F1= -F2

“To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction”

Isaac Newton

If one object (A) exerts a force on a second object (B), then object B simultaneously exerts a force on A, and the two forces are equal and opposite. The force of the first object is called “Action” and the force of the other is the “Reaction”.  When one object changes the motion of the other, it will undergo an equal change in its own motion due to the reaction force. The state of the object is the result of the interaction forces.  The three forces - normal, frictional, and tension forces - are the result of contact interactions.

The normal force on an object is generally associated with the force that the surface of the object exerts perpendicularly to the surface of the other, like the force of our weight and the reaction force of the ground on us.

Friction, on the other hand, is the force resisting the relative motion between two surfaces sliding against each other. When surfaces in contact move relative to each other, friction converts kinetic into thermal energy. Friction can have dramatic consequences; for instance, rubbing two pieces of wood together can start a fire.

Tension is also a contact force. Tensile strength, or ultimate strength, is the maximum stress that a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before failing or breaking. Stress expresses the internal forces that neighboring particles of a material exert on each other; strain is the measure of the deformation of that material.  Flexible material with capability of undergoing larger deformations are also able to absorb more stresses without failure, as opposed to brittle materials such as glass which will break easier. If the reaction force is not too great, the object may resist the applied force and allow a new equilibrium state, returning to its original state when the load is removed. A larger applied force, however, may lead to a permanent deformation of the object or even to its structural failure. The larger the action, the greater the reaction force.


Action is the ignition that turns desires into reality.  Your beliefs, understanding and thoughts are the ignition behind any action; they govern the manner in which your mind prepares to carry out a physical activity.  Action is the tool that connects the mental to the physical state.  As you prepare to take action, your mind considers and melds these three components to consider not only the effect of this action in achieving your goal or target, but also any possible unintended consequences or side effects.  Action is the cause; reaction is the effect.

When you begin to embark upon an action that creates a greater-than-normal force – in other words, prepare to move outside the box of what you have previously thought or experienced – you create a reaction which surfaces as resistance.  That resistance is fear, intended to keep you safe by maintaining the status quo.  However, you can only grow, or accomplish greater things, by moving past that fear to break the original pattern and form a new and stronger bond.  The friction of your new action against your established patterns is what creates even stronger bonds that can move you forward, in the same way that rubbing two pieces of wood together causes friction that ignites a fire. In this way your resistance is converted into energy.  

The force of the initial action – the energy, concentration, intensity and focus - determines the size and scope of the reaction.  So how do you determine what actions are most likely to drive your desired outcome?  The stronger of your focus versus your fears will drive the reactions.  So your intended action must be driven by a strong, motivating desire consistent with your strengths, temperament, experience and flexibility that will give you the clarity and confidence that protects the action.

The tension you create will drive the desired reaction in the same way.  For instance, when you exercise your muscles to build strength, you stress them by pushing them beyond the strength they can withstand, but not so great that they fail.  The muscles instead re-form, and are able to accept incrementally greater stresses in the future.

So your carefully chosen, focused actions increase your flexibility and strength, allowing the capability for greater success with each subsequent action, and the flexibility to make course-corrections as necessary to avoid discouragement and continue to move forward. Either way, your self-confidence increases as your actions change your beliefs and your beliefs correct the course of your actions.  Thus, the sum of all your actions make YOU, and the sum of the reactions shape your life.