We would like to start with introducing our adaptation of the optimal challenge chart and explaining how to use it to plan growth/achievement both long and short term.
The axis X represent our existing resources which we can transfer into the efforts that we need to put into achieving the desired goal. These resources present our strengths, skills, knowledge, time, social support, money, and so on. Some of the resources will be more relevant to the short term goals and some to the longer term ones, and most of the resources will require to be recovered.
The axis Y represent the tasks, goals, and the challenges. When working towards the completion of the task we need to actively use the resources to achieve it (efforts, time, skills, knowledge, energy).
Depending on how much resources we invested vs the difficulty of the task we will travel on this chart, ideally avoiding red zones towards the balanced growth.
When our demands outweigh our resources we tend to get tired too quickly and unless we recover, there is a risk that pushing ourselves too hard can cause more problems than be beneficial. On the other hand, if we are not stimulated enough we can get bored, and that also might affect us in a negative way.
Ideally, we want to balance our tasks with the resources in the way that is challenging, but is not too much. It is important to remember that as we are warming up and then reaching our pick or best performance, we can not achieve our best for long periods of time and that to get back to our pick performance zone we can only through effective recovery.
It is important to remember that the recovery is an important part of the effective performance routine, because to put efforts into something, you have to first recover your resources. Effective recovery routine may present a challenge, as it might be considered boring, uncomfortable and sometimes even painful.
When we successfully invest our resources into the task – after the recovery takes place – our resources grow in a way that allows us to invest more towards the desired goal.
Usually the initial stages and the last stages are the hardest ones – as in the beginning we might feel that we do not have enough skills/knowledge to use to feel the fun of development. That there is not enough mastery there. And in the last stages – if there is a time pressure, we feel a bit tired or over the task, as well as might be feeling anxious about the final outcome, which might affect our motivation to persevere to take the last final step to complete the task to our best capacity.
It is important to remember however that our capacities are not unlimited and that it is very important to know own limitations in order to avoid disappointments, downfalls, and injuries.
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