The Force(s) Can Be Used For Triumph or Defeat

Which forces are moving (or stopping) you?

Yesterday, I talked about how Newton’s First Law of Motion has parallels to our lives. We can get momentum going in a positive direction for ourselves, whether it’s with regard to a project or a job search or a professional development path or a new career, and then slowly lose that momentum do to friction–or resistance–we may encounter.

It caused me to think about the forces in our lives that can cause friction and hinder our momentum or inertia. These forces could include:

  • negative friends
  • negative co-workers
  • negative spouse
  • “shiny objects” disguised as something that appears better or newer or more exciting
  • lack of immediate, overnight success
  • hard work
  • negative thoughts like discouragement and doubt

Those are just some examples and certainly not an exhaustive list. But I think the most insidious and crippling one is the last one–negative thoughts. Discouragement and doubt are two of the most crippling types of thoughts we can have when it comes to pursuing our goals and striving for accomplishments.

In The Magic of Thinking Big, David Schwartz compares our mind to a factory–a thought factory. Within this factory are two foremen: Mr. Triumph and Mr. Defeat. Schwartz says Mr. Triumph “is in charge of manufacturing positive thoughts. He specializes in producing reasons why you can, why you’re qualified, why you will.” Conversely, Mr. Defeat “produces negative, depreciating thoughts. He is your expert in developing reasons why you can’t, why you’re weak, why you’re inadequate.” Both are completely loyal and obedient. Both will work on demand. Both will get stronger or weaker depending on how much work you give them.

These guys will work on anything you give them. This could range from how you feel about the day to whether you should try for that promotion to whether you attempt that project. It doesn’t matter what the situation or circumstance–they will do their job if summoned.

And so we have a choice as to who we are going to put in charge of manufacturing our thoughts–the foreman who will build us up, or the foreman who will tear us down. (Pssst(whisper voice): the foreman is us).

So, let’s fire Mr. Defeat. Mr. Triumph is the one I want in my thought factory. Because at the end of the day, usually the only thing that separates the can-do people from the can’t-do people is belief. Henry Ford knew this when he said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t–you’re right.”

For your advantage,



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