Each of us has an area of life that we are wanting to improve. You already know the one I am talking about. It immediately came to your mind- that “thing” you just can’t shake. It’s like an itch you can’t seem to scratch. You’ve tried over and over, but so far, it’s mostly been met with disappointment. But what if there were something that helped us to finally find success in this area? I believe there is!
I was inspired this morning by my son as he was getting ready for school. He’s in kindergarten, so he is can get himself dressed for the most part. But he always needs a little help with something. This morning, it was his shoes. (Hey, some days are just easier than others!) After I took out yesterday’s double-knot, I handed Noah his shoe and said, “This one goes on your left foot.” He thought for a second, and then reported out loud, “This is my left foot.” Then he paused, looked up at me, and said, “Right and left are hard!”
That one simple statement hit me. Yeah, for a 6 year old, right and left can be hard at times. But I bet everyone that reads this has no problem with right and left. If you were getting directions, and someone told you to “hang a right”, you wouldn’t have to think about which way to turn. As for Noah, the more he works on his right and left, the more it will become second nature.
In my own life, there are several areas I want to improve. [Confession alert!] This morning, I hopped on the scale and it said 268. 268! Ugh. Actually, I didn’t hop on the scale. I gently stepped onto it. If I had hopped on it, I’d be out buying a new scale right now! This is the biggest I have ever been in my life. And getting to my goal weight seems like such a huge obstacle.
But then I remembered the most powerful weapon for making positive change! What is it?
Momentum is a powerful tool. Without momentum, it is hard to do anything. But once we get a little bit of positive momentum headed in the right direction, things start to click. The problem is getting started. Gaining momentum is one of the hardest things to do. But there is a simple answer… Do something today.
The Principle of the Flywheel
No matter how small, or how insignificant something may seem, do it! And this is why: Business guru Jim Collins talks about a principle called the “Flywheel”. Flywheels are big, heavy, and hard to turn. But once they get spinning, they are also almost impossible to stop. From Jim Collins:
Right now, the flywheel is at a standstill. To get it moving, you make a tremendous effort. You push with all your might, and finally you get the flywheel to inch forward. After two or three days of sustained effort, you get the flywheel to complete one entire turn. You keep pushing, and the flywheel begins to move a bit faster. It takes a lot of work, but at last the flywheel makes a second rotation. You keep pushing steadily. It makes three turns, four turns, five, six. With each turn, it moves faster, and then—at some point, you can’’t say exactly when—you break through. The momentum of the heavy wheel kicks in your favor. It spins faster and faster, with its own weight propelling it. You aren’t pushing any harder, but the flywheel is accelerating, its momentum building, its speed increasing.
So, how do we achieve momentum?
We get the flywheel to move just an inch. Then a full turn. Then two turns. And each time, it gets a little easier. So, the more Noah has to figure out which is his right and which is his left, it will get easier. And how about me and my weight loss goal? This morning, I took out my phone, opened the Lose It app, and I started tracking what I was eating for breakfast.
Now, simply tracking what I ate for breakfast isn’t going to magically make me lose 85 pounds. Going to the gym once isn’t going to do it, either. But tracking what I eat, every day, for a year? That can make a difference! And going to the gym for 3 months, 6 months, a year? That’ll do it! But that starts today.
The same goes for anything you want to improve or accomplish in your life. Want to get closer to God? Reading your Bible for a few minutes today won’t do much. But if you read your Bible a few minutes a day, 5 days a week, for a year? The same goes for any goal that you have.
So, it comes down to this: To become who you want to be tomorrow, you must start becoming that person today!
What are you going to do today?
What area of life do you want to improve? What is one simple thing you could do today that would start to spin the flywheel? Got a comment or thought to share?
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