Last week Saturday, I had the rare privilege of an opportunity to speak at a Methodist Youth Convention in Oron, near Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The audience were young people from all over the nation, they numbered about a few thousands. It was talk-show styled. I was the only respondent on the talk-show, and I was being interviewed by a gentleman. The questions rolled after each other in quick succession, the questions seemed to have one goal in mind – to reveal the factors, the experiences and the environment responsible for bringing me to where I am today. My heart was moved in a heart felt prayer for these people, that they would start well, and finish strong. The same way today, my heart goes to every reader of this post. You will not be of them that run and do not win the prize, you will run and you will be victorious. Your purpose and dreams will not be cut shot. You will have a great story to tell, and your life and story will inspire your generation and generations unborn. You will live and not merely survive. You will impact your generation and not be distracted by the lure of a cyclic purposeless existence.
If you truly want to live a meaningful life, a life that achieves significance and that succeeded in adding value to the lives of others. There are key things you must do. If you go with the flow of life, your life will be filled with weeds. Only dead fish go with the flow of the river, the distinguishing characteristic of life fish is the ability to swim against the tide of normalcy. Here are a few of my thoughts as shared then, and today.
1. Be Clear about your Purpose.
It sounds spiritual, perhaps someday it would sound old school, but take this from me – having clarity of purpose is the best thing that can happen to you! The first step in any meaningful progress is the ability to define where you are and where you are going. Favour, luck, fortune, serendipity are useless when you have no clarity about where you are going. The wind only begins to seem to favour you once your sails are set. Having your goals clearly written down significantly increases your chances of every achieving them. Pray to get clarity, search, evaluate your life, skills and talents, by all means get clarity. If one is not revealed to you, you are better off choosing one than facing the stormy and windy seas of life with direction.
2. Surround Yourself with Wise Counsel.
Experience is a costly teacher, but a fool will learn by no other. Many times when I listen to people talk about their plans and immediate dreams, it’s so glaring that they lack advisers. They don’t have people they consult with before their opinions become solidified. The more the counsel you take the safer your decisions are. In the multitude of counselors there is indeed safety! It’s amazing how many of us have nobody we are following as a leader or tapping wisdom from. When in doubt, ask, it’s better to waste one minute asking, then one year correcting the error that happened for not asking.
3. You need a Godfather.
Don’t let anyone deceive you that who you know doesn’t matter. It does matter! Relationships are necessary oils for the wheel of progress. Who you know, what you know and who knows you counts. You need someone to be there for you, someone on the inside who knows you enough to recommend you and ensure you get the required attention. Unfortunately, some of us where not born with the luxury of Godfathers, so we settle for God the Father. If it’s long legs we need, who can compete with someone who seats in heaven and makes the earth his footstool? If it’s access, who has the hearts of kings in His hands? The earthly godfathers are limited, God is unlimited! Be in league with the God of the universe, but don’t despise any relationship. Sometimes our desires get manifested in mysterious ways.
4. Maximize the Moments
The best time to read a book and challenge your mind is now. The best time you have in your life is Now. Yesterday is gone with it’s regrets, and tomorrow is full of either disgust or optimism depending on your choice. Don’t postpone the best days of your life. Marry early, you don’t need to fool around. Take risks, don’t grow old to share the stories of things that could have been. Maximize the moment, make the most of now! Get an accountability partner if you can and drive yourselves to the limits of your capacities.
Who is your leader? Who are you following? Success can be as simple as seeing what is working and asking for the blueprints. