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Book Summary: Power vs. Force – The Hidden Determinants of Human Behaviour

Power vs. Force (2014) explains how anyone can tap into their inner power to change their lives and the lives of those around them. It demonstrates that with consciousness, intention and discernment, anyone can find their truth and follow it toward a more fulfilled and impactful life.

Introduction: Choose power over force to transform your world.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Outside forces like politics, society, and the economy shape our lives, often making us feel powerless.

But what if you did have power, and this strength within you helped you create positive changes in the world? Contrary to what people believe, power doesn’t rely on external manipulation; instead, it’s rooted in our ability to influence and transform our experiences. And it’s accessible to all of us.

Book Summary: Power vs. Force - The Hidden Determinants of Human Behaviour

Power is not the same as force. Force might seem like a quick fix, but it’s just a temporary solution, leading to undesirable consequences. Power, on the other hand, is a slow-burning fire that produces lasting results. You can use it to overcome challenges and achieve goals peacefully without any suffering or bloodshed. And you can also use it to find ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers to even the most difficult questions.

So are you ready to power up to your best life? This summary will help you understand and harness your power correctly so you can normalize transformation, innovation and collaboration through clear choices – no matter who you are or what you do.

Boost your consciousness – anytime

To tap into our inherent power, we must first understand the role of our consciousness.

Picture your mind as a landscape with peaks and valleys. These represent different levels of consciousness. Some folks strive for the heights where love, peace, and joy are, so they are always seeking clarity and deeper understanding. Others wander in the lower regions of anger, shame, guilt, and other limiting states of mind, which hinder connections and keep them in survival mode.

Now, reimagine this landscape as a scale from 1 to 1000, with each number symbolizing a level of consciousness.

According to the author, shame, which often leads us to self-destruct, comes in at 20. Guilt, coming in at 30, makes it easy to feel undeserving of love. Fear sits at 100, causing us to feel constantly anxious and on edge. But at 200, courage emerges, prompting us to face our fears and take responsibility for our actions.

As we go higher up the scale, we find love, which beams at 500, and opens us to compassion and connection. At this level, our lives can transform for the better. And when we reach 700, we’ve passed the threshold of enlightenment, and can finally tap into the peak of human consciousness and spiritual awareness.

Individuals, communities, and even nations can impact the world positively when operating from elevated states of mind. Why? Well, the higher we are on the consciousness scale, the more we embrace our inner power and the further we move from destructive force. Consequently, we see the world more expansively, navigate life’s challenges with grace and creativity, and act out positive ripple effects across reality.

So clearly, raising your consciousness level should be a top priority. But consciousness is only the start. If power is a road trip, consciousness is the car we drive to get going. And we know every car needs fuel. Time to unpack the phenomenon of intention, which is the fuel for power.

Set wise intentions

Imagine starting your day with a clear goal in mind. You know what you want to achieve, and a sense of purpose drives you. This clarity is the essence of intention, which guides our actions and shapes our reality.

When we set intentions, we take charge of our lives, focus our energy on what matters most and steer our destiny in our desired direction. Powerful intentions create ripples of positive effects across not only our reality but also the realities of those around us.

Clarity is what makes an intention truly powerful. When we’re aware of our states of consciousness, it’s easier to be clear about what we want. With this clarity, we can then set wise intentions. Think of these as guiding stars that help us navigate the twists and turns of life and hit the goals we never thought were ours to claim.

Let’s say you want to improve your health. To do this, you know you need to have the clear intention to exercise regularly and eat healthily. This intention then guides your daily choices and inspires you to stay committed to your goal. You may not see it now, but you will notice your health improving dramatically over time. And in the process, you will inspire your friends and family to make healthier choices themselves!

Or imagine you’re an entrepreneur envisioning a business that would benefit your community. Maybe you intend to build a company offering fair wages and supporting local causes. This intention will shape every vital business decision you make, from the people you hire to the supplies you use. Your community will see and discern your intention when your business thrives and may be inspired to join your cause.

