One of the earliest awakenings I had was when I learnt about the concept of “work”. I mean work in scientific terms; when a force moves through a distance.
By definition, that’s the only condition for work to be said to be done. If a force F for instance moves a block from point A to point B, only then can work be said to be done. I didn’t understand why it had to be so as someone being introduced to elementary physics back then. I recall there have been instances where I tried to push heavy objects, expending a lot of energy but still not being able to move it. On one occasion as a boy a man gathered about 6 of us to help him push his vehicle out of a ditch, we tried as hard as we could then, but still the car didn’t move.
In the world around us that definition comes in handy as people measure work or success by visible results and tangibilities. So for instance, the success of a coach is measured by the number of trophies won. Also football players are rated based on how many trophies they have won with their team. I was in a conversation with someone on one particular occasion and he said that the fact that Jay Jay never won the African Player of the year award, his achievements as a footballer was limited. We argued about that for a while and my argument was based on what I will try to explain in the paragraphs following.
I actually believe that work should be measurable, but how this measurement should be done is where I disagree with many.
Not minding the fact that the earliest definition of work I learnt of was based on a measurable physical distance, I eventually over time came to find out that work could be actually done internally in a system. Yes this too is scientific .
In the real sense of it, the effort that leads to work(results) is more cumulative than instantaneous. In the same way the number 10 could be arrived at by say hitting 10 once or by hitting 5 twice or even by hitting one 10 times, results get visible when our cumulative efforts hit that threshold.
Speaking of threshold, an electron will remain in stable state until it hits the threshold frequency. It implies that frequencies below the threshold will not do any visible work until it adds up to the right numbers.
A similar analogy that may help is when you consider what happens to water before it boils. As more energy is added to it in the form of heat, it doesn’t boil until the heat raises the temperature installmentally to 100degrees Celsius, only then will it boil. So at 99°, 98°, 97° nothing(visible) happens. So what happens is that the energies are being accumulated so as to attain the needed temperature where it can now boil.
A binding wire is a thin, long, wire used in binding pieces of reinforcement together. I’ve never seen any one break a binding wire with his hands in his first twisting attempt. It usually breaks after twisting so many times. You notice that it begins to heat up the moment you start twisting . The heat increases gradually as the force is applied .This force continues to do cumulative damage until it becomes large enough that the bonds holding the metal particles together is broken. The effect is incremental. Of Course there are simple machines that can cut it in an instant.
Here are a few real life examples.
Real Life Examples
I know a particular Nigerian politician who lost in 3 consecutive elections until he won the fourth in 2015. I think this is what happened in that scenario. His popularity was increasing installmentally in previous years that he lost. For every election he lost, he accumulated popularity which was greater than what he had in the past. It continued until he reached that threshold politically where he won by a wide margin. Another example in politics is Abraham Lincoln. He was never the favorite in so many of the elections he lost, until his popularity built to the point where he ran and won. Today many consider him to be the greatest U.S President of all time.
- 1832 – Defeated in run for Illinois State Legislature
- 1834 – Elected to the Illinois State Legislature (success)
- 1838 – Defeated in run for Illinois House Speaker
- 1843 – Defeated in run for nomination for U.S. Congress
- 1846 – Elected to Congress (success)
- 1848 – Lost re-nomination
- 1854 – Defeated in run for U.S. Senate
- 1856 – Defeated in run for nomination for Vice President
- 1858 – Again defeated in run for U.S. Senate
- 1860 – Elected President (success)
In sports, a typical example is Jose Mourinho. In his three years at Real Madrid he did a lot of invisible underground work that his successors eventually benefited from. Though many consider his spell there to be unsuccessful, it is important to note that for the first time in a long while someone took Real Madrid to 3 consecutive semi finals. After his departure his first two successors won a combination of 4 champions league trophies in 5 years using most of what he had left including his players and strategy .In other words, Jose Mourinho had done some internal work that many didn’t seem to recognize.
So I would love to say that every effort has an effect whether it is visible to the eyes or not. In building very large structures, you notice that a huge part of the building is buried underground. This serves as the base. They are invisible, below the surface, but yet they still exist. They don’t just exist but they also play very important roles. Cumulative effects of any work done will be made visible to the eyes when they hit the required threshold.