How can you give yourself more strength than you naturally have?

Here’s a simple trivia question.

How do you open the lid of a paint can?


Grab a screwdriver.

Place the flat edge between the lip of the lid and the lip of the can.

Once the screwdriver is in its place, carefully push down the handle, and the force you exert will eliminate the air tight seal.

Next, move to another part of the lid and wedge the edge of the tool again, gently applying force in nudging the can.

Repeat the process until the lid is completely disconnected.

Start painting.

Now, why does this process work every time?

The screwdriver allows you to have leverage. It gives you more strength than you naturally have. It enables you to lift things much heavier than yourself.

Which you can take literally, like using a pulley to raise up a piano over your head, although that’s probably not the safest activity.

Psychologically, though, the idea of tapping into sources of strength that you otherwise wouldn’t have is a powerful one. Harvard psychologists researched something called power poses, which is when you adopt the stances associated with confidence and achievement.

Chest lifted, head held high, arms up or propped on the hips.

The study reported that leaders holding more powerful positions exhibited lower cortisol levels and less anxiety than leaders holding less powerful positions.

Even if that’s just the placebo effect in action, it still creates a perception in people that they have more strength than they naturally would, which often leads to higher results.

How could you change your body language to elevate your power?

Here’s another illustration of this particularly type of leverage.

During hot yoga classes, the combo of heat, humidity and breath work allows me to stretch a little further and achieve a greater range of motion than I normally would. One neuromuscular study showed that hot yoga participants had greater flexibility in their low back, shoulders, and hamstrings after eight weeks than the control group who didn’t practice.

How could you enlist the support of your surroundings to expand your strength?

Lesson learned, there are as many sources of leverage as there are people to use them. Almost anything can become a lever with the right mindset.

It almost becomes a game to see how many different ways you can increase your return on experience.

Whether you use a screwdriver, your own body, or your immediate environment and the people in it, elementary physics is at your disposal.

Use it well.

What helps you lift things much larger than yourself?


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