Can you Jump? - The intricate balance between Performance and Potential Can you Jump? - The intricate balance between Performance and Potential
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Just like that, we are now in the second half of 2023!

As you read this article, I hope it will give you a moment to appreciate the passage of time and reflect on your journey thus far this year.

It feels like yesterday; we were brimming with aspirations and envisioning the tremendous heights we would reach by this halfway point. Places you wanted to be, opportunities you wanted to capitalise on, behaviours you wanted to learn, experiences you wanted to have, people you wanted to meet, things you wanted to buy and so forth; But now, as we pause to reflect on our progress, we may find ourselves pondering the discrepancy between what we had hoped to achieve and what we have accomplished.

Maybe at this point, you already sense where I am going, yes! It is about Goals! Not Resolutions – as we all know the hard truth about them. Setting goals has always been a crucial aspect of personal development, and it's something I've emphasized in my articles over the years.

In 2020, I wrote about confronting own self-deception and encouraged introspection. In 2022, I used the metaphor of a yellow car, symbolizing the importance of enjoying the journey while pursuing our goals. In 2023, I wanted to talk about goal-getting as opposed to goal-setting. The best way to do this was to wait until the halfway mark of the year; now, I believe it’s easier to understand.

Most of us are already somewhat good at goal setting, but we have challenges in materialising them.

Building on this, I wish to invite you to a challenge; This challenge will help you further explore the theme of goal setting even better. To take the challenge, ask yourself the question below, then follow the provided instructions.

How many times can you jump in ONE MINUTE using just ONE LEG?

Just think! ONE MINUTE! ONE LEG. Be honest with yourself and guesstimate the number of jumps you can make…. Then write that number down.

Now you don’t have to guess; I challenge you to stop reading this article and let’s find out the answer. You will miss a valuable lesson if you choose to proceed with reading.

Here is a simple instruction.

· Find a comfortable flat space.

· Play the timer from the video below.

· Start counting your jumps and stop when the timer stops.

· Quickly write the number of jumps against the initial number you had guesstimated.

If you followed the instruction, Congrats! Please grab a glass of water, or at least catch your breath.

If you noticed, the timer was set for only 30 seconds, but the challenge was ONE leg, ONE minute. This means that whatever number of jumps you did, you need to multiply by 2 to get the correct answer.

Yes, that’s how many jumps you can make in ONE minute using just ONE leg. Let me know your initial number and the new number by commenting below.

I bet you overly underestimated yourself. Many people doing this activity for the first time get the same result. My old friend Alfrerio Njau gave me this task 7 years back whilst in university and it helped me to understand the essence of Performance and Potential.

Whilst I appreciate the limitation of this challenge, it is somehow impossible to accurately determine the number of jumps one can make in under one minute using only one leg as it depends on various factors such as the person's physical fitness, strength, and agility.

Hold on to the difference between your guesstimate and actual numbers; you will get meaning throughout this article.

If you ask people why they put such a lower number at first, you will learn that it is probably for the first time one thinks of using just one leg, and we don’t really know the length of one minute (perceived as very short). Therefore, we naturally become pessimistic about our abilities.

We often tend to set our goal by benchmarking it with our previous PERFORMANCE and in accordance with the TIME that we (think) have.

In these moments of introspection, we are reminded of Bill Gates's words,

"Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in ten years."

This quote encapsulates the essence of the statement above, reminding us that the journey from goal setting to goal getting requires dedication and a realistic understanding of TIME, our POTENTIAL and PERFORMANCE. I will leave the concept of time for now and focus on the remaining two.

Yes, Potential x Performance are like siblings that don’t like each other. They are “what could be”, versus “what is”. Because of this fungible relationship between the two, we tend to trade on potential as if it were performance – but it’s not.

As we reflect on the passing of the first half of the year, the two half represents a clear cut of “what could be” versus “what is” and it is crucial to consider not only what we have achieved thus far but also the immense potential that lies ahead. See, our journey is a tapestry woven with both past accomplishments and future possibilities, and it is in the delicate balance between the two that we find the essence of our growth.

While Potential affords no surety of outcome, it can offer hope, and hope can serve as an inspiration. If your inspiration can lead you to take action, you stand a chance to excel. Most of us intrinsically recognize the gift of potential, but many choose to do nothing about it.

In contemplating our potential for the coming six months, let us remember that the second half of the year holds within it a wealth of untapped opportunities waiting to be seized. It is a chance to reimagine your plans and take action.

Simultaneously, as you reflect on your performance during the past six months, please approach it honestly and truthfully, as it is easy to be caught up with self-criticism, berating ourselves for perceived shortcomings. Honesty and Truth will enable your thoughts of potential not to slip from ‘possibility’ to ‘expectation’.

So, as we stand at this pivotal juncture, remember the ONE LEG challenge; there is a brittle balance between what is possible and what is achieved; your performance in the past half-year may not have met your expectations entirely, but you are given unique talents, gifts and abilities and with them are potential to do amazing things.

By definition, Human potential is the innate ability of every person to live and perform in alignment with their highest self. It's a combination of both outer and Inner Work®. With this - May you embark on the second half of the year with a resolute belief in your potential; May you recognize the talents, gifts and abilities you possess and put them into use; may you find alignment with your inner self; may you look back on your journey and find solace in knowing that you gave your all, dared greatly, and transformed yourself in the process; May you find beauty in your journey.

Keep Jumping!

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Amani Shayo
Written by

Amani Shayo

Amani Alphonce Shayo is an aspiring Consultant and Human Capital enthusiast. Currently working at Empower Limited, a dynamic Human Capital Consulting firm. He is Passionate about People and Innovation. He loves reading and writing to a greater course that is to inspire others to be more and do more.

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