So it’s obvious: the limitless power of intention doesn’t just fuel individual dreams. It also drives group actions that ultimately shape our shared world.

Of course, life is always going to give us lemons. What happens if we still face unexpected difficulties, despite our best intentions? This is where surrender comes in. It’s a cornerstone of true power, and next we’ll find out just how.

Master the art of surrender

Surrendering might sound like giving up or admitting defeat, but it’s actually practice for power. It’s about releasing control, trusting the flow of life, and opening ourselves to new possibilities.

In today’s fast-paced world, we often cling to control, want to know what will happen next, and have everything mapped out. But life is unpredictable, and sometimes, the best way to navigate its uncertainties is to let go and trust the process.

In this way, surrender is a gateway to personal growth, allowing us to experience profound transformation in the face of adversity.

Be sure, though: there’s a difference between surrendering and giving up. Many people don’t know this difference, which is why many of us are having a hard time letting go. The thing is, when we surrender, we’re not abandoning our dreams or goals. Instead, we’re acknowledging that something greater is at work and allowing it to guide us. We’re stepping into the unknown with courage and curiosity, trusting that we’ll find our way.

There’s no better evidence of surrender’s power than the story of Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison fighting for the freedom of his people. While imprisoned, Mandela embraced the art of surrender by letting go of bitterness and hatred, instead focusing on forgiveness and unity. This shift in perspective allowed him to endure his prison sentence and emerge from prison as the leader that helped end Apartheid in South Africa.

And what about surrender in a more everyday kind of setting? Well, imagine you’re an artist who’s feeling creatively blocked. You have tried everything to break through, but nothing seems to work. Only by surrendering to the situation can you relinquish your expectations and simply create without judgment. Suddenly, inspiration flows, and you are immersed in your most authentic work yet.

Ultimately, surrender is about embracing the unknown and trusting ourselves to navigate the journey. By releasing control over our situation, we open ourselves to new possibilities, opportunities and growth. In these moments of acceptance, we can discover our inner strength and resilience – and face challenges with grace and courage.

Lead with power, not force

We all know forceful leadership when we see it. The signs are obvious: it’s always about control, coercion and manipulation. Leaders who operate from force often have a short-term focus. Think about all the villains we see in movies and real life; their whole motive tends to be to appease some secret anger, guilt or shame. It’s no wonder their actions lead to unwanted consequences, and the results of their actions often cost them their morale, trust and team cohesion.

Powerful leadership, on the other hand, is all about influence, inspiration and empowerment. Leaders who embrace power create environments where people feel valued, motivated, and engaged. Thanks to them, collaboration and innovation thrive, creating long-lasting, positive outcomes for everyone involved.

A historical example of this contrast can be seen in the leadership styles of Mahatma Gandhi and Adolf Hitler. Gandhi led with power, inspiring millions to achieve India’s independence through nonviolent civil disobedience. His approach united people and fostered lasting change. Conversely, Hitler used force, coercion and fear to control his followers, leading to catastrophic consequences and immense human suffering.

The same principles of leadership apply in the business world, too. Just consider the story of Walmart’s founder Sam Walton.

While building his retail empire, Walton led with a focus on service and human value, fostering a positive and supportive work environment that extended to customer interactions. And Walmart’s employees mirror his virtue as a leader.

In contrast to other giant stores, where employees may seem indifferent, cold and absent from aisles, Walmart’s employees are noticeably warm, accommodating and above all, present. From the get-go, Walton recognized that a humane energy field in the workplace led to better customer goodwill and loyalty, preventing a cold environment where conflicts abound.

No wonder Walmart is a powerhouse. It’s a ‘heart-based’ brand.

By choosing power over force, leaders can cultivate environments where people thrive, innovation flourishes and progress is achieved.

So, what kind of leader do you want to be? A forceful leader who controls and coerces? Or a powerful leader who inspires and motivates? Remember, everyone around you will feel the impact of your choice.

