Having the right kind of momentum can make or break just about anything. Creating positive momentum, whether in a business setting, sports, a relationship, or a blog can be a tricky thing. We live in a society that is quick to anoint new heroes. Take a look at Jeremy Lin. In the last three weeks, he has risen from benchwarmer to savior; from looking for a job to the cover of Sports Illustrated in consecutive weeks. He was even featured in a song parity by Jimmy Fallon that is hysterical. Lin's positive momentum started in the game against the Nets where he came off the bench to score 25 points and continued until he came up against the mighty Miami Heat. How he bounces back from that bad game will likely determine whether he was a flash in the pan or if he is a legitimate NBA player.
There's a scene in Bull Durham where Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) and Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon) have an argument about streaks (excuse the poor quality and foul language). In it, Crash explains that if a player thinks he's on a streak for whatever reason, true or not, the thought becomes a reality.
So is momentum real? Or is it just something we create in our minds? While we can point to examples of hot streaks, it's not something tangible. We can't touch it, feel it, or bottle it. If I could, I wouldn't be writing this blog because I would be busy counting my money.
Starting out on the "right foot" in anything is crucial towards building a positive foundation. If Billy Crystal's first joke on Sunday night at The Oscars had bombed, it would have set the tone for the entire night. That's why comics start with material they know will get a laugh. Starting a diet or an exercise routine is the hardest part. Think about that. Starting is the hardest part. Once you are on a roll or in a routine, anything can be easy.
I recently ended a working relationship with a vendor who was working on a project in my house after several frustrating months. The first day of the job, he was two hours late and was fairly cavalier about it. It never got better from there and I found myself dreading each interaction and I am sure he did too. Similarly, we have worked on a deal for a few months that has had terrible momentum from the start. Each step forward has been painful and while we are close to the finish line, all sides have deal fatigue and it seems, today, that the deal isn't getting done. Looking back, we should have changed the dynamic somewhere along the way. I am going to use it as a learning experience, otherwise, it's simply a lot of wasted effort.
In my opinion, being in the right mindset is more than half the battle. Five years ago, I read a book called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. It's all about the Law of Attraction; positive will attract positive and negative will attract negative. Since reading the book, I have purchased no fewer than a dozen copies for people I think would benefit from the book and have often revisited sections when I felt like I needed a push in the right direction.
The moral of the story...if you think you can, you are right. If you think you can't, you are right too. Decide why you are going to have a good day, give yourself a reason why you have positive momentum and make it happen. You can't bottle it...but you can capture the momentum.