“My transition from the street is more apparent on the inside, rather than, as some would assume, on the outside.” – Anonymous
The Olympics are different things to different folks. Let us consider here that if the Olympics are anything at all, they are a metaphor for our shared human experience and for the individual choices that build our lives. In the Olympics, the commitment to choice and to applying action to choice is essence in every sport, event and game. Every piece of this commitment and activity is personal.
Personal Best becomes a goal in itself. We see the intentional development of athletes with strategies designed to accomplish personal goals. They inspire us and challenge status quo. Personal Best is a singular measure. It represents each person uniquely. And in the same way as our opening quote states, it is achieved through internal activity which generates perspective, choice, determination, action.
Personal Best can be vulnerable to any of these internal activities. Ownership for impact of internal factors is identified in personal reflection and corrected internally, only possible as personal agency is recognized and empowered.
A significant question arises when we consider individual goals pursued in social sectors. How is it that our social systems and agencies have hired and designated ‘judges’ (staff) as THE way of seeing and reporting and declaring truth about participants in their processes? And further to this point, ‘judges’ have also been given the power to define how the activity should be performed.
It is accepted practice that the individual achievement of those who participate in social systems is then defined completely in terms of the rules and perspectives of ‘judges’ assigned to the task. How can judges who are completely outside of the internal process, document achievement? Their only role is to witness, and to report what they observe.
A further obvious and troubling question arises. How do we not recognize the problem of the disconnect between activities which are accomplished through unseen internal processes of the individual, but are judged on external observation? i.e. externally quantifying goals is a disconnect from internally qualifying strategies. What is externally observed is only a piece of the activity which makes achievement possible.
How has social science failed to include the internal activity as a critical component of the result reported? And if internal activities are regarded not quantifiable as ‘scientific’, then would that not mean that the reported quantified result must be seen only as a partial ‘evidence’?
‘Achievement data’ of persons accessing our systems is often represented and reported with the numbers of quantified assessments of goals crafted by staff hired by the systems in place. We suggest that a question which needs to be asked of our society points out that data which does not include the internal work of personal agency is incomplete data.
Personal Best is found in the freedom and responsibility of agency. It cues independence, meaning and purpose, and the hope of generating your personal future your way.
To be continued…