Leverage. A word that anticipates the use of one source of force to create more force needed to break down resistance that only one of them could not have dealt with. Let me explain with two definitions I picked up. ‘The exertion of force by means of a lever or an object used in the manner of a lever.’

The use of (something) to maximum advantage’.

In the first definition, the object used as a lever pushes up what could not have gone up but for the engagement of the object. So the lever is used to a greater advantage than could have been obtained if it was being utilized without the objective in mind.

Of what use is research – unless there is a specific target in mind that guides the research?

Silence is golden – but more especially when used to create focus, alertness, and the arena for careful thinking and planning.

Three may be a crowd, but a tripod and triangle need three sides to be created, so there is a time when what you need is three sides.

Prayer is comforting – but what situation exactly are you praying about, and what answers do you want?

Leveraging is the art of harnessing all forms of resources – emotional, physical, spiritual, and human – in the face of a challenge. I have found that there are great lessons to be learned in careful evaluations of the challenge before plunging into it. That quality time spent in research and evaluation increases the return on activity and lessens losses.

Second, there is great power in strong opportunities. Seasons come in tidal waves. If you plan for various steps over a period of time, knowing the best season for sowing and harvest, you are likely to have a bumper harvest instead of a meager result. When is the best season to tackle the situation before you? One time is better than the other.

Third, there is great strength in support, help, and collaborations and a team of carefully synchronized talents can produce so much more than a horde of people gathered with no strategy. This is the great strength in careful collaborations.

These lessons make me cringe when people do not value relationships and so are careless with them as they travel life’s journeys. Every penny adds up, so a habit of saving is to be coveted – even if its savings in a piggy bank. Then I also cringe when people are afraid to tackle challenging situations such as marriage, new businesses, and projects just because they don’t have ‘enough money’. The value of money comes only when well leveraged. So is the value of time, people, and spaces. No one resource – no matter how important – is able to give the best results unless leveraged with an array of other well thought out factors.

So when faced with a daunting challenge, engage a process involving various factors. Retreat. Be realistic about the force you face, without being intimidated. Look for its SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities and threats). Plan for each of them. Leverage on every form of resource that can help you with the challenge. And above all, pray. There is help from above. It’s the greatest lever. But it works with careful preparation and proper planning. I wish you the best.

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