In physics, momentum is the idea that a body tends to maintain it’s inertial movement. There is a whole bunch of math that smart people can do using mass and velocity to determine momentum.
When it comes to your personal and professional success, momentum is the direction and speed at which things are going for you. If you have momentum, or “the Big Mo,” things are great and getting better. It’s your velocity.
Nomentum is a lack of direction and speed. It means you aren’t moving, that you aren’t going anywhere.
You can’t have momentum without first having some direction. You have to decide what you want, where you are going, and why you are going there now.
A good place to start is your purpose – those things that will bring meaning to your life and allow you to make your contribution. Then you can decide on goals, the milestones you will cross as you pursue your purpose. Goals are impotent without purpose. Purpose provides the direction.
Maybe you want to start your own business? First answer the question “Why?” How does it meet your need for purpose? How does it give your life meaning? How does it allow you to make a contribution?
Maybe you want to make $1,000,000. Why? Without a purpose, it is just a goal, and one that won’t inspire you to take action. At least, not for long. A bigger “why” means greater motivation. Greater reasons inspire greater action.
“Why” turns nomentum into movement. It gives you your sense of direction.
Your velocity is in large part determined by how bad you want that vision, that purpose, that meaning. If your “why” is super compelling then you will take massive action to bring it to life. You will work haste to chase it down.
If your “why” is “So I can pay my rent,” you aren’t going to feel compelled to take action. A small, meaningless why doesn’t provide the “fire in your belly” necessary to develop speed.
There is a problem with goals. That problem is that they can be achieved. Of course, you can always set new goals, even bigger goals. But purpose, meaning, and direction are what provide ongoing motivation. Your larger mission is more important than any goal.
People with the largest, most meaningful purpose in their life never expect to see their vision realized. They expect to make a major contribution and to lay out part of the path for others to follow.