A Human Approach

Jae Rang Headshot

Leverage is like a force magnifier!

Aha Moment Monday

Remember being on the teeter totter when you were seven?


Likely you didn’t have the strength to pick up your friend all by yourself but on a teeter totter, you had no problem lifting her up higher than you!

If you were about the same size, the fulcrum –positioned right in the middle of the plank – allowed you both to easily move each other up and down.


Then your 12-year-old brother showed up and replaced your friend at her end of the teeter totter,  and being the prankster that he was, kept you in the air for what seemed like eternity!

There was no way your feet were going to touch the ground until he decided so.

Unfortunately for you, the fulcrum was strategically placed in the centre of the see-saw and put you at a disadvantage.


Now had the fulcrum  been positioned further towards your brother’s end, the additional length of the plank on your side would have allowed you to prop him up!

That’s the law of levers.  You can potentially exert a small force at one end of the lever to move a large load at the other end.

One small change – a shift in the fulcrum positioning – would have allowed you and your seven-year-old effort, to hoist your big brother.


The first order of levers says that when you position the effort further from the load, you need less effort to move the load.

The lever becomes a force magnifier!!


Just think what it would mean to be able to magnify your efforts in more circumstances.


Oh wait – you can!!


Let’s say, for instance, you’ve just learned some shocking news that of the 960 kids in the primary school in your neighbourhood, 20% of them go to school without breakfast.

“That just shouldn’t be so!” says you, but reality is, feeding 192 kids at approximately $4.00 each per day X the number of school days seems like an insurmountable sum and potentially an enormous amount of effort!

So … do you walk away from the school ground or do you leverage yourself to tackle an issue important to you?


Aha – rather than seeing yourself as the effort, see yourself as the fulcrum.


Quite possibly you’re not in a position to make 192 kids breakfast every day so assuming the role of “effort” might cause you to give up.

But since the issue is too important to you, reposition yourself as the fulcrum giving leverage to others to jump on board.


Where the fulcrum is placed determines how much effort would be required to move the load.

Once you determine the magnitude of the load, you’re in an ideal position to calculate the effort required, and the more people or resources you bring on board, the less effort is required by everyone.


Leveraging yourself is like strapping on that super hero cape…. and we both know the world needs more heroes.


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