The Audacity of Momentum

Why do people stop themselves once they’ve got something started? Why do people stop short of achieving a goal, again and again?

Sure, part of the problem is the fear of the unknown but the other problem is a lack of setting goals. If a person isn’t moving toward a goal, then they’re just moving out into the unknown abyss of space. That’s scary stuff. 

Another cool thing about momentum is that it seems to be fairly scalar. If one keeps doing the same thing everyday, there’s no telling where one will end up.

A lot of times when people casually talk about momentum I think what they might really be referring to is inertia or the tendency of things to stay in  a given state of motion. If you ask people why things tend to stay in a given state of motion no one can really give you a straight answer. It’s one of those mysteries that we’re not really supposed to think about or ask questions about. What is inertia? What is mass? Why does mass have the properties that it has and why do those properties behave the way that they behave?

If a duck wakes up every morning and says, “quack,” then we might say that that duck had a certain inertia to keep waking up in the morning and saying “quack,” even if prior quacks weren’t all they were quacked up to be. We might say that said duck had a certain quack-inertia to its character.

Now, IF a second duck awoke each morning and quacked just a little bit louder than our first duck, then this second duck might also have a distinct and slightly greater quack-inertia. Now what’s gonna happen when these two ducks meet? The second duck is going to out-quack the first! This second duck is going to have a greater quack-momentum. This second duck will be a victorious duck and will be invited to all the best duck-parties.

Inertia is a scalar quantity of a system that describes that systems stubbornness. Momentum, on the other quack, is best for describing who or what will win when two systems come into conflict.

So, maybe this is the second secret to the audacity of momentum: not only do we have to set goals, but we have to become more competitive to prepare for eventual conflicts with our competitors.




About davidwallacefleming

David Wallace Fleming is a U.S. writer, living in Austin, Texas. He is the author of the coming-of-age, social media novel GROWING UP WIRED, and the satirical science fiction audiobook, NOT FROM CONCENTRATE.
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6 Responses to The Audacity of Momentum

  1. Hmm, interesting, very ‘scientific’ approach to momentum… For me momentum is just present, present moment and feeling that present moment, living in it, not living in the past or in the future, not skipping the momentum, but be fully present in it. And when we are fully present in the moment we are actually moving forward, because future and achieving goals is made up of millions of such momentums. If we are not fully in the momentum or present then we do not move forward but get stuck in one of the prior momentum or trying to be in a future ‘momentum’, which we have not come to yet, and in those cases we do not achieve much, just go in circles and or feel stagnated.

    • I must admit that I like your idea of how the present moment relates to momentum. It reminds me of the idea of being in a “flow state.” And if one can stay in this “flow state” and not be distracted by the desires of future goals or the detractions of past failures one might actually accomplish more.

      • Yes, absolutely :-) Keep the momentum is being in a flow state. We acieve a lot more by being here and now. BTW I ahve read your book, Growing Up Wired. I liekd it very much. I think your book is very much connected to the present momentum or moment 😉
        I love modern youth culture, and I really liked Victo Hasting, Hasty Victor… he is a poet at heart, very sensitive, romantic, and humane prson living in a modern technology orientated world. I do see the conflic between his sensitive and poetic nature and the way his college mates approach life… To me he was the only one who really had feelings, who was living in the moment… I loved his poems too… I found him very attarctive and sexy :-) By the way, I feel like Victor is a bit you and how you see and feel about life in general. Is it so?

  2. Well, I suppose I must admit that Victor Hastings was based largely after myself although I did try to exaggerate a lot of his good and bad qualities and the book is not a memoir – it is fiction.

    Thanks for posting your review on Amazon and Goodreads!

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