The Slinky Principle

The slinky first came out in 1945. I received my first one several years after that and remember coaxing it down the stairs until it eventually started to move on its own. I watched in amazement as the shiny coiled spring moved effortlessly down the stairs without my help.


Imagine the slinky as a metaphor for the relationship between “what you do” and “the results you get.” The initial coaxing of the slinky to get it going is like the discipline we apply in life to follow those routines and practices we know will result in fruit and a pay off some day.

Some of those routines and practices could include: daily exercise, no more fries, calling potential clients, getting up early to pray, reading books for personal growth, setting goals, resolving conflict sooner than later, stretching and strengthening your post-repair recovering body.

The back end of the slinky is like the fruit of your labor or the results of the time and trouble you put into those daily routines that eventually pay off.

Some of the fruit you reap could include: lost weight, a healthier stronger body, marketable skills and competencies, deeper relationships, a financial payoff, finding people willing to have you work with them.

The reason I bring this topic up is because in my life, a major interruption brought my momentum to a grinding halt. Now I find myself in several ways trying to get it going again. It’s tough! But the way forward is not some magical solution but a daily commitment to following the slinky principle!

How am I seeing the slinky principle at work in my life?

Physically –I coaxed the slinky down the stairs by daily exercise, regular stretching, physio – with no “results” for days (so it seemed). Then slowly but surely I started seeing fruit. When I first started riding the recumbent bike, it took me 12 minutes to go 1 km. Now I ride 5 km’s per day in 24 minutes and am reaping the fruit of lost weight, greater energy, less stress and greater mobility. And – I now walk without a crutch!

Mentally – I read, reflect, listen to podcasts, follow blogs and the fruit I’m seeing open doors to mentor younger leaders, opportunities to resource leaders, ideas to blog about, and mental freshness.

Spiritually – I practice a few daily disciplines (prayer, spiritual reading, journaling, reflection) to build spiritual muscle and strength. The fruit I’m experiencing is inner peace, spiritual aliveness, connection with God and deeper purpose.

Professionally –I’ve been increasing my work hours gradually and reintroducing the routines and practices I know will eventually reap rewards (networking, meeting with people, being coach-like and helpful in every interaction, setting measurable goals)

Discipline is not a microwave; it’s a Crock-Pot. (Dave Ramsey)

It’s the every day choices entered into our calendar and onto the to do list that get things moving again after a stoppage in life or work or after growing stagnant in any way.

When you start again, what do you have to wait for?

A harvest.
Getting paid.
Hearing “thank you.”
Hanging up the “Sold” sign.
Having people to work with.
Fitting into your old jeans.
Finishing the race with a personal best time.

But there are no shortcuts to achieving lasting results in life. Like the slinky success comes after you coax those daily activities and practices of life that may be hard now, but will reap a reward eventually.

You usually have to pay the price of self-discipline and hard work long before you see the back end of your dreams realized. But if you keep your dream in mind and have a why to live for, you’ll be able to endure the how necessary to get there!

What interruption took away your momentum?
What daily activities do you need to commit to doing today?

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About Cam Taylor

I'm help people live inspired, focused and tenacious lives. I work as a coach, facilitator, author, and speaker.
This entry was posted in Abundance, Attitude, Change, choice, control, discipline, dreams, Endurance, Growth, journaling, learning, motivation, Opportunity, Optimism, Perspective, Preparation, purpose, Transition and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Slinky Principle

  1. ideameus says:

    Great posting Cam, congratulations on being crutch free!

  2. Angie Harris says:

    The interruption that took away my momentum in life was the death of our wonderful son Duke at only 19 years of age. He had fought a battle with cancer for ten months,(some say that he lost the battle, but truthfully he won, he is the one in heaven now and not the cancer).
    It was like the floor disappeared below me and my family. I had my faith in Christ to lean on, if not for that, I don’t know what would have happened to me. I managed to keep doing the normal chores but in a kind of fog as if I was a robot. I cried each morning when the sun came up and the traffic kept going by – “How could the world just keep carrying on as if nothing had happened?” I understand now that the prayers of my Christian friends and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter held me up during those times and with God’s help I got through those dark days and nights. I made myself do the normal days routines, including reading my Bible and praying. It is hard to describe, but I can only explain it as if I had no feeling at all. After days and weeks went by my feelings gradually recovered and God’s light poured back into my life again. I guess that is human nature to just keep going, but if we go in God’s direction we know we are going the right way.

    • Cam Taylor says:

      Thanks Angie – what a moving story of both the struggle and eventual healing God brought to your life. Your commitment to the “right” routines did bring fruit “eventually” but what a journey of faith and trust to get there.

  3. Sondra Burnett says:

    I have not commented for a long time but I certainly always appreciate your fresh insights and encouragement in how to view life . . . today it was the slinky principle. So true. BUT I realize that while I dislike our age of “instant everything” (knowing that is not good for our society) – I also know that inside of me, so often, that was how I lived life. I wanted it to happen NOW. Grateful my attitude has changed over the years (God saw to that ) BUT I realize, some of it still lurks in the shadows. The reminder of the slinky will stick with me. Thanks . . . again.

    • Cam Taylor says:

      Thanks Sondra for that reminder of how we must always be on our guard against instant gratification. I like how that theme dovetails so well with the slinky principle. Take care & press on!

  4. Scott Burnett says:

    Another great post Cam, may God continue to open doors of ministry and coaching contacts to you in the days ahead.

    Thanks for all your input and encouragement of me along the way.



  5. Marilou says:

    I definiately saw this in our change of eating plan. I didn’t see results at first but as I stuck with it I see results now and feel much better too! Thanks for all the great food for thought!

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