In 2019 my 16 year old daughter was on a 6 month student exchange from Australia to France. I planned to fly to France to spend the last 2 weeks of her stay with her – and with visions of myself as Audrey Hepburn shopping and sightseeing in Paris, I booked my plane ticket. But my daughter had other ideas. She wanted to go skiing.
Skiing? Really? What about Paris… honey?
Every fibre of my body was opposed to the thought of skiing. I was about to turn 50, had never skied in my life, and, having spent the best part of 49 years living in Australia, shuddered at the thought of being cold and wet. I mean, come on – I am a beach baby, not a ski bunny!
But then I paused and I challenged my thinking. I took a ‘moment’ and that moment changed my life.
So, what exactly is a MOMENT?
When I first googled the word ‘moment’, I discovered something amazing – it is a homonym – that is, a word which sounds and is spelt the same as another word, but which has multiple definitions (for example: ‘for’ and ‘four’).
First, a ‘moment’ is a unit of time. I had always used the word ‘moment’ as a figure of speech and a way of buying a little time when someone interrupted me: ‘Just give me a moment…’. But no, the word ‘moment’ first appeared in the 8th century when St. Bede the Venerable recorded that each hour is divided into 4 quarter hours; 10 minutia; and 40 momenta – the latter representing 90 seconds of time.
Being a time management expert, this discovery tickled me pink.
Second, a ‘moment’ is a measure of power: the ‘Moment Magnitude Scale’ measures the power and amount of energy released by an earthquake at the exact ‘moment’ of the earthquake.
And finally, a ‘moment’ is a unit of force: it is the name given to the turning or pivoting effect a force exerts on an object. For example: when you push open a door, it rotates around its hinges. This rotation is called a ‘moment’ of force.
I was suddenly loving the word ‘moment’ and the momentous (ha!) opportunity this word presented. Imagine, I thought, the monumental level of change I could exert on my life by adding these individual ‘moments’ together. Could I take 90 seconds of time to open a new door to generate earth quaking energy?
TIME + FORCE = MASSIVE MOMENTum
Often the incredible, audacious goals we set for ourselves, those amazing opportunities we flirt with, the big dreams we dream, begin as an exciting spark of inspiration that provides an immediate rush of adrenalin. But then real life snaps us back to reality and we put that big idea, dream, or goal on permanent hold because…well, because it is just too big, too hard, and too massive to possibly execute.
But maybe we have been doing it all wrong? Maybe we are biting off way too much and then disappointing ourselves when we don’t meet our big hairy audacious goal within 3 weeks? Maybe, instead of going all audacious, we need to start with one small step and then add another small step and then another and another until all of a sudden we realise that we have actually climbed that mountain we thought was impossible to climb. Maybe, instead of focussing on the big picture, we should be focussing on the 90 second ‘moments’ of time that simply require us to exert enough power to open a new door?
Because maybe, when we add all of those small ‘moments’ together, what we actually create is the MOMENTum we need to achieve the audacious?
Back to skiing
Armed with this exciting prospect I decided to embrace the potential of ‘moments’ and I created a 5 step framework – the MOMENtum Magnitude Framework – to see if I could actually create enough momentum to go skiing.
The MOMENTum Magnitude Framework
STEP 1: Decide to be Audacious
It can be hard to find the time and energy to ‘be motivated’. Trust me, I get it – I live in Melbourne, Australia and we have experienced one of the most prolonged periods of covid lockdown in the world with close to 200 days of total lockdown (to date) where we are only allowed to leave our homes and travel in a 5km radius for 5 reasons.
But to truly understand why it is so hard to find ‘motivation’, we need to look to physics.
In 1687 Isaac Newton published his 3 Laws of Motion. Newton’s first law of motion, otherwise known as the law of inertia, states that an object at rest stays at rest. If you are not moving, you are not moving. Simple. I call this the law of ‘what’s on Netflix?’ Happily, however, the reverse is also true – while an object at rest stays at rest, an object in motion stays in motion. I call this the law of ‘productivity’.
It’s time to shake off your inertia and get productive.
In Step 1 I want you to take 10 seconds to decide to exert a ‘moment of force’ to open a new door – because that is where the magic happens.
Be outrageous, be audacious! Choose something you have never ever done before – that thing on your bucket list that you know you will one day regret not doing when you has the chance.
For mine, I had never been skiing before. I gave myself 10 seconds to decide to be audacious – 10 seconds to say YES – I’m going to go skiing in France with my daughter.
You are 10 seconds into your first MOMENT. This is all about creating MOMENTum.
Find Steps 2-5 at CeoWorldMagazine