A5. Force, and How to Get It.
If a medicine was found which would put in a man or woman, boy or girl, force or force of character,—power and capacity to do business, power to influence and govern,—such a medicine would have a very ready sale. Yet keeping yourself in a certain condition of mind will add continually to your force or force of character; and whatever you so add through keeping in this condition can never be lost. That condition is the keeping of the mind in the constant desire for force. Desire for a thing or a quality of mind is a power always drawing that thing or quality to you, whether that thing or quality be for good or evil.
Force is an unseen substance as real as any thing you see. The more of force you call to you, the more and more power do you gather to attract force to you, because like attracts like in all elements, seen or unseen. Globules of quicksilver mingle and form one mass; trees of the same species grow together; sheep herd with sheep and not with cows; tramps consort with tramps, because dejected, weak, despondent human spirit naturally runs to other dejected, despondent, unaspiring human spirit; just as men of force, push, and determination naturally drift, associate, plan, and work with other men of force, push, and determination.
What is force? If you have a purpose, a project, a business, and in presenting it or pushing it on people who may at first be indifferent or hostile to it, and in so pushing and presenting it you can always keep up your spirits, your energy, your confidence, and your enthusiasm in that business, you have force. If, after a few attempts, you become discouraged, disheartened, and despondent you lack force. The pedler who goes from door to door and persists in offering his wares despite all rebuffs and snubs and doors slammed in his face, and keeps up all the while a cheerful mood, has force. That pedler is winning his way up to a larger business. It was Cyrus W. Field’s force that made at last the Atlantic cable a success, despite failure after failure, and breakage after breakage, and the invectives and growls of enraged and despairing share‑holders. That quality in Mr. Field is a spiritual power; and the force in any man or woman that plans a business and persists in it and pushes it into success is a spiritual power; and the very core, root, origin and corner‑stone of that power lies in the quiet, persistent resolve to have force, and the constant imaging or imagining of yourself as an ever‑increasing force or power.
When you hold to such resolve and imagining, you are not only attracting force to yourself, never to be lost, but you are also ever sending from you, night and day, a current of force or thought which is pushing your plan, scheme, or business ahead. It is acting on other minds far and near, and putting ideas into those minds in favor of your idea, and making them say when you meet them in person and put out your plan, “That’s just what I need;” or, “That’s just what I want;” or, “That’s just what I’ve been thinking about.”
Force is the power which quickly lifts out of discouragement. Force is the power which, after a night of dejection and perhaps tears, takes you out in the morning, renews your hope and your confidence in yourself, gives you new plans, new ideas, and makes you see new opportunities. Force is that quality or element which makes you stop brooding over mistakes or disappointments, and starts you again on the main track toward success. Force always turns your face toward ultimate success, and away from failure. You will find this element in every successful business man. It is a spiritual power whether used by a good man or a bad one; whether used by a company of male or female gossips in tearing somebody’s character to pieces and sending them through the air a current of injurious thought or force, or by a company of friends whose talk has only for its aim the benefit of others. You can have more and more of this quality by desiring it, or demanding it, when alone. But you can get far more of it by so desiring it in the company of such people as have a certain faith in the truth of the law, that the more minds who come together to call for force the more will each one receive through such co‑operation of demand.
Force is the element which drives away fear. It is the element which gives you tact and address. As you increase it, you can stand and assert yourself before those who in the past have browbeat you, bullied you, and overcome you by force of stronger will tyrannically exercised. This is the power constantly used against those who are trying to get up in the world. No matter how good, how amiable, how well disposed you are toward others, if you lack force, if you lack the ability to assert yourself or get justice, if your wits are driven out of you temporarily by a snub, a frown, a sneer, you cannot succeed in the world; you cannot have that to which you are justly entitled. Force is that quality or element which, in case you receive a sudden shock, a misfortune, an unexpected failure, causes you quickly to rally, get yourself together again, forget all the trouble, and lose sight of it in new efforts to push ahead. Force is that spiritual element which must rule the material. In the physical world there will always be accidents and failures. Houses will decay or burn; business may not succeed for a time according to our hopes; friends may fail in time of need. Trials must come in every phase of life, until they cease to be trials through your growing force. What now may be to you as mountains, will in the future, through getting more force, be but as mole‑hills. You may not to‑day fear the person or thing which in your childhood was a terror to you. Why? Because you have more force, more wisdom; and wisdom and force mean the same thing. But wisdom is seeing by the mind’s eye. It is not the knowing or holding in memory of a store of assertions or opinions gathered from books or men.
Why force should come to us when we set our minds toward it in the attitude of prayer or demand is a mystery. Probably it will always remain one. It is not desirable to be ever occupied in the endeavor to unravel mysteries.
The mystery of existence will always increase. To solve it is to try and find bounds to endless space. We need only to know that which will do us real good for the hour and the day.
