I know of no more important and elusive if not illusive concept as momentum. You know it when you have it. You know it even better when it goes.

Get into a project with the right kind of momentum and the work flies by. You’re smart, you’re efficient, and even the glitches don’t slow you up much. They at least don’t cause you great discomfort. Your swearing is a bit softened, the dents in the floor from a misused hammer not so deep. A simple “you idiot” and you forgive yourself and you’re back on the road again.

With momentum, you have impetus, gravity’s on your side, hope even. Momentum of course is nothing that can be seen. It can’t be tasted or can you actually put your hands on it. It’s like a perfume worn by someone that comes into the room and leaves a trace that is oh so real. You know momentum when you see it, when you feel it. You can sense when it changes. You know when it’s left the room. Maybe you don’t hear a door slam but oh yes you know when momentum has left you.

I used to play a lot of sports. In sports, you can feel the shift and the silliest things can cause that shift. A laugh during the time-out, a fahgetaboutit to a teammate, a routine but important save, sometimes just a small mistake happens and yet momentum has shifted. From that point on, you can watch your game soar or go flat on its face. No explanation. Momentum has changed and that’s it.

Momentum is as elusive it seems as inspiration, the muses. Forget what’s her name, Melpomene, the muse of tragedy. A guy named Mo is far more important for your project than anything else. Lose that drive and you lose your will. Lose that passion and you look at the project as one more pile of sticks, another frame and panel chore, another sanding job. When you have that momentum, you can’t wait to be out in the shop. Cut one panel too short and it’s easy to let another job intrude. It’s easy to say I’ll finish it later. And before you know it, a day has gone by and then two, a week next, then move that project
over there now, a month, gee has it really been a year? And the next thing you know it’s another pile waiting completion, another burden instead of a joy.

So. What can I tell you that you don’t already know about this? Nothing. But I can remind you, as I must remind myself, that mistakes happen. You will screw up something important in a project, and you will absolutely want to quit and set your tools down because of it. Fahgetaboutit, happens to everyone. Bring yourself back to the bench. Don’t let your attention wander. Finish what you start. Fix your mistakes.

And then lobby your congressman for an 8 day week so you’ll have more time for those unfinished projects.

Published in: on March 26, 2008 at 8:17 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Not intending to induce too much magnetism, but what about that 20 year old project noted in your “Class Openings” post?

  2. Where is your company located? And what is your telephone number or contact person?

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