The Equation of Progress

This post builds on my last one.

Most people don’t have a problem with knowing what to do; what they tend to struggle with is doing what they know they should do.  Have you seen the first Matrix movie? It is a great film and I would recommend you watch it if you haven’t seen it yet. There is a scene in the movie where Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne’s character), says to Neo (Keanu Reeves) – There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.’ This quote sums up the challenge of doing the right thing despite knowing the right thing to do. How do you get around it? Bob Moesta’s Equation of Progress helps illuminate what is required.

I came across the Equation of Progress courtesy of Whitney Johnson’s Harvard Business Review blog post. I found the simplicity of Moesta’s model to be refreshing and applicable to my life. I discussed the Equation of Progress at a Youth Conference a couple of weeks ago and the audience found that it helped contextualise their own struggles and successes with getting the right things done.

The Equation of Progress = F1 + F2 > F3 + F4


F1= Push of the situation (e.g. frustration, what you’re doing now isn’t working and you are ready to change)

F2= Pull of a new solution (e.g. the pull or draw of something new or better)

F3= Allegiance to the past (e.g. comfort of the known or history)

F4= Anxiety around the new solution (e.g. anxiety or fear of the new solution)

You can only change or do something new when you are completely frustrated with what you are currently  doing or the results you are getting and this also includes having a vision of something better that you are striving for which motivates you to change. These forces of progress must be greater than the forces of hindrance, such as the comfort of doing the same old things that you are used to doing as well as the anxiety of failing or having to change. Until you cross the line of progress, you are not going to replace your old limiting behaviours with new effective ones. Your F1 & F2 (Forces of Progress) must be greater than (>) F3 & F4 (Forces of Hindrance) if you are going to be effective and efficient in the things that you do.


One reply on “The Equation of Progress”

I really like this piece. This is what folks pay money to hear in counselling sessions. We’re all just looking for the right direction to take so we can reach fulfilment. This equation keeps it real, and I love that it doesn’t leave room for debate. The sooner one accepts that this (with the help of the HOLY SPIRIT, of course) is the way, the better. No limits…I definitely like it.

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