Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

June 19, 2018


It was Isaac Newton who first identified the physics of momentum.

He proposed that any object which is moving has momentum — and that the amount of the momentum (p) possessed by the moving object is the product of mass (m) and velocity (v). In equation form:

In scientific terms, the formula is simply this: p = m*v. The amount of momentum is determined by the mass of the object multiplied by its speed.

To dig even deeper, Newton demonstrated that momentum has both speed and direction. 


For example, if you were to throw a 2.5-pound model airplane off the top of a small cliff in a southeast direction at 4 miles-per-hour, the plane would have a momentum of 2.5 pounds times 4 miles per hour due southeast measured with reference to the ground.

With a calculator, you can predict exactly where the plane will land — without any wind. You can also predict in real time how the wind will impact the direction and speed of the model airplane. 

It’s science. Math. Raw physics.

You can run your calculations in a dozen different ways and you will always end up with the same thing. Momentum is a result of mass times velocity. 

That never changes. Here is what also never changes — if you increase your speed, you get more momentum.

If you increase your speed by 300% (with the mass held constant), you will increase your momentum by 300%. It’s directly proportional.

It doesn’t matter whether you understand or agree with it, the formula remains true. It works every time, the exact same way. Absolutely predictable.

And it’s not just true for science.

The same math works for your life goals.

The lessons are endless, but a few powerful examples come to mind immediately

  1. If you need to break through bigger obstacles, you’ll need to increase the size of your mass — like your team, your friends, or your bank account — or gain more speed — like working faster. 
  2. There is always someone trying to sell you a shortcut. But it is the ageless strategies that work best. The science of progress is about the basics — not parlor tricks. So play the long game and do the right thing.
  3. Problems only become a problem when they hit you harder than you are willing to hit back. It’s on you to push back, get back up, and keep fighting. When you stay down, the problems win.
  4. What goes around comes around. If you are slow to go, and stop and start and stop again, basic goals will be impossible to achieve. The harder you push, the more likely you are to keep making progress.
  5. Slow and steady progress is better than starting new activities that you’ll just stop working on a few days from now. Take the time to know where you want to be and why you want to get there.

You won’t get to where you want to be without obstacles.

Life isn’t going to treat you fair.

Success requires that you achieve progress religiously. Relentlessly. On days when you feel like it and on days when you don’t even feel like getting out of bed,

Your speed matters. Your mass matters. Your will to win matters. 

Momentum isn’t about quick wins. It’s about moving towards where you want to be. Each day. With each decision that you make.

It’s science. It’s destiny. It’s your life.

So go get some.

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.