Archimedes once said “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” While this statement has an admirable motivational sentiment, I tend to consider this lever-bearing scientist’s idea with a different perspective. It’s not the world that’s meant to be moved, it’s us.
Movement is often judged by concrete fact and quantified with statistics crunched by a calculator. Whether it be undeniable evidence that someone moved from one end of the room to the other or an astronomer’s chart tracking the orbit of the earth over the last year, we like to be able to step back and say to ourselves “Yup, I can see it.”
Granted there’s nothing wrong with wanting that proof, but it only addresses one dimension of movement. For some it’s just easier to pay attention to what’s happening on the outside and to prescribe to a norm that always has the “right” answer. Unfortunately, that means forsaking the movement that can occur inside of us, where it cannot be seen.
Movement is more than just the act of doing. It’s not about making sure there is a witness or recording hard data. Real movement involves the ability to bend willingly to fate and follow its whimsy. This is done not out of submission, but rather out of curiosity and awareness. Don’t we always end up somewhere for a reason or meet someone for a specific purpose? It’s never apparent until after the fact, but we are always moved by the experience. More often than not, powerful moments are ignored because they can’t be plotted on a graph or validated by some scientific principle. Sadly, this leads to many missed opportunities.
With all due respect to Archimedes, unseen movement is more powerful than even the largest of levers. When we choose to value inward movement as much as outward action, we create an unstoppable force. Mathematics and physics may hold the key to what makes the world spin, but we ultimately decide what it all means. The beauty of this is realizing there are an infinite number of interpretations and they all come from the inside. It’s too bad we let reason, (although very valuable in its own right), nullify what can’t be explained no matter how beautiful or powerful.
Real movement means learning how to be free of what’s expected. It’s about questioning boundaries and blowing past them, even when trust must be placed in something intangible and beyond belief. To find it, you must channel that part of yourself that isn’t afraid of what you might discover. Movement doesn’t take a lever; it takes courage.