Monday, May 26, 2014

Potential vs Reality - Streams and Diamonds

Harnessing a stream
Potential is the capability that is not yet in existence or unrealised capacity. Reality on the other hand, is the state of things as they actually exist. The existence of potential does not necessarily lead to reality. A stream of water can have potential energy to light and power up a community through hydro-electric power, but if no one can harness that energy through a dam, the reality is that it is just a stream of untapped water whose value is limited. The Kariba Dam is one of the largest hydro-electric dams in the world at 128 metres and is built on the Kariba gorge between Zimbabwe and Zambia. It was built at an estimated cost of $480 million with 86 lives lost during construction. Around 57 000 Tonga people and 6 000 animals (under Operation Noah) were affected by the construction of this dam. However after all is said and done, the dam was completed in 1977 and currently supplies power to two countries, Zimbabwe and Zambia. 

Diamonds in the rough
A diamond field is a piece of ordinary land discovered through extensive exploration followed by extraction, processing and polishing of rocks to obtain desired priced diamonds. Rough diamonds are obtained from digging and extracting them out of rock and then cutting and polishing them to become high value gems which can be traded internationally. It can be said that a piece of land with diamonds underneath has the potential to earn a country $1 billion, but if the apporpriate investment is not acquired  and used on the land to beneficiate the rock, the reality is that it is a piece of ordinary land with a value much lower than the forecast $1 billion.

The personal link
Personal value is limited unless there is a process of harnessing and creating critical mass to focus strength towards something of greater value. A process of exploration of oneself, extraction of value and use of same in adding value to various areas of life to generate income. Exploration to find out what passion one has and what makes them tick. Finding out those things one can do with ease, excellence and for the benefit of others. Inherent passion as well as that gained through training and skills development. Digging and extracting hidden talent within and then taking it through the cutting and polishing process of trimming unwanted remnants and only leaving the shining, high value diamond that carries high value in the market. Many people are said to have potential, but not everyone becomes the reality they could. Moving from potential to reality is not a passive process, but an active one which requires constant effort, sacrifice and carries costs to perfect an art or a skill needed to rise from ashes to aces. The reality is that we are all created with potential to become more. We are created as streams that can power communities, however for some it remains potential. Moving from potential to reality takes effort and hard work as well as focus and vision. There will be casualties in needed unsettling changes, opportunity costs of time, lost friendships and other luxuries lost, but there will be greater value gained at the end. Will you move from potential to reality today, from a stream to a dam powering two countries, and from a rock to a diamond in the sky as Rihanna sang? I got news for you, it will not come easy.

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