Friday, June 14, 2019

Keep Stepping

Momentum is amazing thing.  "The motion of a moving body, measured as a product of it's mass and velocity" as it's defined in the dictionary. It's easy to understand as a mathematical concept. But I want to talk a little bit about momentum as more of an expression of our behavior rather than a way we explain a physics equation.

Momentum is powerful because the harder and the faster you go, the easier it is to maintain progress. I think of how this reflects my personal life as well as my work. As long as we have goals and maintain progress toward them, you'll have far fewer impediments to your progress. As long as we keep stepping, we have to worry less about what happens when we stop.

Think of it like this -- I love being a dad and I like doing fun stuff with my kids. A couple years ago I was at the top of my dad game. I was spending a ton of time with my kids, we had standing "daddy dates" every Saturday. We built forts. We went fishing. We made cookies. We played music...we did all this fun stuff all the time. And then we had a few weekends where I didn't schedule things to do. My kids went to their Grandma's for a weekend. I started filling time on Saturdays with sitting on the couch reading or playing video games.  ...And then I stopped doing things with my kids. I stopped stepping. I stopped.

Sure enough that momentum just fluttered away in the wind. And it became really hard to motivate myself to do what I needed to do (spend time with my kids), because I was more interested in this easier, selfish pursuit of comfort (eating chips on the couch). But what if I had never stopped? What if I didn't make excuses about why things wouldn't work out today? What if I stopped letting things I can't control effect my feelings? What if I kept stepping?

So that's where I find myself today with my job. Heck, it's the middle of June -- I could just as easily sit at home for the next two months and do jack. Hardly anyone would notice. But I want to keep going. I want to get better and stronger. I do not want my passion to wane, because I know just how difficult it is to start again. So I keep stepping. That's why I am presenting at uh, several conferences this summer. That's why I am scheduling time to go and work with teachers even when we'd all rather be sitting by the pool. That's why I check blogs and do Twitter chats and burn up that hashtag. It's better to keep going. It's better to just keep stepping.

Just today I got some disappointing news about a professional opportunity. I am not devastated, but I do feel a bit upset about how some things went down. And I know a few years ago hearing "no" would have been something to send me into a death spiral -- several days on the couch feeling sorry for myself and licking my wounds because other people just didn't get how fantastic I am. But why dwell on things I can't control. I'll just keep stepping.

So I say keep stepping -- not because it's summer and so many of us like to hit the pause button for a few months. And not because I am some rioting maniac about how your job should be your life and every waking moment should feature you progressing toward some professional achievement. I say keep stepping because moving forward, focusing on progress, solutions, or goals is always a better use of your time

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