Rise above conflicts peacefully

Conflict is an inevitable part of life. Disagreements and misunderstandings will always arise between people everywhere, whether in personal relationships or global politics – because, above all, people are different and have different states of mind at any given time.

But what if conflicts don’t have to be draining all the time? What if we could transform how we approach conflict resolution by tapping into power instead of leveraging force?

True power is about compassion, understanding and the desire for harmony. When we approach conflict resolution from this perspective, we create a space for healing, growth and lasting solutions.

Picture two neighbors locked in a bitter dispute over a shared fence. One neighbor opts for force, threatening legal action and escalating the situation. The other neighbor, embracing the calm essence of true power, invites their counterpart to discuss their concerns openly, aiming for a mutually beneficial resolution. This powerful approach resolves the conflict and strengthens the bond between neighbors.

The same principles apply in other social areas of our lives. We can transform our relationships, workplaces and communities by choosing power over force. We foster authentic growth when approaching conflict with empathy and a genuine desire for understanding.

Imagine a world where conflict resolution is rooted in actual power. People come together to work through their differences, seeking solutions that benefit all parties involved. Such a world operates on harmony, collaboration and progress.

So we can either continue to resolve conflicts with force or embrace the transformative potential of true power. By choosing power and the higher states of mind necessary to activate it, we open the door to a world of greater understanding, compassion and unity. And that’s a world worth striving for.

Discern the truth in any situation with applied kinesiology

With great power comes great responsibility. So whether you’re a school teacher or an internationally recognized politician, you can change your environment – and the world – for the better. But you can’t wield power without truth in a world rife with false information, opinions and beliefs.

So how do you tell what is true from false? What if there were a technique that could give you the answer, all the time?

According to the author there is, and it’s called applied kinesiology.

Applied kinesiology is a practical solution allowing you to discern your truth amidst information overload and conflicting opinions – with your muscles. That’s right: You can evaluate the right statement, belief and even food types for you with just your body!

How is this possible? Well, we have Dr. George Goodheart to thank. This super innovative physiotherapist dove into muscle-testing techniques in 1971 and made a wild discovery: muscle strength or weakness is linked to the health of specific body organs, acupuncture meridians and bodily reactions to different stimuli.

Picture this: the deltoid muscles of people with hypoglycemia – or low blood glucose – suddenly weakened when they tasted sugar. Crazy, right? This breakthrough led to applied kinesiology, an amazing tool for determining how different substances affect our bodies.

Now, let’s talk about Dr. John Diamond, the psychiatrist who took kinesiology to a new level by developing behavioral kinesiology. He explored how sensory and psychological factors like art, music and emotional stress impacted patients. Later studies would discover that the body responded accurately even when the conscious mind had no clue what was being tested.

Thanks to these incredible insights, the author believes you can use kinesiology to discern how true any statement is to you based on your inner sense of harmony.

Give this a try: Grab a friend, extend one arm, and resist their downward pressure on your wrist. Think of a statement while they test your arm’s strength. If it’s a ‘no,’ your arm goes weak; if it’s a ‘yes,’ it stays strong. Notice the difference when thinking about someone you love versus someone you fear. That’s applied kinesiology for you!

Learning to tell truth from falsehood takes time and practice, but its rewards are worth our steady efforts. As we sharpen our minds to suss things out better and faster, we can seamlessly navigate life’s complexities, leverage truth to make meaningful decisions and lead with power.


Power kickstarts personal growth, enables you to lead by example and resolves conflicts. But to exercise it is like standing at a crossroads. Wielding it takes a lot of self-reflection and discernment of our surroundings at all times.

By tapping into power and the states of mind that command it, we can ignite a paradigm shift that transforms our world. Cliché as it may sound, it’s true: Each of us has the power to unlock harmony and compassion in our environments.

Now, the right question to ask is: What would happen if we chose power over force in every aspect of our lives? There’s no better time to find out – because you can!

