Momentum or DAMN-IT, Dad was Right.
This week I want to talk about momentum, not in the physicsy type sense, but in the Life sense. I believe that, for the most part, you are in control of what happens to you and how your life turns out. There are exceptions to this, of course: If you’re born into a less privileged set of circumstances, there are some things you can’t control and it’s always going to be harder for you to get yourself to where you want to go, but that’s a topic for someone who’s better qualified to speak to it.
Back to my point at hand: Your life, for the most part, is a product of the decisions and actions you make in your own particular set of circumstances.
Sure, sometimes things just happen for no discernible reason.
But what happens afterwards is up to you.
Let’s take this charming silent movie gif, for an example. Our protagonist, I shall name him Bobert, is driving along when his horseless carriage is torn asunder by a pothole. Instantly, Bobert is faced with some questions but those questions are up to him. He can focus on understanding what happened and figure out how to move forward or he can focus on how unfair it is that his car falls apart when the other car in the film doesn’t have an issue traversing the giant inexplicable pothole.
Think about it this way:
Bobert could stand in the road and throw a hissy fit, and that would probably get him really riled up, so he takes a long time to clean up his car off the road and get someone to help him take it away. So then, he’s wasted most of his day off, which makes him miserable and because he’s miserable, he starts looking for someone to blame or maybe he just dwells on being miserable. That kind of thinking leads to a vicious cycle and suddenly one bad day becomes a bad week.
Bobert decides to try and move the pieces of his vehicle off the road instead of having a hissy fit and the physical activity gives him an endorphin release, which makes him more inclined to see the good in this situation. He’s unhurt, the car didn’t fall apart on the highway and he’s within walking distance of a house where someone can maybe call or telegraph or something. So, because he’s not focused on being miserable, Bobert thinks about the situation a little more clearly and realizes that he should file a complaint with the city and tell them what happened with his car. Then he thinks, he should probably report the incident to the manufacturer because this could happen to someone else. The pothole gets fixed by a city afraid of being sued, the vehicle gets recalled saving dozens of lives, and Bobert is a hero.
Obviously, I’m exaggerating, but you see what I mean.
My parents always taught me, and I try hard to do it, to break down big problems into smaller problems and approach them in the way Bobert does in the second example.
I try to ask myself the following questions:
What can I do RIGHT NOW to start on this problem?
What are my options and what are the consequences of taking that course of action?
What is my gut telling me to do?
It’s amazing how much you can accomplish by asking yourself those questions. Dad always says (and he’s right, damn him! Don’t tell him I said that, though, it will go to his head. I’m talking to you, Mum, because I know Dad wouldn’t even turn on a computer) that “Life is what you make of it,” and “Once you get started, it’s a lot easier to keep going,” and also “Don’t look at what you have yet to do, look at what you’ve done.”
My Dad’s a fount of wisdom. WHEN THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN?!
Kidding aside, he’s right.
I didn’t notice until recently how, when you get one thing in your life in order, the other things tend to fall into line because you build that forward energy. Solve one problem and suddenly you have more resources to solve another.
Two months ago, I was unemployed and in a flat with a ceiling that hadn’t been properly fixed since it first leaked almost a year ago.
I’m now employed full time at a job I, dare I say it, love and as of last weekend, I’m in a much bigger apartment that I adore already. Not only that, but because I’m now above ground, I’ve noticed I have more energy.
Probably because I can see the sunlight now.
Because I have more energy, because of the sunshine that I get, because I moved apartments, because I could afford to, because of my new job: I go to the gym now.
The gym gives me an endorphin rush, the endorphin rush helps me manage my depression.
Do you see the way things start to snowball (in a good way) with a little momentum?
I’m not saying it’s easy to build that momentum and I’m not saying it’s always going to snowball in a huge and noticeable way. However, if you put in the effort to move forward as best you can, even when the going gets tough, you’ll notice that at the end of it, you’re a stronger person, you’re in a better place, and you have a hell of a lot more stories to tell than someone who sat around and waited for Life to be fair.
By the way, if you’re waiting for Life to be fair?
You’re going to be waiting a while.
P.S. It occurs to me I could have saved a lot of time if I’d just put up that clip of Dory from Finding Nemo singing “Just keep swimming,” but I didn’t, so shut up.
Posted on April 10, 2015, in Serious Life Stuff and tagged appreciate what you have, changes, Just keep swimming, Life advice, life is scary, life skills, Put one foot in front of the other. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.