It is a truth that we can get more and more force by simply asking for it: and it is in the possibilities of human spirit to get so much, that through it the material world can be wholly subdued and ruled. Then misfortunes are impossible. For if they do come, you have always the power to build up again. You may be turned on the street without food or shelter; yet if you have grown to a full confidence and faith in this power, you will feel certain that by keeping your mind calling for force, force will come to you to relieve your difficulties. It will come in the shape of a friend, or an idea to be acted on immediately. To call or pray for force is to connect yourself with the higher thought‑realm of force; and out of this there will always come element or individualized spirit to give aid in some way. But all aid coming of individuals, seen or unseen, cannot be lasting. For if you depend in any way on another, you cease to call for force. You are then content to be carried, not to walk with your own limbs. You are also as much a reservoir—a vessel whose mouth can be turned toward this power to receive of it—as the other person on whose force of character you depend. You want to earn the house you live in, the carriage you ride in, the clothes you wear, the food you eat. Call, demand, pray for force, and then for wisdom to apply it, and you can earn these.
When, through prayer or demand, you have gained force, then ask for wisdom to direct it. You can direct your own force to injure or benefit yourself. You can use your force on a whim, or an imaginary necessity. You may run about half a day to buy something you do not need. You may employ two hours in cheapening an article ten cents; and in so doing, use up the same force which might have made you ten dollars. It is not enough to be merely industrious. Mere industry can use up valuable force in scouring the bottoms of tin pans, or counting the tacks in the parlor carpet. It is quite as important to know where, or on what, to put your industry or force so it shall bring the best result.
If you spend half an hour in moping, or fretting, or frantic hurry, or indecision, you spend the same force, the same material, the same element, which would turn in some other channel, push your business, or do you good in some way. The question we need to ask every morning is: “I have now a certain amount of force for to‑day. How shall I expend it so as to get the best results—the most lasting happiness out of the day?” When you arise in the morning, if you need force to push things—if you feel timid and like shrinking away from people, then simply think of force. Keep the word, the idea, in your mind as much as possible. That keeps your mind in the direction of force. What you think of, you are always attracting to you.
The mood in which you keep your mind is a force in the kingdom of nature, as much as the current of air or electricity is a force. The thoughts ever going in a current from you are forces acting on other minds, and as real in such action, though unseen, as is the push of your arm against a door. Your force does not stop with the action of your muscles, but in thought can go, and may now be going, hundreds and thousands of miles from your body, and acting and affecting other mind, or minds, for good or ill as you put out good or ill thought toward them.
Force is that which gives you daily new idea, plan, suggestion, as to business. The methods for every successful business are always changing. Fertility of invention is force. A. T. Stewart’s force begot a new method for carrying on the dry‑goods business. The same force which begets a new idea also pushes it. If the timid inventor called for force to put his invention before the public he would get it. Now he often starves in the corner, while the man who knows only how to use force to push an invention takes the inventor’s property and makes by it a fortune.
Sometimes the unsuccessful but talented artist fails to sell his pictures, because he fails to cultivate or bring himself properly before society; while the inferior artist finds a ready market for his work, because he keeps himself favorably before the world. If you stand and point and make faces at the world, no matter how valuable your goods, it will not be so ready to buy of you. It is also a part of life’s business and happiness to make ourselves inviting to others. To do this we must commence and invite from the inside—not the outside alone. The successful business method of to day will not be the successful business method of twenty years hence. New force,—that is, new device,—new invention, is always coming. Force begot the railway. But something is to supersede the railway. Force begot the telegraph. But something is to make the telegraph a relatively slow and expensive coach. Minds in sympathy—be the bodies those minds use far apart as they may—can send thought, ideas, and news to each other; and when more is found out how to use, keep, and train such minds, there will be unseen wires flashing intelligence across continents which no monopoly can grasp. The air also will be navigated by man, and with more speed than the railway train; for every need, every longing, every desire of human mind, is a thing, a power, a force, a thought, ever drawing to itself the means and power for material accomplishment.
The force which through countless ages has made man what he is, is to make him far more than he is.
Monopoly of iron rails and locomotives which owns states, and controls legislatures; monopoly of wires and telegraph‑poles; monopoly of every thing,—is in time to be outflanked, not by the destructive force of violence, but by the stronger, the peaceful, the constructive force of new invention, which shall find out, by the so‑called trivial, despised things of to‑day, new powers in nature and new powers in man, which every man shall find it possible to use; and the wonder then will be that we did not find it out before.
To get force, talk your business, plan, or project over with those who are in full sympathy with you.
The successful business world constantly acts up to this law. Monopolies and powerful corporations are begotten through the originators putting their heads together, and talking the thing over. They so come together day after day, and talk. As the talk goes on, new ideas suggest themselves as to methods of action. The leading idea may seem to come from one man or mind. But it would never have so soon occurred to him, had it not been for the previous combination of the thoughts talked out, and put out, by different minds. The thought‑elements from those different minds mingle; and out of such mingling, the new element, thought, idea, is born, and eventually expressed by some one of the group,—possibly by the man or woman who says least of all.
