Daily Inspiration: Leadership – “Momentum matters more than motivation!”

Category under: Blog, Daily Inspiration

“Momentum matters more than motivation!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

It’s a heck of a thing for a guy who sends out a Daily Inspiration that perhaps we should spend less time on motivational fluff, and more time on simply moving forward. But it’s my post, so why not! Because it’s true! A stalled force achieves no goal. A static object sees no success. An inert object gains no wins. Someone who is stuck will never see accomplishments. It’s better to be moving forward than to be standing still!

I will often address this issue on stage, such as in this short clip from a keynote in London UK a few weeks back:

Motivational speakers can play an important role, but they won’t necessarily get you into the future fast. I’ve addressed this here some time back in a previous post:

The message from a motivational speaker is like Chinese food – after an hour, you’ve lost your inspiration. But my futurist insight will excite your imagination for a lifetime!”

As an aside, one of the most challenging things for me is when people ask me what I do for a living.

I’m a speaker” I explain.

Oh, a motivational speaker?”

Not really.

I then try to delicately explain what it is a futurist does….. Which, from one perspective, is working hard to push people into action so they can get to where they are going in better shape than they might otherwise be – by understanding what it is going to be like when they get there! That’s why I’m big on momentum and action. Here’s what you should be thinking in terms of action steps each and every day – challenge yourself through momentum and avoid inaction:

  • move forward: adopt the mindset that you aren’t going to fix the problems of the future by doing what you’ve done in the past.
  • be realistic and don’t wait for the big win: stop looking for home runs because they can set you back: set goals that can be met and move towards them
  • step up your game: is your risk culture inappropriate for a fast-paced economy, or is it holding you back?
  • always accelerate: find and avoid the stall points
  • avoid “momentum failure“: that’s what happens when the momentum that is necessary to innovate is clear, but nothing happens because a decision cannot be made.
  • chase action: avoid stalling
  • avoid aggressive indecision: make decisions and get going!
  • stop seeking clarity: be prepared to move with fuzzy insight
  • pause less: recognize waiting won’t work
  • challenge your speed: check your velocity – are you moving fast enough?
  • look around: are your competitors moving faster than you?
  • reboot yourself: if you’ve crashed, do a reset and start again
  • check your speed: after all, as I have long explained, the future belongs to those who are fast!

I’m not disparaging the need for a motivational message – being inspired each & every day is a critical part of how people move forward in a complex world. Heck, here I am with my morning coffee putting together this ‘daily inspirational quote.’ But having said that, over a 29-year time span I’ve been to a lot of conferences & have seen a LOT of motivational speakers. Some are great – but some carry the same, tired, canned message. It’s warmed over, repurposed, the same old. In an hour, you’ve forgotten what the message was all about.

But my key message is simple.

Get moving.

Because the future is going to happen in the very next moment.

It’s yours to own!

Do it now!


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.