Momentum is a funny thing — equally powerful in either action or not.

My mother liked to toss around sayings to drive home points into my impressionable head.

One about a big gray boulder blundering down a green hillside, however, required a bit of maturity from me to finally understand.

“A rolling stone gathers no moss,” she would say hustling around the house. When on a mission, my mother never slowed down. Perpetual motion, so to say.

But in the head of a 10-year-old boy, the saying seemed more about the physics of how moss couldn’t attach itself to moving rock than an insightful life lesson.

Decades later, knee-deep into adulthood, I finally got it. Momentum was my friend.

A silent force of nature, momentum is a dramatic difference-maker in life.

Change is fleeting and temporary. But when combined with momentum, the world transforms in meaningful ways. Momentum becomes the important mortar between the bricks of good intentions and the creation of something impactful in life. Without it, the wall of good intentions is without strength and structure.

A shotgun approach to anything meaningful in our lives tends to return shotgun results. Momentum, or the consistent applying of pressure to the right actions, can transform a pattern of actions or choices into meaningful and tangible. Game changer-type results.

When I was a runner, years before my knees began to bark at me, I would have to build up mileage in order to run a long-distance race. While I could certainly show up for a 10K race and cross the finish line, to do so at a time that would make me proud would require a daily investment of time and accumulation of mileage.

Without the momentum of investing tangible actions or decisions toward my goal, my dreams were nothing more than an illusion — easily defeated in the face of the output required on race day.

The momentum, or therefore lack of, played the determining role in my results.

This applies to my daily life as well. If I want to be a kinder person, I must be a kinder person each day. If I wish for those around me to know they are important, I must regularly tell them so. If I want to lose 10 pounds, I need to eat carefully every day. If I want to have a good relationship with God, I need to put aside a few minutes each day.

Moss grows on a stationary object. Trees and boulders are anchored deep into the ground. And on us. The moss of life can be viewed as our dreams and desires we didn’t have the courage to put in both the effort and commitment to make happen. And like moss, these broken dreams or the compounded results of unrealized desires stubbornly cling to us forever.

Momentum is not a single action, but rather the result of consistent behaviors resulting in inconsistent outcomes. And in life, the difference between us gathering moss or not is found between our ears.

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207;


(2) comments

Charles Douglas

Mr. Woolsey> Great article as usual. We all have seen plenty of individuals with God given talents, and gifts who never perfected them for the use in the arena they were designed for, and therefore remained dormant within them, and just wasted away. I have some in my very diverse family who should be millionaires today, but either sat around and let the moss grow, or they listened to the wrong voices along the pathways of life, and they walked away from the road to success waiting for them.

The dreams and desires to succeed which you alluded to have to be watered by faith, hard work, diligence, and perseverance! I choose to believe your mother who you spoke of in your Op-ed,...inspired, and awakened those things in you or you would not be the success you are today! Still, as you indicated, a parent might inspire, but that parent cannot execute what needs to be executed for dreams and goals to be realized in life!

Someone said so many years ago when I was coming through trying to find my path, my way in life.. this, and I paraphrase:

" The richest places in the universe, are the graveyards of the world, because in them are buried Talents, Anointings & Gifts unused, Dreams, and Good Intentions unfulfilled, along with Opportunities wasted, because they died and was buried with those who let the moss grow under their rock, without forging ahead in life pursuing their dreams and aspirations in life day at a time!" Great thought provoking article sir! This is High School bulletin board material I dare say!

LeonardWoolsey Staff
Leonard Woolsey

Thank you for your thoughtful post, Charles.

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