“The question for humanity is not where we have been but where we are going…..”
How often do you take stock of your journey in life? Life is a journey and we have to occasionally take a look at the milestones and realize how far we have gone. What is your present state of being? Are you stuck in a rut or are you progressing?
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Even though we are taught to be contented with what we have, there is no harm in improving and getting better. We often learn that the enemy of progress is your present success. There is a danger of having a little progress because it floors your intention to improve.
There is always something better, bigger and greater to aspire too. The day we stop progressing we start retrogressing. Are we moving forward? Can we put a value to how much we have done, how much we have achieved and how many people we have helped so far? One of the good things about progress is we can actually measure it. Please take note, I am not saying compare your race to other persons.
There are two schools of thought about progress and achievement one says the only way we can determine how well we are doing is by looking at the competition and seeing what they are doing and try to outdo them at their own game. The other school says be your own standard and make sure that you outdo yourself.
In other terms be your own competition and be determined to get better than you are now. Some theorists argue that if you don’t look at your neighbor, the competition, or your rivals in whatever circle you belong you will not have criteria for measurement. Well, that is one way of looking at it. If you must observe the competition make sure you use their achievements as a challenge rather than an obsession you must rival or beat. IF you are caught in that trend of being obsessed by the competition then you are running the race that belongs to someone else. Every individuals or organization’s goals and objectives should be unique to them. Why do we need goals?
Life is meaningless without them. We cannot be content with living everyday as it comes. We should rather thrive than survive. To live everyday as it comes is surviving to strive to meet goals that we set for ourselves is thriving. It’s a great feeling to look at your activity whatever it is and find that you are doing better than you were before. But this trend rarely occurs without you thinking it through and planning what you can do. Whatever your skill set is, you need to ask yourself if you are maximizing to the fullest the gifts and potential that is at your finger tips. Organizations that have thrived in providing one service or product can take a critical look at their services and products and decide that there is something else they could be doing to make it bigger and better.
I once worked for an organization that was producing a daily newspaper. The paper had expanded on all fronts covering the nooks and crannies of the country in which it was established and improving on its advertisement drive. The management took a critical look at the organization’s operations and decided that all the key staff that was involved in producing the paper should go for computer training and be proficient in the use of software so as to make the operations more efficient. As a result, staff was compelled to take the training. Reactions were different according to the level of the staff. The older ones closer to retirement resisted and some opted to leave, the middle level staff were divided some accepted others declined; the lower level younger people were for it whole heartedly. Never have I seen such varied reactions from staff over a training programme which could essentially better their lot and on the long run, that of the company. Because of the managements approach to selling the programme to members of staff, there was a crisis of response. But on the long run the company was better for it because it became fully computerized ahead of other companies in its sector.
Today it has the most efficient operations in the newspaper business. The organization was now able to set goals for itself in terms of sales and print run. After the computerization process it was noted that goals that were set at the beginning of a financial year were achieved half way into the year! If you are reading this, you had better begin a process of goal setting for yourself. You are sure to find you will achieve more in life if you do it. The question often arises:
What do I do if I am unable to meet my targets? Well, adjust time frame till you do and keep assessing and challenging yourself. That is the certain way to move forward.
By Alex Ogundadgbe