Friday, February 3, 2012


     When using high levels of energy or attention to work at something, or to get somewhere important, it's usually easier to keep going than to stop and start. Stopping feels like relief, and it is, initially. But then, having to ramp up again for continued activity is like slugging through deep mud. It requires extra effort to get back to where we were, and sometimes it's not possible to entirely recover our momentum.
     Certain types of momentum are steady, like freight trains clunking across the countryside. They gather and reduce their speed slowly and with a certain steadiness. Other types are more like back-yard rockets that blast-off with drama and then burn out and collapse to the ground in a heap.
     Momentum is an important force in our lives and it's worth considering how we might use it to our advantage and how we let it work against us. So often we start things with enthusiasm. We build our momentum with great effort and then fizzle out and feel irritated and confused. We stop and turn our attention elsewhere, and we wonder what happened.
     Let's learn from the freight trains. They slow down going up hills and through neighborhoods, but they don't stop. The keep on moving and clanking and rattling down the tracks until they get to wherever they're going. And when they get there, they unload and rest before they re-load and move on.

I conserve my energy resources and maintain steady momentum throughout the day rather than ramping up with too much eagerness, and then burning out before the day is done.