About the author

David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., is Director of the Institute for Spiritual Research, Inc. He is a widely known authority within the field of consciousness research. He writes and teaches from the unique perspective of an experienced clinician, scientist, and teacher. He has been honored worldwide with many titles. His background is detailed in Who’s Who in the World. Dr. Hawkins has lectured widely at universities including Harvard and Oxford and also to spiritual groups from Westminster Abbey and Notre Dame to Catholic, Protestant, and Buddhist monasteries. His life is devoted to the upliftment of mankind. His spiritual evolution is briefly recounted in the “About the Author” summary at the conclusion of this book.


Motivation, Inspiration, Personal Development, Psychology, Spirituality, Self Help, Philosophy, Science, Business, Leadership, Health, Alternate Beliefs, Alternative Medicine, Energetic Healing, Exercise Therapy, New Age, Spiritualism, Diet, Health, Fitness, Natural Healing, Alternative Spirituality, New Thought, Personal Transformation Self-Help

Table of Contents

Dedication ix
Original Foreword xiii
Original Preface xxi
New Foreword xxxii
New Preface xlvii
Introduction xlix

Part One Tools
Chapter 1 Critical Advances in Knowledge 59 (14)
Chapter 2 History and Methodology 73 (16)
Chapter 3 Test Results and Interpretation 89 (8)
Chapter 4 Levels of Human Consciousness 97 (20)
Chapter 5 Social Distribution of Consciousness Levels 117 (8)
Chapter 6 New Horizons in Research 125 (12)
Chapter 7 Everyday Critical Point Analysis 137 (16)
Chapter 8 The Source of Power 153 (14)

Part Two Work
Chapter 9 Power Patterns in Human Attitudes 167 (6)
Chapter 10 Power in Politics 173 (10)
Chapter 11 Power in the Marketplace 183 (10)
Chapter 12 Power and Sports 193 (8)
Chapter 13 Social Power and the Human Spirit 201 (10)
Chapter 14 Power in the Arts 211 (6)
Chapter 15 Genius and the Power of Creativity 217 (8)
Chapter 16 Surviving Success 225 (4)
Chapter 17 Physical Health and Power 229 (6)
Chapter 18 Wellness and the Disease Process 235 (12)

Part Three Meaning
Chapter 19 The Database of Consciousness 247 (8)
Chapter 20 The Evolution of Consciousness 255 (14)
Chapter 21 The Study of Pure Consciousness 269 (12)
Chapter 22 Spiritual Struggle 281 (10)
Chapter 23 The Search for Truth 291 (16)
Chapter 24 Resolution 307 (10)

Appendix A Calibration of the Truth of the Chapters 317 (1)
Appendix B Map of Consciousness® 318 (3)
Appendix C How to Calibrate the Levels of Consciousness 321 (12)
References 333 (16)
End Notes 349 (18)
Glossary 367 (10)
About the Author 377 (18)
Index 395


Imagine—what if you had access to a simple yes-or-no answer to any question you wished to ask? A demonstrably true answer. Any question . . . think about it.— from the Foreword

We think we live by forces we control, but in fact we are governed by power from unrevealed sources, power over which we have no control.— from the author’s Preface

The universe holds its breath as we choose, instant by instant, which pathway to follow; for the universe, the very essence of life itself, is highly conscious. Every act, thought, and choice adds to a permanent mosaic; our decisions ripple through the universe of consciousness to affect the lives of all.— from Power vs. Force


“[A] beautiful gift of writing . . . [You] spread joy, love, and compassion through what you write. The fruit of these three is peace, as you know . . .”— Mother Teresa

“. . . particularly timely . . . a significant contribution to understanding and dealing with the problems we face today.”— Lee Iacocca

“I especially appreciate [the] research and presentation on the attractor patterns of business . . .”— Sam Walton

“Overwhelming! A masterpiece! A lifetime work!”— Sheldon Deal, President, International College of Applied Kinesiology

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