Give me a fulcrum, and I shall move the world.
— Archimedes

A Fulcrum is an object we use to increase our leverage over something, to multiply our power. In the illustration above, the figure is pressing down on a lever that he has rigged up to move the planet Earth. The reason he is able to "move the world" is because of the rock beneath his lever. His fulcrum. The force of his push downward is greatly multiplied because it is compressed into that tiny space on the lever between the tip of the rock - the fulcrum - and the end of the lever opposite from the end he is holding. In real life, he would use the same device to lift a boulder or an automobile.

A fulcrum can also be used as a metaphor for an experience that teaches us something we wouldn't have otherwise learned. Challenging experiences, if confronted and learned from, are also power multipliers. When we use our innate power to exert leverage over challenging experiences and overcome them, we acquire new knowledge and hone increased levels of personal power and awareness in the process. Increased levels of personal power and awareness that we would never have had the opportunity to develop if we hadn't been challenged in the first place. 

On a high ropes course challenge, a climber will experience fear. It won't matter if she has been up the event one hundred times - the fear of falling is the one fear that is not conditioned through social interaction, but quite literally built into our DNA. As she climbs to the uneven top of a wobbly telephone pole fifty feet above the ground, she experiences a cold lurching feeling in her guts. Maybe she feels a bit dizzy. 


The challenge is on. She has encountered her fulcrum. The question is if she will get leverage on herself to exert her power over that fulcrum, thereby "moving the world" - i.e., acquiring increased levels of personal power and awareness.

When she concentrates on her breath and chooses to bring calm to her mind, she musters her willpower and the strength of her limbs to balance and stand up on the telephone pole in spite of the fear moving through her body. The pole is shaking beneath her feet. She relaxes and takes a deep breath. She summons calm into her awareness, and the pole becomes still. 

As her teammates cheer her on from the ground, she looks out across the open air to see a trapeze hanging in the sky. She decides that she will leap for it. Her body doesn't want to go. She breathes again.

Using her powers of imagination and concentration, she decides that the act of grabbing that trapeze is the same thing as realizing a deeply meaningful dream she has nurtured in her heart for years. She gets leverage on herself by connecting to this dream, a powerful presence in her psyche that inspires her to action. In a graceful burst of focused power, she exerts her leverage, her willpower over the fulcrum - her fear - flying off the platform into the big blue sky. Time arrests for a single breathless moment, her teammates' eyes riveted on her as she flies forward... 

She snags the trapeze. 

As her Fulcrum Adventures team facilitator lowers her to the ground to the cheering of her teammates, a smile shines from her face. She has just "moved the world," or in this case, acquired new resources of courage, resolution, and clarity that but for her fulcrum - the high ropes challenge, and the fear that challenge brought on - she would have had to spend much more time and energy acquiring.

Also, the dream she just equated with the act of leaping for the trapeze has become more real to her. She doesn't believe, she now knows she will accomplish it. And anything else she sets her mind and her energy to. Success is a given. She has already achieved it.

Get a fulcrum, and you shall move the world.