Momentum Can Be Scary©
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DECEMBER 22, 2010
David J. Pollay, HappyNews Columnist

“Why is it so hard to maintain positive momentum in our lives?” “And how can we create and keep momentum in our careers?” These are two questions I’m asked a lot.
Positive momentum is the key to our happiness. It is also the key to our success in business. Most of us say that we want momentum; we want to be “on a roll” in life. The problem is that many of us struggle with momentum once we experience it.
Skiing down the hill
I was 17 years old, and skiing for the first time. I was at Alpine Valley in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.
I had just finished my first ski lesson with a group of beginners. I thought, “If they can do it, I can do it.” I was ready to take on the hill. I hopped on the chair lift to the top of the hill, jumped off, glided a few yards, stopped, and looked down; the hill was steeper than I had thought. I had one goal: I wanted to ski the hill without falling.
So, I pushed off and started down the hill. Ten feet, twenty, forty, eighty feet, and I was still on my skis. One hundred feet, two hundred, four hundred feet, and I was still standing! Within seconds I was a quarter of the way down the mountain and still going!
Growing concern
And then I began to worry! I started thinking, “What if I hit someone? What if I veer off the slope? What if I go too fast? What if I can’t stop?” And before I knew it, I’d had enough! I was scared, and I wanted to stop. So, I turned directly into a snow bank.
I landed face first; my skis went flying. Even with my face freezing, knees hurting, skis sliding down the hill, and everyone sailing past me, I was relieved! I no longer had to worry where my momentum was taking me; I had stopped it all together. I was safe again.
How often have we experienced something like this in our lives, physically or emotionally? We quickly build momentum towards achieving an important goal. We enjoy the exhilaration of our progress. But, then something triggers us. We become anxious because we’re moving more quickly than we had anticipated.
Momentum can be scary; it not only moves us more quickly to our goals, it can carry us beyond them. We often find ourselves in an unexpected, new world of possibilities.
The power of momentum
The good news is that achieving and experiencing momentum in our lives does not have to be scary.
The power of positive momentum can help us achieve our goals more efficiently, and with less stress. We will be challenged, but not anxious. We will have people and processes set up to help us stay on a roll.
When we have the focus, and the right support, positive momentum will lead us to our dreams.
This week
Think about the most important areas of your life. In which areas do you have positive momentum?
Choose one area this week, and focus on it. What can you do to “keep on your skis?”
Who do you know who has already skied down the hill you’re on? Who can help you prepare for what’s coming? Reach out to people this week. Give them a quick update on what you’re doing. And ask them for any wisdom they could share with you to help keep you headed in the right direction.
Your mission is to remain excited about the momentum you have, and keep going.
Momentum can be scary, but when you have support on your journey, it’s awesome.

David J. Pollay’s book, The Law of the Garbage Truck, is in bookstores everywhere and online. Read more about The Law of the Garbage Truck™ and David’s mission to increase happiness, success, and civility in the world at