Progress evaluation for entrepreneurs – Part 3
The five principles of progress Progress doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it involves certain elements or factors within which it must operate. These certain elements or factors are the principles governing the concept of progress as a whole, and they are five in number. Their absence makes progress an illusion. In other words, it’s the presence of these elements within a given situation or condition that makes progress attainable or not. Therefore, before progress can be accurately determined or measured in any given situation or condition, it must contain the following factors or elements and operate within the following principles;
Motion: progress involves an action, movement or activity.
Direction: progress involves a movement, action or activity along a positive path.
Objectivity: progress involves a movement, action or activity along a positive path towards a specific end.
Significance: progress involves a movement, action or activity along a positive path towards a specific end that is meaningful.
Relativity: progress involves a movement, action or activity along a positive path towards a meaningful specific end comparable to the prevailing conditions, circumstances or realities of the unique individual or group in question.
Motion – Progress first and foremost involves motion, which is the act or process of moving. This movement could either be an action or the performance of an activity. In either case, the element of motion as one of the principles of progress denotes the existence of change that is brought about by a certain movement, action taken or an activity accomplished. The principle of motion suggests to us that progress is not passive but active. Progress cannot be attained on a spot, it is not a stationary thing; it requires motion. Meaning, progress involves making a movement, taking an action or performing an activity that will eventually change the current state of things.
Direction – Secondly, progress is not just about motion; a movement, action or activity, it must also be positive. That is; this movement, action or activity should have a direction; facing or pointing towards a particular thing, person or place. The element of direction as one of the principles of progress denotes one singular fact; that the whole concept of progress implies that you are going somewhere (direction). So, your movement, action or activity should be positive; one that ought to take you closer to that place you have in mind. You must weigh your movement, action or activity in the light of where you are going. Anything that gets you closer or moves you forward towards where you are headed is progressive (positive) and anything that doesn’t get you closer or move you forward towards where you are headed is regressive (negative).
Objectivity – Thirdly, progress is not just being positively active or acting positively, it must be objective; where are you going? You’ve started moving (motion) in a positive way (direction), to where exactly is this positive movement, action or activity leading you? What do you hope to achieve at the end of all your movement, action or activity (Objective)? The element of objectivity as one of the principles of progress suggests the importance of beginning with the end in mind. Progress is moving gradually but steadily along a path that was chosen by you with the aim of achieving something specific at the end of the path.
It involves moving forward along the path of your choice in pursuit of something you really want. It is moving in a forward direction towards a known destination. It will be absolutely foolish on your part if you decide to move, act or perform an activity without first determining the endpoint or outcome of such an activity. It is not just enough to be moving (motion) your movement must be positive (direction) going after something specific (objective).
Significance – Fourthly, progress is not only active, positive and objective; it must also be SIGNIFICANT; why are you going where you are headed? You’ve started moving (motion) in a positive way along a defined path (direction) and you know exactly where this path is leading you (objective), but do you know why you are in pursuit of that objective (Significance)? What’s the essence of the objective you are pursuing? What role will the fulfillment of the objective play in your quest for progress in life? Is the objective meaningful; something that contributes towards your overall goal in life? Is the objective measurable; something that is tangible?
Not all objectives even though specific are significant. A significant objective is one with a rewarding potential. That is; it offers benefits that make the objective worth pursuing. The significance of an objective lies in its inherent value or benefit to you, others and the universe. An objective by itself has no value unless when its fulfillment aids the achievement of a larger vision.
Relativity – Finally, progress is not only active, positive, objective and significant; it must also be relative.
That is; progress does not occur in isolation. It is and must be measured in relation to certain other factors such as time, place and the prevailing circumstances, conditions or realities of the unique individual or group in question. What is referred to as progress today may be referred to as regression, the opposite of progress tomorrow. What is called progress in a particular place may not be progress to someone else in another place.
Tito Philips Jnr. is a young Nigerian that is M.A.D. – Making A Difference