Momentum is The Best Friend of Motivation.
Here''s an interesting idea most people might not have thought about: No human being, not even Ernest Hemingway or Victor Hugo, has ever written a book.
All authors, no matter how inspired they are or talented, started with ONE sentence. Indeed, writers write sentences. They don''t write "books."
Over time (and probably a lot of black coffee and white nights), those sentences are made to work and stick together into paragraphs. Next, the paragraphs are made to work together to become chapters. Finally, the chapters are put together and, voila, the intellectually exhausted author now has a book ready for publication.
Of course, the struggle is not over since the book will probably be rejected (politely, one hopes) by dozens and hundreds of publishers before a crazy one decides to take the risk and publish it.
And it goes without saying that not all authors become billionaires like J.K. Rowling.
But my point is that a book can only be written one sentence at a time.
This is something that the late prolific writer Isaac Asimov has thoroughly understood and even mastered. In his lifetime, he wrote about 300 books (both fiction and non-fiction).
His secret? He used a simple electric typewriter (not a word processor or PC). This drove him to write and write and write, one sentence at a time, without being overly concerned about style or consistency or "the big picture." He would only edit his manuscript at the very end, after all his ideas and thoughts have been systematically laid out on paper.
In fact, regarding his literary technique, he mentioned that he wrote as simply and as clearly as he spoke. This is why his prose is so clear.
My point is that no matter what your job is or what profession you''re in, the first step is to motivate oneself, to get started, to get going.
The next step is to create systematic momentum. This means producing the key outcome without thinking, and keep on producing that outcome. For a sales representative, it could mean asking for the sale. Again and again. For a public relations specialist, it could mean coming up with dozens of ideas to attract media attention. For a leader, it could mean producing dozens of ideas to excite his or her team and inspire them to greater productivity.
The secret is to keep on and not stop. Once you stop, it''s over. The momentum is dead.
And remember: momentum is the best friend of motivation. Motivation gets you started, but it is momentum that keeps you going.
This little trick actually has a powerful theoretical base. It flows from the principle that performance is nothing but potential minus interference.
By suspending our judgment, which often acts as interference to creativity, we can produce MORE.
Other forms of interference could be our fears, doubts, feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, etc.
The key to overcome them is just to keep on producing, mindlessly if need be, what it is that one is supposed to produce. Once momentum is achieved, productivity will soar to surprising new heights.