The Power Of Rhythm And Momentum
Rhythm and momentum are everywhere and in everything.
As conscious human beings we can harness and use this rhythm and momentum to our favour and benefit or not, we have a choice.
But many of us don’t consciously exercise that choice, and then when unfavourable results show up we blame our genetics or our environment or the government.
We don't realise that what we practice through our thought and action is what shows up.
We believe our thoughts are private and they have no effect on our results, but the opposite is the case.
How we think and feel about ourselves directly influences every decision we make, the people we associate with and for most of us, this process is on autopilot.
Many artists and creative people understand this. They've been practising their craft for many years and they've become expert at what they do.
They know that they need to get focused, isolate themselves and omit all chance of distraction in order to create great work.
It can become very simple and apparent to the rest of us once we come to realise it.
It's pretty sobering too.
A Few Further Thoughts On Rhythm And Momentum.
It’s much later this morning that I come to the keyboard of my Mac. I went for a run with a friend, about 10 miles. I’ve not been training very much in the last few years, I couldn’t be bothered.
I did a lot of marathons in 2015, I was pretty fit then. Now I’ve gone the other way.
I’ve been meaning to get myself in shape as I’ve put on a couple pounds but motivation has been in short supply.
Anyway, I agreed to do the loop of the peninsula here at Narin/Portnoo a couple times while we are here and this morning was the first one.
I’ll do a few shorter runs too while I’m here just to keep things interesting.
About two weeks ago I set out to lose some of that excess baggage I’ve accumulated and wrote about it here on Storymaker.
In that effort, I lost about 2.5kg (5.5lbs) in a week with only dietary changes. Not bad.
Add running to that and the excess weight will fall off pretty quickly. So all told I’m not in too bad a shape, especially considering my running has not been consistent recently.
So all this got me thinking…
It appears to be that the body seems to remember a previous state pretty quickly once the practice is reapplied. That’s why dedicated athletes, pro or amateur, manage to bounce back pretty quickly after a spell on the sidelines.
There’s momentum in the thing, and even though someone might have to give up their sport or other positive behaviour for one reason or another, they can get back into the flow easily.
Same goes for the other side of the coin.
Negative behaviours once practised for long periods are easily re-adopted after a spell let’s say in rehab or a temporary reformative environment.
Overweight and obese people, alcoholics or drug addicts, people with gambling or sex addictions might for a time find some relief from their afflictions only to fall back into old ways.
There’s momentum of thought anchored in their environment and once they return to that place their old ways creep back in and they are back where they started.
Even if they find a new place to live away from old negative influences, their mode of thought can follow them. Take them out of the environment that causes the positive change and the change is lost.
What’s The Solution?
Now I’m no counsellor, I’m not a professional in these things but this has been my observation and my personal experience.
And of course this is not the same for everyone, but it is in my opinion, common amongst people who fail to break negative habits.
Things that are practised for long periods be they positive or negative behaviours, will become hard wired in the brain and engrained in the consciousness.
It is extremely difficult to break these habits if certain fundamentals are not addressed.
Family, friends, social structure, work and play environments must change if we are to make the change we want.
If you want to run a marathon you’ll find a greater degree of success if you join a running club. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you to achieve your goals.
If you want to lose weight and get fit
Surround yourself with people who promote healthy living and encourage you to succeed.
If you want to be a writer
Immerse yourself in the work of great writers and join fellow writers regularly to share ideas and compare progress.
If you want to be an engineer
Then go to college and study for about 4 years.
The point here is that if we want to change something in ourselves then we’ve got to change our environment. Permanently, not just for a couple of weeks.
This is why dieting doesn’t work. People expect shortcuts to give them what they need, and they fucking don’t.
They never do.
Shortcuts work for people who walked the road and have earned the right to use them.
For the rest of us aspirational people, we’ve got to practice that new thing every single fucking day.
Once we dedicate ourselves to the practice momentum takes over. We get to ride the rhythm and eventually we get where we want to be.
That’s my theory anyway.
This article originally appeared on Storymaker and has been edited and updated for publication here
The Artist's Manifesto
The Artist's Manifesto is a short book about staying true to our art. It is a call to Artists and Creatives like you to create from the heart with passion and integrity, disregarding the need for applause and recognition. It's available from 13th May 2017. Grab your FREE copy here.