There is a significant distinction between Power and Force. Power is in alignment with what I have referred to as “Source” or “All That Is.” Power is that which lies at the center in perfect harmony and balance, it is the fulcrum, as in the center point of rest. Think of the incredible power generated by leverage. In a negotiation of any type, the one with the leverage on his/her side has the advantage. I prefer a win win negotiation, but sometimes folks just don’t want to play that way. This is when most of us resort to force, myself being no exception – in the past. I have gone back and forth over the years using power or force depending on how I felt spiritually. At times I have allowed myself to get just as worked up as the next guy. But now I have reached that blessed point in life where peace and joy are more important than anything else. Thomas Leonard, (considered to be the father of personal or life coaching as we know it today) taught us to ask – “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?”
Power vs. Force can create quite a conflict within me in the win lose competitive baseball world. The way I deal with that is to “enjoy and accept.” As in, enjoy the art of the game and accept the outcome. It is truly a test for me and one that I don’t always pass, but I will get there. In order to stay relaxed I was practicing a lot of HeartMath (see www.heartmath.org) during the Baltimore Orioles playoff games. It is easier to accept Power vs. Force in baseball because baseball is more of a game of finesse than force. Even the rare pitcher who can throw the ball 100 MPH must learn to place the ball effectively over the plate in that particular hitter’s weak zone.
Force doesn’t last, it will not sustain. In baseball the so called power pitcher is really a force pitcher. As he gets older he will not be able the throw the 100 MPH fast ball any longer, so he will have to adjust by pitching the ball to the hitters weak zone.
Power trumps force in the long run, no matter how we apply it to life. As David Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. in his acclaimed book “Power vs. Force” states:
“If we analyze the nature of force, it becomes readily apparent why it must always succumb to power; this is in accordance with one of the basic laws of physics. Because force automatically creates counter-force, its effect is limited by definition. We could say that force is a movement – it goes from here to there (or tries to) against opposition. Power, on the other hand, is still. It’s like a standing field that doesn’t move. Gravity itself, for instance, doesn’t move against anything. Its power moves all objects within its field, but the gravity field itself does not move.”
Whenever I finally get a concept or a teaching of any kind that has escaped my mental, emotional or spiritual capacity, when I finally get it – I am always amazed at how simple it was to understand. How could I not have gotten this!!! I say to myself. And this is how I feel about Power vs. Force. I intellectually got it a long time ago, but only recently have I absorbed spiritually the significance of this concept. I have never liked bullies and have believed that the only way to deal with them was to stand up to them. I respected Gandhi and Martin Luther King’s methods and understood the incredible bravery that passive resistance requires, but I guess I just could not relate or I just did not fully “Get It.” Previously, as mentioned I would drift in and out of the consciousness that is required to really get the concept of true Power. However, when I studied the work of David Hawkins, It all became common sense to me. Hawkins states:
“Force always moves against something, whereas power doesn’t move against anything at all. Force is incomplete and therefore has to be fed energy constantly. Power is total and complete in itself and requires nothing from outside. It makes no demands; it has no needs. Because force has an insatiable appetite, it constantly consumes. Power, in contrast, energizes, gives forth, supplies, and supports. Power gives life and energy – force takes these away. We notice that power is associated with compassion and makes us feel positively about ourselves. Force is associated with judgment and makes us feel poorly about ourselves. Force always creates counter force; its effect is to polarize rather than unify. Polarization always implies conflict; its cost, therefore, is always high. Because force incites polarization, it inevitably produces a win/lose dichotomy; and because somebody always loses, enemies are created. Constantly faced with enemies, force requires constant defense. Defensiveness is invariably costly, whether in the marketplace, politics, or international affairs.”
A good beginning