Two-time USA Memory Champion; Ron White memory speaker would like to share with you some lessons on momentum and discipline learned from former U.S. Navy Seal T.C. Cummings.

Have you ever heard the expression, “When it rains it pours?” People usually say that when things just keep going from bad to worse. On the other hand, when things are going well they seem to just get better. This is the Law of Momentum – ‘When you are down, the universe works to keep you down. When you are up, the universe works to keep you up.’  (The universe being life, or the world at large.)  This is an up-to-date adaptation of Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion that states, “A body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion in the same direction, unless acted upon by a force.”

The Law of Momentum actually affects everything you do. For example: When you are having a bad month you may put money into the wrong account which results in overdraft fees with your bank, and extra charges from the places you paid your bills. On the other side, if you are having a good month everything seems to fall into place and ‘luck’ is on your side. 

In reality, it is the Law of Momentum that is taking place. When things are going great you are energized, happy and excited. When they are going badly you are depressed and forlorn.

U. S. Navy SEALs are consistently on the go – moving from one mission or exercise to another. They are seldom home for longer than one week out of the month, which lends to a challenging social life, and often strains on relationships. Since they have to be prepared for any situation (polar ice caps or scorching heat) they are constantly packing and unpacking gear, food, laundry, etc. T.C. once told a group of us at a workshop, “I remember once we were at our home port for three consecutive weeks and we were going stir crazy because we were out of our comfort zone of travel.” The travel gave them the momentum and when they weren’t traveling the SEALs felt out of place and undisciplined.

In the world of discipline – YOU ARE THE TRAIN. What does a train do when it runs into an obstacle? It obliterates it! There is so much momentum the train can’t stop in time and it plows right through anything in its path. Momentum feeds discipline!

The forces of nature are neither positive, nor negative – they are neutral. It is our mindset that makes it positive or negative. In other words, WE MAKE OUR OWN LUCK. We have it available to us at all times, but we must tap into it.

Momentum can work negatively, and negative momentum feeds a lack of discipline. If we lose our motivation we lose our momentum. What can you do to regain it? Simply losing momentum doesn’t mean you can’t get it back, but it will require extraordinary effort to do so.

SEALs don’t allow themselves to lose their momentum. It shows a lack of discipline on their part – and an undisciplined SEAL does not stay in the program long. Without discipline their teamwork falls apart, and that could mean life or death to their team members.

It can sometimes be difficult to keep motivated, especially when you see yourself as having to do something you dislike. Salesmen often see the biggest challenge in what they term “call reluctance.” They don’t like to make phone calls, and it takes a lot of discipline to make that first call. Once the first call has been made the next ones get progressively easier. Without the momentum to make that first call a salesman wouldn’t have a job for long. Once they realize it gets easier with each call, it keeps them motivated to make another.

As we progress in our lives and envision our goals and dreams we will find that success comes in stages. Once we attain a certain level of success we need to build on that in order to get to the next level. Every success, and every failure, is just a building block full of lessons to get you to the next level. When we undergo hardship we can use the experience to propel us even further. If we have enjoyed success we can capitalize on those successes to project us on. We must never let obstacles cause us to de-rail our train – we must keep plowing through in order to reach our destination.

For more information on how you too can think like a Navy Seal, check out our “Mind of a Seal” CD Package, or enroll in our “Think Like A U.S. Navy Seal” workshops.



“Mind of a U.S. Navy SEAL” workshop

Merriam Webster Dictionary – Consistency:

Empowering – The Power of Momentum, by Doug Kelley: