Tonight I am having a look at the difference between having “momentum” and having “motivation” and why it is important to have a clear definition and understanding of these terms.
Often times I would find myself to be in a particular “mode” where there is a new opportunity or there is some particular challenge within my life and facing this point, I summon up a kind of “motivation” where I become quite focused and determined within myself, and will set out in earnest on my new path with every expectation of seeing it through to the end – only to find that this “motivation” would eventually turn into something else and where there was once a passion or a drive or a “hope” towards some outcome there would instead be a sense of “dread” and reluctance and feeling as though I just got myself into a situation or circumstance that was not actually “the right choice”.
But having gone into it with such enthusiasm and determination in the beginning, a new “layer” seems to be created which is that even though I can now see my starting point was not clear and was based on excitement and positive energy and hope, I had within that initiated a sequence of events and actions that now cannot be “undone” and as I move and turn to correct the direction I am heading in, there is an experience of waves of resistance born from the initial excitement of hope and positivity and the emotional/energetic charge of “determination” – and what this indicates is that over time as I engaged in sequences of events based on an initial point of excitement and positivity and projecting an outcome in the “future”, what was building up and accelerating was a kind of “momentum” – where day after day of doing the same thing and going after that projected future and building my expectations on hope and developing a kind of focus and tunnel vision where all that mattered was that particular end result, and within this kind of focus one can indeed accomplish many things but when things become so accelerated and one’s days begin to grow more and more similar, repeating the same motions and actions and looking ever forward to that projected outcome it becomes very easy to lose sight of one’s actual starting point and as well to lose one’s relationship to the words “motivation” and “momentum”.
So here I am sharing what I have seen when looking at the dynamics of this –
When motivation is self-directed in each moment, one is always “in control” from the perspective of one being able to see immediately where one’s course or direction or where one’s words or relationships are heading in a direction that is actually contrary to where one actually wants to be.
When motivation is self-directed in each moment – meaning one is fully here in each breath and really here with each decision, each action, each word spoken/written/thought – there is no accumulation of energy and there is no “momentum” building up from the perspective of one slipping into an ‘autopilot’ mode.
A practical way of looking at this is to imagine when one is driving and for a moment one loses one’s awareness and focus and essentially dozing off behind the wheel only to snap back to reality moments later to realize that one has missed the turn that one was supposed to have made, and is now travelling far too quickly to be able to turn safely. To now suddenly apply the brakes would cause more consequences because one had built up speed and “momentum” and had merged into the general “flow” of traffic where there are others in one’s vicinity also driving, having matched your speed and momentum, and thus if you apply your brakes suddenly and try to veer off into that turn you had missed, you would not only place yourself in danger, but will also create consequences for other drivers sharing your lane.
Now – to put this into a more personal framework, the same principle applies to when one sees that the direction that one has taken is not leading to where one in self-honesty actually wants to go, but because of the amount of time and the relationships that have formed and the various sequences of events that have taken place in one’s physical world, it is at times not possible and often not supportive to suddenly “change everything” without considering what kind of momentum one has built up, or how one’s living and decisions have affected the lives of others who have had to make their own decisions and choices based on your own – and even though each person is ultimately responsible for themselves and their own choices, it does NOT remove one from being responsible for taking into consideration the positioning and the relative ability of others to respond to your decisions and choices in a responsible and stable way – just as it is NOT acceptable to swerve one’s car suddenly and without warning just because one apparently has the “right” to do so because they do not want to go the “wrong way” – one has to take into consideration one’s part in the “bigger picture” and just like driving on a highway or busy street, there are times when one has to for a moment consider whether or not making a sudden correction may cause negative consequences to others that cannot be undone, and realize that if you want others to take you into consideration, you must be do the same and be the living example of that EVEN IF it seems nobody else is actually doing it.
So in my personal life I have seen this particular dimension a few times – where decisions were made, words were spoken, or actions were taken within a point of reaction or energy – which can be both positive OR negative, hopeful OR despondent, dominant OR passive – where one was not actually fully HERE, taking into consideration the bigger picture and the consequences that flow from one’s words and actions, and instead trusted one’s “gut instinct” or trusted one’s emotions/feelings – whether they were positive or negative – instead of looking at the situation clearly and without energy and making the choice that is in all ways best for all – which can really only be seen when one lets go for a moment of the tunnel vision that we create where all that matters is our own personal destination and our own personal need to “get somewhere”, which separates us from the road we are traveling on, the fellow travelers on the path, and our relationship to the very vehicle (in this case our living, physical body) that we are traveling with, and blinds us from seeing that the actual “destination” is not some place just for us that we have to race toward and be willing to drive others off the road for, or cut people off in order to get to, or to speed so far ahead that we leave behind the very fellow travelers that once traveled one and equal with us.
The actual destination that we are all equally embarked on is the Journey to Life – is the passage out of our individual tunnels of self-interest and narrow vision so that we can see that we are, and have ALWAYS BEEN, responsible not only for how we walk our own life, but how our living contributes to and affects the lives of all others – that there is in fact no separation but it’s illusion made real through our minds and personal separations and ego – and as such whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not, we can no more accurately deny the consequences of our words and actions any more than we can rewind time or retract an arrow that has been loosed from a bow. And here, there is a kind of “finality” to what we do and what we say in the time that we have left – because once something is done, it is really done and cannot be ‘edited’ to fit our ideals or intentions in looking back. We cannot re-write our history to justify where we are now – but we CAN begin immediately a process of slowing down our momentum, of signaling to others that we are now engaged in a change in direction – that where we have been traveling is no longer taking is where we need to be, and that we are taking into consideration that others will have to adjust to our change. This we do with care and understanding to not cause unnecessary trauma or reaction – but also we do this with a sense of urgency – knowing that the longer we stay on a path that is not best for all, the further the detour will be for us to get back on track – and at some point if we do not correct our course, there is no turning back.
In the blogs to follow I will continue on this point of “momentum” and “motivation” as well as expand on what I have seen as “course correction” and how it can be consequential if done dangerously OR if done too late.