Most days, most situations, interactions, and opportunity moments unfold differently. Ideas collide, personalities do not mess like well-oiled meshing gears in precision equipment. We all want that happy ending without the bumpy road. Everybody says they would love the direct route to the golden rainbow pot end, but that’s not how life begins, transitions, or ends.
Smiles and sunshine are pleasant – we probably all enjoy that combo.
Add pleasant people, good food, stimulating discussion, and a bowl of Jello – and you have perfection.
But not always!
Pausing, if a rest, is healthy – but breaking stride for distractions or as an excuse (this tends to reveal lack of commitment) erodes momentum, and risks crashing your process on the rocks of despair.
Just make a list of things to do, plan an agenda for a meeting, or write a ‘flow document’ about a project, process, or objective.
OK, now go off track.
Go off track as second time, or a second day, and where are you?
Chaos doesn’t happen by chance or accident – it happens from neglecting the value and compounding effect of momentum. Chaos unfolds when you throw out the agenda and open the room to free-for-all discussion.
Chaos is sometimes necessary – but it should never be random.
I once sat on a board with a wise good-old-guy named George; in terms of organizational dysfunction, he said, “Sometimes you need to cast the cat among the pigeons – but you better have a leash on that cat so you can pull it back, and then you can settle everyone down.”
George was a wise man.
Our well-laid plans are planned for a reason, for a cause, for finding a path to a destination. Just because we don’t reach it right away is no reason to give up on the journey, the cause, or the vision of what that destination might look like when we get there. We need cats, pigeons, Georges, and teamwork – but we also need to lead, be firmly and clearly committed to our cause or project, and never give up or let distractions or someone else’s agenda derail our own.
That is true if we want to move a mountain, build one, or make a movie about one …
Also indisputable when we want to lose 10 pounds, or 50.
Momentum matters, process produces astonishing results, and everything else is a distraction.
It matters less why we don’t quit than it does THAT we don’t quit. Momentum isn’t the thing, isn’t the goal, and isn’t the grease to lubricate our gears – but’s it’s as essential to our goods works as turning on the oven to bake bread.