The Importance of Momentum In Our Lives
On December 6, 2006, two NBA players, one from Golden State Antawn Jamison and the late great Kobe Bryant, both scored 51 points. Their individual points were over 40% of their entire teams’ points for the game. These are abnormal game stats on a day-to-day basis for any NBA player. Jamison was coming off a career-high game the day before, where he scored 51 points. There was a pendulum of momentum in play here between these two players. Jamison had carry over from the day before, and Kobe Bryant was getting warmed up.
The previous basketball reference is a prime example of where one person’s success doesn’t negate your own success. Sure, in a head-to-head situation, somebody must win, and moats matter. But, so many things in life and business aren’t as simple as that. There are outliers in the world, so a dedicated focus on our actions is way more important than what someone else has achieved.
It doesn’t matter if you have a business, you’re an individual, or you’re on a team. If you want to have the slightest chance at having momentum on your side, you need something in motion. Momentum isn’t a guarantee; it’s not something that we’re entitled to because we still have all the other intangible things like luck involved.
Momentum is situational; it can take anywhere from weeks, months, or decades to build for a startup, business, or product. If it’s a sports game, it could be after a few minutes, a quarter, and home game advantage is real. There are so many things that look like overnight successes, but they aren’t. Consistency, talent, luck, momentum, and being at the right place at the right time are essential factors of being successful.
Here is one important key to think about - If you can’t stay consistent, then your probability of encountering luck decreases, and you certainly can’t build any momentum.
As a consumer, I see traction time and time again, but it’s hard to put a hand on it; sometimes, it’s virality, word of mouth, its ideals, and or tools. These things seem to gain traction at a very high rate, e.g., iPhone, Netflix, TikTok, EV’s, Blackberry’s. They’ve all had moments and some longer than others.
As an individual, momentum is there when I’m learning a new skill, racing towards a goal for myself, family, or team, or playing a pickup game of basketball with a group of friends. We can feel the momentum from others even as a side effect of being around them. If you’ve seen a tide shift in someone else’s favor, there is little you can do about it besides give the best version of yourself.
A loss of momentum isn’t defeat either. It’s a regular cycle, so the best thing we can do is take full advantage of momentum when it’s present and on our side. One thing for sure is that it’s a powerful force, and hopefully, with action, we will all have a chance to have momentum move parallel to our efforts.
“The goal of life isn’t pleasure but action - Marcus Aurelius”