|Pic: Getty Images|
Reculer pour mieux sauter: You have to go back to jump forward.
I came across this French saying over the weekend and me being me, my first instinct was to whip out my Blackberry and sharp sharp, Google its meaning, etymology and so on. Those who know me know, I don't like waiting to ask "what's the meaning?" when I can pronto, find the meaning by myself.
But yesterday was different. There was an unusual sense of curiosity. I wanted to know for myself without re-coursing to help from anywhere. So, I took a pause and decided to find out for myself, what sense exactly, this saying made.
First, I took the literal route. I stood up and tried to take a big jump forward. I jumped forward, alright. Then I went back to the spot I was standing and took a jump again. Waoh! It was a big leap from the previous. Nothing had changed, only that the second time around, I took a few steps back before jumping. I tell you, the difference in the space I covered was massive! At that moment, it automatically made sense to me, why long jumpers sometimes bend their bodies backwards before the run off to take that long jump. I found out that by moving backwards before jumping, you gather extreme momentum. Reculer pour mieux sauter.
Trust me, once again, this set off a spark that got me thinking. There has got to be some sense to this seeming 'nonsense'. Fine, its literal application kind of tallies up, how does this saying apply in reality?
And so, I looked at it from some angles. In career decisions, reculer pour mieux sauter. For freshers like us, this may mean going back to take some seemingly mundane jobs just for the 'experience'. It may mean going back to the classroom to pursue a Masters degree or an MBA. It may mean rather than spending our hard earned salary for pleasure, we start to spend on building, attending conferences or on gaining that ICAN, CIPD, French language or Comptia certification. It may mean that rather than browsing the internet for the latest Brangelina stories and hottest fashion trends and gossip, we start to avidly keep a tab on industry trends, on when that multinational company is going to advertise vacancies on Naijahotjobs.com and all. But all in all, reculer pour mieux sauter. To make that huge leap forward towards career advancement, we sure do have to go back to gather momentum.
I also thought back to relationships, friendships, good times. Moving on after the end. Reculer pour mieux sauter. And from this angle, it could be going back to that place of hurt and seeming loneliness and regrets and the feelings of 'perhaps if I had done this more'... 'maybe if I had been this way more'... All those places we had sworn never to return to, no matter what, no matter who. The places where we had dammed and told ourselves, we won't be bothered, but will keep moving on, come what may. But, reculer pour mieux sauter. Yes, moving on would for many of us, mean going back to these feelings and having to DEAL with them properly before leaping forward into the next amazing beginning which is sure to come our way.
Now, I'm a bit wary of trying to apply this thinking to government because when one says 'let's go back to jump forward', that is when we start to see bogus 'grassroots' programmes that are programmed to constantly offend our sensibilities. Still yet, reculer pour mieux sauter. And that may mean taking a lesson from history to restart our pre-oil means of economic sustenance, it may mean looking back to the Awolowo model of education which many of today's accomplished professionals richly benefited from. It may mean going back and starting from the nursery schools to make an investment into the future, 30 years from now. In the case of Nigeria though, we definitely need to 'give ourselves sense' while going back. Heck, already it seems like we keep going back to jump further backwards. loool.
Moving on, even from the business standpoint, the same holds true. Reculer pour mieux sauter. As I write, I'm casting my mind back to the various businesses I started while in the university. Selling hair extensions and my mini printing press. loooool. The money was good, yes it was. But reculer pour mieux sauter. And that sometimes meant casting off your aloofness to attract customers, making personal sacrifices to meet commitments, pleading with Toyosi to help get supplies from Vanaplus and having to cut back on sleep to attend to that customer who at 1am, just realized she hadn't printed off Mr. Wogu's "Which comes first: The chicken or the egg" assignment. *rolling my damn eyes* Infact, away from little me to the Dangotes and Dantatas of the world, reculer pour mieux sauter. No company is ever built from the top. And so, no matter how madly successful they are, they still have to go back a bit in order to launch forward sporadically. Be it going humbling themselves while going back to cut loan deals with banks, or in relentlessly chasing after the 1st class talent they would need to bring their companies to life, reculer pour mieux sauter.
And the list goes on and on.... Its amazing how this seeming nonsense saying has hugely added perspective to some of the things I see in life. This saying tells me, no matter the hurts and efforts and struggles of today, they are all but the winds beneath my wings which are sure to propel me forward magnificently. For in life, reculer pour mieux sauter.
|11th March 2012 9:05pm Pic: Image Bank|