By Poornima Vijayashanker
I’ve spent the last couple days stuck in bed with a nasty cold. Normally I wouldn’t mind, but it’s my fifth cold this year! I feel like I’m single-handedly keeping Kleenex in business 😛
And yes, I use hand-sanitizer after shaking hands, eat well, exercise, and get lots of sleep…
What I really need is a force field that is able to combat the germs I encounter as I move through each week meeting 100-200 people. If you have created such a force field or know someone who has please hit reply and I’ll be happy to be the first customer 😉
Since I’m usually one to make the best of a sucky situation, I’ve realized that being sick is a good thing. Each time I’ve gotten sick this year, it has forced me to slow down, and do the things that matter most.
It’s also means that I have to rely on others for help and support, and that’s a good thing because the day-to-day of my business can continue without me need.
Now you might be thinking: “Don’t you want momentum? Isn’t it what keeps you going? Aren’t punctuated period of progress a pain?”
Momentum vs Motivation: They’re Not the Same. Motivation is what keeps you going. Momentum just keeps you moving in a singular direction that you may or may not want to be headed in.
The problem is people think momentum is the same as flow: the blissful state that is a byproduct of choosing to pursue an activity that you love in a state of 100% focus.
Momentum can be caused by flow. But often times momentum is caused by what I like to call the 4 C’s that carry us away:
1. Comfort: it takes mental effort to stop and evaluate the path you’re on. It’s easier to just keep going on it, because hey life is filled with uncertainty! Might as well get a little comfy…
2. Complacency: if you don’t know what you want, then it can be extraordinarily frustrating to keep trying new things. Again the default becomes comfort.
3. Cultural cues: in some places, like Silicon Valley, there’s a lot of push to take action: build, grow, and iterate! No one says: sit, think, and plan. Those are often disparaged as wasteful or unpragmatic. It’s easier i.e. “quicker” to do and fail, than take a timeout to think, because yet again life is filled with uncertainty!! When you act you don’t have to think about uncertainty…
4. Can-do Attitude: you just roll up your sleeves and help someone else out rather than figuring out what you want. This is my personal favorite, because it’s one that I struggled with when I was younger and lacked the confidence in my own abilities. You know you’re capable of doing some things, and you can use those capabilities to work for others. But you leave the thinking and guiding to someone else, because you believe in their mission. You’re not confident enough to pursue something on your own. And everything is peachy-keen until the person you’re following pursues a new path that causes you discomfort, then your motivation is shaken, and coincidentally it halts your momentum!
So how do we keep these 4 C’s in check?
I’m going to save the answer for next week’s post 😉
In the meantime, let me know in the comments below, which of these you feel keeps you going.