the smooth handle

One of (Thomas) Jefferson’s rules was this, and I think it is priceless, "Always take hold of things by the smooth handle." That is, go at a job or at your difficulty by the use of a method that will encounter the least resistance. Resistance causes friction in mechanics, therefore it is necessary in mechanics to overcome or reduce friction.

The negative attitude is a friction approach. That is why negativism develops such great resistance. The positive approach is the "smooth handle" technique. It is in harmony with the flow of the universe. It not only encounters less resistance, but actually stimulates assistance forces. It is remarkable how from early life until the end of your earthly existence the application of this philosophy will enable you to attain successful results in areas where otherwise you would be defeated.

Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking