The Locomotive and the Roller Coaster

It takes far more energy to move a locomotive one millimeter from standing than it does to travel at top speed for a mile. We are the same way. When we are stuck, it feels like a gargantuan effort to do one little task. We are overwhelmed by all the things that are not getting done, and this feeling of overwhelm keeps us stuck. It is like that same locomotive stuck in cement.

Think about those times when you were stuck. Now think about the effort it took for you to get into action. It was huge. But once in action, it became easier to do the next task; and easier still to do the one after that. Inertia is like quicksand. It is a black hole to our progress. Action, ANY ACTION, will free us from the quagmire of overwhelm.

Now think about how you felt about yourself when you did move into action. Did you have a to do list? How did it feel each time you checked something off that list? Brian Tracy tells us that endorphins are released whenever we get something done. It’s like adding coal to that locomotive. Once it starts moving, it becomes easier and easier for it to continue moving, and not only that, to move faster.

Sometimes, what keeps us from moving forward is the fear of the ride. Fear of failure, fear of success. Fear of the unknown. Much like the fear one might have for going on a roller coaster the first time. With a roller coaster, energy is only applied at the beginning. The cars make the long, noisy, climb to the top. Once over the hump, the entire ride is the result of coasting from that initial effort. It’s not a smooth ride, it may not be comfortable, it can be exhilarating, but the result is certain: you will arrive and you will be safe. It may have been frightening, but nothing bad happened. The hardest part was committing to taking the ride.

’til next time,


One Response to The Locomotive and the Roller Coaster

  1. Reid Henry says:

    Great article.

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