Redirecting Momentum: What to do when you are stuck and finding the courage to make a change

Momentum: the impetus gained by a moving object. 


Intentional movement images: creating momentum in print


Every Thursday I get a newsletter from James Clear.  He wrote a book on building good habits and succeeding in business.  It is such a great newsletter, filled with perfect little bite sized pieces of information.   

Last week the final part of the newsletter was on momentum. He pointed out that it can keep you stuck just as easily as it can propel you forward because momentum is simply the result of movement and can be either healthy or unhealthy.   

For many people staying in an unfulfilling pattern can be due to the momentum of the situation.  It seems hard to change.  I remember when I was a kid a friend of mine had a small pool that was about 3 feet deep and 6 feet across.  

We would create a whirlpool effect in it by running in the same direction around and around.  Then we would stop and change directions going against the current, the momentum, and feeling it push us back as we fought against it.   

Life can feel that way too, it takes courage to turn against the current.   


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This summer on my long road trip.  I stopped in a gallery in Redmond, Oregon.  The painter whose gallery it was happened to be there and I got to meet him.  He paints surrealism.  There was a piece there that caught my eye and I kept coming back to it.   

It is a merry-go-round but instead of horses it has people on it—one at a desk, one on a phone, one carrying a briefcase, etc.  There is just one horse and it has broken free from the pole and is leaping off the carousel with a man also reaching out to get off.   

The artist saw me looking at the piece and told me the story behind it. He said “It so easy to get stuck in life just going around and around day after day.  The horse and the man have broken free and are making a change so that life doesn’t pass them by.”  The painting now hangs in my house.  

The story is printed on the back.  It resonated with me so deeply.   


Five years ago I realized I needed to make a change in my life. What I was doing was not fulfilling and I wasn’t happy.  Slowly I crept to the edge of the carousel.   

It took 2 more years before I truly leapt.  And like most leaps from a moving object I fell and tumbled.  But I was determined to change that unhealthy momentum and create new movement that would instead propel me to a place that I loved.  It worked!   

I am now running my photography business full time. It is still a fledgling business and I have to work another job as well but I am making it happen and I have goals in place that will keep the momentum moving in the right direction.   

Best of all I am fulfilled and doing what I love.  It takes courage to make the leap off the carousel but ultimately it is the best thing we can do for ourselves so that life doesn’t just pass us by.


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