The greatest force, the clearest idea, will be developed where woman is a factor in such group.
If two persons combine in harmony their force of muscle to lift a heavy weight, they will lift it easier than one. If four persons so combine, they will lift it easier than two.
The same law and result applies to mental force. Each one of us, consciously or unconsciously, sends out daily and hourly this silent mental force,—this invisible element we call thought, which affects favorably or unfavorably the persons of whom we think. It is the same force which may lift a box, a bag, a trunk. Only it may be differently applied.
If you have in view any enterprise or business, and you can meet at regular times two, four, six, or as many persons as heartily wish you success, and they hear your plan, and talk it over with you, always in earnest sympathy and good‑will, you are having their co‑operation in making for you a silent force which will aid you more than can any thing else. You will then the quicker find persons who are in sympathy with your purpose. People will come to you, or you will be led to people, who will wish to aid you. They will be the persons who will need what you have to give. If you have a new knowledge, or a new truth, or a new invention, or a new device in art, or an improved wagon, or a chimney, or any thing in any way making life more comfortable and more happy, you will, through the power of co‑operative demand or prayer, be the sooner brought in contact with the people who can aid you,—the people whom you need, and who need you. Your co‑operative ill‑wish is a co‑operative curse,—there is power to harm in a curse. A curse is an ill‑wish,—a prayer for evil. Prayer is simply thought sent out to a certain end or purpose. A curse or ill‑wish is a force for evil. It works through a law which is merciless in its operation.
If three or four persons commence ill‑natured gossip about another who is absent, and comment sarcastically concerning that person’s character or acts, they send them through the air an actual force or element which does the person of whom they talk harm. The person of whom they talk will feel the power so generated in some way. He will be made either despondent or captious, angry or irritable. All such states of mind in some way injure the body, unless the person talked of sends out constantly toward his enemies the thought of good‑will. His good‑will is the stronger force, and will turn aside the weaker force of their ill‑will. The thought of good‑will is the stronger power. We want power. We lose power when we send out to another any kind of ugly thought.
It is the peaceful non‑combative thought in Quakerism that made the Quakers prosperous. Peaceful thought is constructive power. Ugly thought is always destructive power.
If you wish that your success in any business should involve an equal success for others, your thought or prayer has then the greater power for a real success than if you desire success for yourself alone, with little regard for others. A real success in life means, besides money enough for our needs and tastes, health, and the capacity to enjoy what money wisely expended may bring. A wise selfishness or self‑interest will desire or pray heartily that all associated with us shall be equally as fortunate as ourselves. We do not want that our friends shall remain poor while we get rich. You do not want to see your friend obliged to reside in a hovel while you live in a palace. You do not want to see your friends in rags while you are decently attired. Neither do you want that your friends shall be dependants on you,—pensioners on your bounty. You want them equals with yourselves—equals with you in ability to hold their own.
We are, as members of society, all members of one body. If any member of that body is diseased in mind, or diseased in body, all the other members must in some way suffer. The more health of mind and body or relative perfection around us and near us, the more healthy and perfect shall we become.
There is a certain fascination in watching the working of a powerful steam‑engine,—in seeing tons of iron, that a hundred men could with their hands barely lift, rise and fall with the elasticity of a rubber‑ball, or in watching the never‑ceasing pour of the waters of a Niagara. That is because it is in human nature to love force. Our spirits, in so contemplating such exhibitions of force, connect themselves closer with the element of force and draw then and add eternally to themselves more of this element; and this fascination and admiration of power is, at the same time, your prayer or desire for power, which is immediately answered. And there is great profit in watching for an hour the heave and roll and wash of the ocean‑billows against the rocks. And that certain repose and quiet and dreaminess you may feel when in the ocean’s company, is because you are then actually absorbing of its element of force; you are then taking in a spiritual quality—force; and when you go away, you have gained more force to use in any way you choose,—in business, in some form of art, or the management of a family. And when at night, if but for a moment, you lift your eyes toward the countless stars, and try to realize that these are all suns with other earths wheeling around them; and that all the combined force of all the rivers, Niagaras, and oceans on our own little earth is, as compared with the force going on in what we see above us, but as the feeble might of a fly’s wing,—then you have spent another profitable moment in the actual absorption of that much‑needed element—force. That is one way of getting force. You are then praying for force; for all intense admiration is true worship, and all true worship is prayer or demand for the quality admired in that which is worshipped.
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Mulford, P. (1886-1887). Force, and how to get it. Your forces and how to use them (pp.173-182). Hollister, Missouri: YOGeBooks by Roger L. Cole. doi: 2015:01:16:10:43:09