Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Greatest Force

You wanna know what the single biggest force in your life is? The one that exerts the greatest influence over every decision you make? The one that grows unbated to the point of becoming irresistible? It's not your parents, your spouse or your kids. It's not fear, confusion or doubt. It's not your goals and aspirations. It's not money, or power, or fame, or pride, or lust.

The greatest single influence on everything you do every single day is (drum role): momentum.


Yes, momentum. Compared to momentum, things like relationships, money, desire, power, fear and greed are mear rocks and bolders that roll across your path. Momentum is the path.

Sometimes it's the path you choose, sometimes it's the path upon which you stumble. Regardless, every day you walk a well defined path, a path that varies little. Even when things disrupt your walk, it's likely that your primary goal is to get back to the path.

We humans creatures of habit, or perhaps more accurately, creatures of pattern. Once a lifestyle pattern is established, it's nearly impossible to change it. Sure, we make minor alterations, but the core pattern remains unaltered.

In some ways, that core pattern is akin to the carrier wave in a radio signal. When you tune into an FM radio station, you set your radio to focus on a specific frequency (e.g., 92.3 or 100.5). That frequency is the center of the carrier wave. The music or news or talk shows you hear on your radio are all encoded into the carrier wave by rapidly modulating its frequency up and down. Although the modulated wave form doesn't change that much (e.g., 92.3 doesn't bump into 92.5 or 92.1), the variations you hear in music and speech are significant. There may be so much variation, that you never change stations, never change frequencies. Meanwhile, there are hundreds of other stations that you might listen to, ones you don't know exist.

And so go our lives. We flip through the stations to see what's playing. We find one or two that we like and we add them to our presets. After a while, we stick pretty much with the presets. We hear songs we like, we experience variety and change. Before we know it, it never even occurs to us that there are other stations, other life frequencies. When it does, we assume that they're not for us. More often than not, we don't even notice that we've dialed in to a core frequency, that all the disruptions, changes and variances we experience are nothing more than minor fluctuations in our carrier wave.

Why is it important to see this? It might not be. However, if you find yourself at odds with your life, constantly struggling, feeling the odd duck, working for change (at home, at work, in family, in friends, in yourself), it may be time to end the tyranny of momentum and change stations. If you dialed into your life's frequency when you were all about heavy metal, but now you're more about talk radio, rather than trying to convince the station to change formats, you may want to switch stations.

Happy Saturday,

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