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The Flywheel Theory

by Elle Speicher | Aug 12, 2022 | Leadership

What you put out in life is what you get back. Have you ever used a rowing machine or taken a spinning class? If so, you’ve likely encountered a flywheel and perhaps been humbled by its power. As a former spinning instructor, I can’t count the number of times that the back of my heel has met the kick of the still moving flywheel after my foot has left the pedal. (Ouch!)

The flywheel is a weighted disc that sits either at the front of a stationary bike or a rowing machine. As soon as you begin pedaling or rowing, the flywheel starts spinning. The harder you pedal or the faster you row, the faster and harder the flywheel moves. The resistance you feel is generated by the effort you put in.

We could just call the flywheel: life. You get back what you put in. As a child, my parents paid a lot of attention to what we watched on television. In fact, until 9/11, we did not have cable TV—we simply watched movies from the library and Blockbuster videos. (Talk about a throwback!) A common phrase in my home was, “Garbage in, garbage out.” The Bible says the same thing another way: “As a man thinks in his heart (mind), so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

Here lies the flywheel theory: what you put out into the world is what you will receive in return. The same can be said of negative and positive attitudes. If you’re convinced you cannot do something, you won’t be able to. Because you have convinced yourself, no matter what effort you put out, you can’t do it. In all reality, you’re quitting before you even start. Races are not won at the beginning.

Just as a negative attitude can be a detriment, a positive one can be a catalyst. If you’re convinced you can accomplish your goals, you are more likely to keep trying. You’ll continue to put out effort and stave off discouragement. Most likely, you will have positive results.

Remember this: like a flywheel, what you put out into the world is what you’re going to get back.

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Elle Speicher
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