Overcoming Drag

Experiencing Drag

It’s tough, time-consuming work to finish a project.

While there is always an optimistic energy when we begin a project, finishing takes time, energy (physical and emotional), and comes with no guarantee of success.

When we’re doing something that requires our daily, personal energy to accomplish, a lengthy project can wear us down and make us question our efforts.

This is drag.

And unless you do something about it, this energy-depleting self-doubt (aka: drag) will bury you.

2 Techniques for Overcoming Drag

If you find yourself experiencing drag, there are two techniques you can use to reenergize your effort and avoid burnout:

#1. Take a Knee

Before you scrap your project or give up on your goal, take a knee.

Sometimes the constant effort we put into a project wears us down.  When you’re going full speed every day, it’s hard to recognize the success we’ve had thus far.  Without recognizing our accomplishments, it’s hard to continue fighting - the emotional drain can sometimes be more detrimental than the physical drain.

Taking even just the shortest moment to collect yourself, relax, and take a breath can do wonders for your project and almost certainly ensure you go back into the arena with more passion, strength and commitment than ever.

#2.  Keep Pressing

The worst time to question strategy is in a tactical fight.

In other words, it does us no good to question why we’re doing something when we’re in the thick of the fight.

Why?  Because it’s difficult, if not impossible to judge your progress. 

Have you taken or lost ground?  Are you closer to reaching your objective?  Is your strategy still based on known conditions or have circumstances changed?

These are questions that are impossible to answer when you’re on the ground taking daily action to develop your project.

So don’t ask yourself these things – now’s not the time.

Right now is the time for you to put one foot in front of the other; to put effort and energy into the task right in front of you; to keep pressing forward.

If that means writing one more sentence, write one more sentence.

If that means making one more sales call, make the call.

If that means starting over at day 1 to create (or break) a habit, start at day 1.


The truth is, there are none.

Neither of these two techniques will guarantee your success.

Your project might never come together the way you want it to, your final product might not live up to expectations, or people might dismiss what you create.

These things might not work out and this is a tough thing to accept.

But if they might not work out, it also means they could.

And if they could work, it’s your job as an instigator to do everything in your power to see if they can work.

So if you’re committed to the fight, if you’re certain this is your path, and if you’re determined to see it through to the end (win or lose), then don’t let drag beat you down: take a knee and keep pressing.

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4 comments on “Overcoming Drag”

  1. Hi Tom,

    Wow your post got me thinking today. I have to say I immediately went to "Drag" meaning aerodynamic drag - as in the "FORCE" that opposes the aircrafts movement through the air. I don't know why I went there but I immediately did. This has huge meaning for me though when I look at what FORCE means in opposition to my movement. If I have too much drag I can't move efficiently.

    What your post gave to me today was the ability to stop for a second and consider what I can do to eliminate my "Drag" - how can I get sleeker, smoother and reduce my friction. Airplanes reduce drag by becoming smoother (reducing friction between the air and the solid surface of the aircraft) so today I did "Take a Knee" and thought hard about how I could become smoother.

    Thanks for inspiring the thought and actions I am taking.


    1. Alan, awesome thoughts! They inspired my next post, which digs deeper into 'drag' - and may end up becoming a multi-part series (because i love the aircraft analogy and making things smoother to reduce friction. great stuff!). Thanks so much for the great comments Alan - always great to hear from you!!
      - Tom