“If you have to use force, you’ve already failed.”

This is something I’ve been saying for a while.  I can’t remember exactly when I coined it, but it was quite a few years ago.  So why do I say this, and what are the ramifications?

Inspiration vs Force

What is Inspiration?  Inspiration, as I’m defining it here, is when you create in others the desire to do something or to feel a certain way.  When you give someone flowers out of the blue, you inspire in them a general feeling of affection.  When you pay someone above the average, you inspire them to do a better job to live up to the extra pay.  When you compliment someone, genuinely, you inspire a sense of joy in them that blooms into self-confidence.  When you tip someone less than average or not at all, you inspire frustration, indignation, and depending on the person, self-loathing.  When you use force, whether physical, emotional, fear, pain, etc., you inspire righteous indignation and a burning, deep-seated desire for retaliation to set things right.  You inspire them to undermine you at every turn, to work against you and your cause, and to only do the absolute minimum they must in order to minimize the amount of force used.

So, to sum up:  If you take the time to do the things that inspire people to be better versions of themselves, they will be constantly looking for ways to help you and others around them in turn.  If you instead try to force them to do what you want, even if it’s something they want as well, they’ll be constantly looking for ways to undermine you and those around them in turn.  You’ll have made enemies of them, and eventually, you’ll lose.

PS:  This applies to children as much as adults.  Often more so.

Leave a Reply