or understand what you must do to work towards a solution. By now, I think we know what we must individually and collectively do to move past the pandemic. Prolonged or repeated conversation and thought about your setback because of the COVID-19 infliction may feel like problem solving, but it only steals joy, peace of mind, morale and momentum from everything you value about success and happiness. Have you noticed that the more you talk or think about a problem, the more painful and heavier it appears? Every time you talk about a negative experience, you re-live the pain again. It’s like a reminder to your brain to bring on the hurt one more time. The key here is to be ever mindful that you get choices in what you focus on, how long you spend mentally chewing over a loss or disappointment. Where you focus determines how you feel because feelings chase thoughts. It’s ok to accept sorrowful feelings because sadness is a real human emotion. Own it; but don’t bathe it. When you stop talking about the awfulness of any situation, the prominence of the ordeal shrinks and it allows space for conversation and focal points that balance your perspective and hope. Think about what you do when you have a bad taste in your mouth. You spit it out and replace it with a food that tastes better. Yet, when you have a bad “taste” in your mind, you regurgitate it over and over, repeating the awful sensation. My suggestion here is to begin unplugging from the negative reruns and allow new thoughts to birth more productive feelings.
2. CREATE A GREAT START TO YOUR DAY. Paying attention to how you start your day determines the quality of your entire day. Your days will be comprised largely of thoughts and actions. Let’s consider refereeing both. First your thoughts: Each morning as you open your eyes, thoughts automatically arise in your consciousness. Like credits at the end of a movie, thoughts scroll through the billboard of your mind. In a matter of seconds, you will pause and feed one of those thoughts. Because of the negativity bias inherent within us all, chances are, that without intentionality, you will pause and stall on some aspect of scarcity or misfortune (currently, it is likely some aspect of the coronavirus’ fury). There is tremendous benefit in steering your thoughts – right from the get go … before you even get out of bed – towards some aspect of abundance in your life or something enjoyable you have planned for the day. Even in the toughest of times and during your greatest sorrow, there is good news nestled within your reality. In some compartment of life, you are winning and have abundance. If only you choose to invest some thinking here, the awfulness of any situation dims. Next, as you then begin your chores and responsibilities of your day, realize what makes a great day for you. What brings you alive and awakens you? Aristotle famously taught, “The beginning of wisdom is to know yourself.” I can think of no better starting point to knowing yourself then to know what drains your energy and what recharges you. Once you know and apply this, life shifts to a whole different level of fulfillment and joy, especially during bad times! Once you are in a spirit of gratitude and know what adds joy to your day, include more of these things in your agenda. Each day you have a choice in how you will fill the time slots. Include in those blanks things that brighten your day. Now is a beautiful time to discover new passions. In downtime, I suggest you stop scrolling through the doom and gloom that is often sensationalized in the medias and instead, experiment with new hobbies and past times. Build on your current skillset of things you love or simply do more of what you enjoy. Life is a gift, so unwrap it and partake in things that you have control over that will bring you joy.
3. CREATE A GAME PLAN WHERE YOU TAKE AT LEAST ONE STEP PER DAY TO PROGRESS. Planning in itself does not directly build momentum, but it sure is important! Why not consider each compartment of your life such as relationships, wellness, finances, fitness, spirituality and work. Once you see your role and responsibilities within each role, think of one thing, large or small, that you can do today and every day that moves you forward. Although small steps may seem insignificant, compounded over time with consistency, they eventually bring you to a point where momentum is once again on your side. Especially in times when you may feel like your world is collapsing around you, it is important to stay true to the plan of taking small, productive steps. Super achievers understand the power behind small, consistent steps and know that it is impossible to keep or regain momentum if they lack commitment. As a vehicle going on a long road trip, it must begin at zero km/hour and then gain speed over time. So it is with your success in getting beyond this downswing and once again finding momentum in your life.
4. HEED THE ADVICE OF THE EXPERTS. There has been and continues to be a circulation of misguiding advice and misinformation, which no matter how sensational or well delivered, must be filtered according to credentials. It is most prudent that we heed direction from experts such as official releases from the World Health Organization, respected scientific researchers, authorities from CDC as well as official spokespeople from health divisions of federal governments. Applying misinformation from unreliable or questionable sources can be and often does add weight to the problem rather than remedy to the cause. (See more of my thoughts on this at https://williamnippard.com/blog/
5. IDENTIFY A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE WHO CAN HELP YOU ADVANCE. We are all very much aware that we catch pathogens by getting close to and spending time with infected people. What few seem to realize is that we catch people’s attitudes, energy, philosophies and life-views in the same way. The social contagion is as real as the coronavirus. Once we understand this, choose carefully which conversations and people you are drawn to. Some can, although mostly unintentionally, drain your morale, hope and energy tanks dry while others replenish with optimism, encouragement and love. Choose wisely because your quality of life hinges on those handful of people you bring into your inner circle.
Momentum may be out of sight at the moment, but with a utilization of the five actions suggested, you can slowly but certainly gaze ahead with positive expectancy, for your actions today affect what is ahead, not what is behind. Please stay safe and be wise!
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