Where are your flywheels?

I recently heard someone say they had “good momentum” after getting a lot of things done. That got me thinking about flywheels. 

If you don’t know what a flywheel is, they are mechanical devices that store energy through momentum. Once you load them up, they have two very useful features: They can fill in energy gaps when the regular supply runs short and they can deliver boosts of extra energy when needed. 

With those characteristics, wouldn’t it be great to have personal flywheels?

I think we do.

Think back to a moment where you found an extra boost to get something difficult done, or where you were on empty and kept going anyway. Where did that “extra” come from? I think those are your flywheels.

When I tried to figure out my own flywheels, I thought of 3. I actually covered them in previous posts, which just reinforces my opinion that they are *really* important. Here are my 3 flywheel candidates:

  • Relationships – I can’t tell you the number of times encouragement from my wife, kids, family, or friends gave me the push I needed to get past a particular roadblock.
  • Our Bodies – Lack of physical energy is often the reason for stopping something, so having your body in shape to provide a steady source of energy to do what you want seems like a natural flywheel.
  • Our Minds – This is the ultimate flywheel. Check out any extreme athlete documentary and you hear variations of the phrase “mental fortitude” over and over. These athletes’ mental flywheels have so much momentum that they won’t stop until their bodies physically collapse (literally – a little extreme for me, but fascinating to watch).

There may be more, but I think if these 3 flywheels are up and running strongly, they should put anyone in good shape to succeed with whatever they want in life.

The trick with flywheels is that you need to power them up the first time, which can require a lot of initial effort. They also naturally slow down over time, but the good news is that once they are up and running, it takes only a fraction of the effort to keep them going.

Which led to yet another question to ask myself regularly – am I doing enough maintenance to keep my flywheels fully energized?

Food for thought.

%d bloggers like this: