Momentum Thoughts #341 – This week: Fortune, Acknowledgement, Migration

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.

In this issue:

– Thinking about Momentum
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Thinking about Momentum

  • The tension between what you want and what life gives you is what propels you forward. It’s like the old cabin board game Shoot-the-Moon. Two parallel rails inclined upwards with a steel ball resting at the lowest point. Tension is what propels the ball upwards. No tension, no movement.
  • You’re successful because you’re talented and work hard. However, don’t discount the role of chance. The ancient Romans believed the goddess Fortuna could bring luck, or withhold it. Nurture talent and reward hard work, but keep Fortuna in mind. Bad things could have happened. 
  • Think about luck you come across someone who has not risen above their circumstances. It is possible to work hard and have talent and never get a break. Don’t look down on or pity that unfortunate soul. Things happen.
  • Researches have shown you can influence luck in small ways. Like being open to serendipity. This weekend, start a conversation with a stranger. Who knows what will happen?

Being Human – I see you

“I believe the greatest gift I can conceive of having from anyone is to be seen by them, heard by them, to be understood and touched by them.” – therapist Virginia Satir


I’m reading a study suggesting talking to strangers makes us happier. So why don’t we talk to strangers? The number of reasons probably matches the number of people times the number of hours in the day.

How about this, instead of talking to strangers, we work on just acknowledging them. The flip side of talking to strangers is no one wants to be invisible. Hundreds of novels are written about it. We are happier when we are recognized as being present in the world. Eye contact and a smile.

I can see you thinking, everyone? Even an aggressive panhandler? What about them?

I bring this up with someone whose job it is to try and love all people, no matter what. I tell him it bothers me to see people in need, but the problem seems to big for me to fix. This holy man suggests I may be looking at it wrong. Instead of fixing it, what if all I am required to do is acknowledge another human in my presence? It’s a good point.

I try. I’m not the best at it. And so far, pulling up to an intersection and acknowledging someone in need, but giving them nothing makes me feel worse about as many times as it makes me happier. I say “hey” or nod their way, and look them in the eye.

The truth is panhandlers are a fraction of the strangers I come into contact with. Being in line, walking through an open house, talking to a store clerk, walking in the neighborhood. Add up all these instances and I rarely find myself in uncomfortable situations. It’s easy to acknowledge others.

That should be the goal. We don’t need to go as far as talking to every stranger, but we do need to acknowledge our fellow humans. A positive life is made up of millions of positive interactions. Acknowledging another person is an easy way to ring the bell.

It may make you happier and just may bring you luck.

Random stuff


“Hounds follow those who feed them.” — Otton von Bismarck


I am standing in Boston Commons, killing some time before my Airbnb opens, when I feel a tug on my pant leg. I look down, and a squirrel is starting to climb up my trousers. I’m too surprised to react, and he stops at about my knee where we proceed to regard one another. I give him the universal sign for “I got nothing,” (plus a little wave of my hand) and he jumps off, running toward another park goer.

I think about the little tree rat because I’m reading a story about backyard bird feeders changing the migratory habits of bird species. Small changes in one’s environment can bring about long term consequences.

When I worked in an office I went in early and left late. I could have used a coach to help with life balance, but instead focused on brute effort to get things done. On more than one occasion my work life required trips to off-site locations where we’d strategize over malted beverages. Some of these after work gatherings turned lengthy, and I would stumble home later than usual. The house might be quiet with my lovely bride and our offspring tucked away, and I’d see a note on the table, “Dinner is in the fridge.”

Yep, the note was written with a heavy hand and when I got the fidge I could see the effort that went into making the culinary delight. These were the days when every cell phone call cost money, so communication wasn’t just a text away. I’m not making excuses, just putting you in the proper era.

These days our migration patterns have changed. I’m working from home, and it’s my lovely bride who ventures out in the real world. After a long day teaching future leaders of the world and sitting in meetings she is not in the mood for making culinary delights. This usually means going out for a bite, but tonight I am in a creative mood. We have some tomatoes, some fire roasted veggies, etc. I run to the bakery, then get to work and make dinner. Not anything fancy, but I use most of the kitchenware, and make lots of great smells. I plate things up and admire my work.

Then I wait. And wait.

“When are you coming home?” I text. Nothing. The food cools down, and I eat all tomorrow morning’s scones while watching the local news. Then it hits me.

“Is this the night you’re going to dinner?” I text. 20 minutes later she replies, “Yes.”

I look down and Wilson the ABC is looking up. His dark eyes are larger than the Boston squirrel’s, but they want the same thing.

As luck would have it, this time I got something.


If you need to set up a time to visit, follow this link: