January 23, 2011


I like Nike slogan.

When we look at the people who seem to be doing better than us, we often compare ourselves to them -- and we mentally calculate the effort it would take to get from where we are to where they are, and conclude that it is too impossible to ask such effort from ourselves. We forget that they did not get there overnight.

How momentum works.

The principle of momentum works like this :

The momentum increases when either the mass or velocity increases. Or the greater the force, or the faster the movement, in a short amount of time, the greater the momentum is. And, what is momentum? It is the drive, or the propelling force/strength, that allows the object to go as far as it can.

Increasing velocity -- when an object starts moving, it has little momentum because it has yet to pick up the speed. Which means that, as long as you keep moving forward and do not stagnate, you will gain more momentum. Or, the longer you have been keeping at something, the easier it gets.

Increasing mass -- An object without much mass cannot gain much momentum because there is little to be propelled forward in the first place. Which means, as you move forward according to your capacity, you will find the capacity and drive to do even more.

I am terrible in Physics but now I, somehow, realize how this simple principle can be applied into our lives. We often look for the motivation before we act. But I am thinking, what if we look how to increase the momentum instead?

What if ... we decide to give ourselves the first hardest push, and keep going until the ride becomes smoother. What if ... instead of allowing external triggers to determine our state of mind and emotions, we sought emotional momentum and deliberately choose to do something about it, and keep at doing it until it gets easier.

As Eugene Peterson wrote, "It is easier to act ourselves in a new way of feeling, than to feel ourselves in a new way of acting."

On a side note, while google-ing for a picture to illustrate this post, I stumbled across another awesome post about momentum. My favourite line: "Some people say the purpose of productivity is to give yourself more free time to spend relaxing, not working. I disagree. The purpose of productivity is to give yourself more time, whatever you choose to do with it."

What building up momentum (and maintaining it) gives you is the choice. The freedom of choice to do as you wish with your time. For an example, knowing that I will spent my time lazying around during the weekend -- doing nothing at all, I choose to join any event organized. With that I can go for a walk, catch up with some close friends, have lunch with them, etc etc. And that just gives me more motivation to continue working.

Sometimes, being stuck among the classmates all the time brings you nowhere. You need to meet someone else to discuss a topic other than academics -- or assignments, or quizzes, or lab reports. You need to clear your mind from all the whines and complains about the workloads. You need to remove your worries about the back-to-back quizzes. Which is, you have to go out from that kind of environment.

One thing I learnt from a recent event I participated was, if you spend your time doing something else other than study -- in hope to recharge your spirit, you will find it amazing how fast you can go after that. In a way, it gives me momentum, right?

And ... a final tip I want to share from last Thursday's talk: map out your task a day before. Before you finish up your work each day, make it your final task to set up a to-do-list for the next day. Give your mind at least twelve hours to be mentally prepared. Remove the biggest obstacle to be productive, which is, not knowing where to start. This is a momentum for each and every day.

Anyway, what do you think? Should the concept of momentum just be kept in the context of science?


  1. echah, nice entry..
    naik semangat to keep moving forward..

  2. dah lame xblaja fizik, dah lupe la..
    hoi, lame menyepi!

  3. to taqwa:
    Ouch, really?
    Okay, let's moving forward! :)

    to creamyfiodesi:
    Kite pun dah lame tak belajar physics. Credit to my long termed memory lah. Haha. Perasan je. -.-
    What do you mean by menyepi?


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