May 21, 2012

Creating Momentum Through Imagination

Momentum is a fascinating thing.
I stumbled about this term a while ago and began to think what exactly it is, because, there is no real definition.

Some leadership guru´s want to sell me that momentum is the key to success, that it is a term like "flow" a mental state. But I come across inconsistencies when I try to understand what "momentum" is, so it isn´t just a rule you can apply or a state you can reach through meditation or hard labor. Many write about "creating momentum" as it were something that can be measured with success or money, sorry, I don´t think so.

And when thinking, analyzing this thing, I found that I see momentum as something very different, which is maybe the result of my holistic approach to things.

Momentum seems to be universal, it is the sincere authenticity that reflects in one specific point of time, which is, in the best case, shared by many people at the same time.

The fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 was such an event for example.
I rather see momentum as something pure, rare and absolutely authentic, a moment of true inspiration.

The fascinating thing is it´s a law of nature and like every principle it can be used, it can be directed!
However, there are many definitions and I don´t share the view that it is just a term. I really believe that there is more to it.

First part - where to find momentum, you need to experience it yourself. 
Below is a list with examples of events where I encountered true momentum, and I bet you can relate to most of them:

  • You find Momentum in concerts; watch teenie-fans collapse, or feel the impulse when you see a "Pink Floyd" show, when performer and audience are in their best shape the result is an outstanding event that you´ll never forget but it requires energy from both sides to work, not just one. 
  • The first date with your love, everything feels right, no regret, no doubt and no one can tell you are wrong about your feelings.
  • A gallery visit, the artist is sympathetic, the works are intriguing, the wine is good, it is a great evening and ...you feel so great it would be bad to NOT buy an artwork!
  • Regardless if Phantom of the Opera, a Disney masterpiece or a piece from Ridley Scott, which causes you to forget that you wanted to eat some chips. If a movie pulled you out of reality, I think that is momentum too.
  • The same principle that works for movies works with games and books, great storytelling, authenticity and likable characters make us vulnerable and more likely to follow a story.
  • Even a sweepstake or the lottery can make you create a momentum, because the more you spent, the more you are focused on the results and even bigger is the momentum you live in.
  • That feeling you have when it turns 00:00:00 on your clock at new years eve. Isn´t that a great leap to celebrate the same thing with the whole world?


Second part: What are the keys that created momentum?

  1. In the concert: the here and now is important for Interpreter and audience
  2. The loved one: no doubt about your thoughts and feelings, you can´t do anything wrong
  3. If it feels good, it can´t be wrong! (?)
  4. authenticity and storytelling
  5. The more attached we are to things, the less likely we are to win


Third part: How to incorporate momentum in your life.
This is the most important part but I guess the most difficult too.

  • I think if we learn to embrace momentum as soon as we recognize it, we should allow for it and enjoy it, make the most out of a nice evening, enjoy life to the fullest where others stop. The best case is if you can even enjoy doing your work
  • Learn that with the right person you can´t say anything wrong, you can say foolish things, but you won´t harm a loved one with words, if real momentum brought you together.
  • Things that feel good can´t be wrong, if you have to decide on something make it depending on your guts. It takes a while to get used to it, especially when you are used to read horoscopes. Regardless if you wanted to buy something or hesitated to do something if there was the inner voice that hold you back, there is a reason.
  • Be authentic, be you and write your story. Or with the words of Judy Garland:" Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else"
  • It is true that the more attached we are to things we want, the less likely we are to achieve or get them. And this is the most important rule of all, while being the simplest one at the same time. If you want something really bad, let it go. And with "let it go", I mean something like:"write the letter and send it!" What would you want to do with all the unsent letters on your desk? Correct; you´d throw them in the bin, and that is exactly what your unconsciousness does when you create too much momentum around a thing you want to do, have or whatever it is.
As a result you see that momentum is something very different and so easy to understand. 
I came to this observation when thinking about the circumstance that some people are able to create momentum on a show, a talk or a gallery opening, whilst others struggle to do so. And I really wondered what it is. I think engagement is needed on both sides for momentum to work. I really bought that artwork from an artist friend as a gift to my wife, because it felt so right, the moment was right and I knew not just one person would be lucky after doing so, there were 4 lucky persons. My wife, the artist, the gallery owner and me.

Momentum through imagination?
Another important conclusion is the imagination aspect. It seems that all of the above feelings can be calculated and triggered or caused through persuasion. For example, if you listened to that storybook as a kid for some pages you were hooked to the story and wanted to know how it will end, understandable. When we buy a car or a house it is often imagination that works and stories that we tell to ourselves in order to believe that this or that decision was the right one. You can tell the power of imagination when you encountered it for yourself. 

If people talk about your gallery reception weeks after on facebook, you know you have created momentum, if your book became a bestseller or if your evening with friends was quite the spectacle, you know that momentum was part of it.

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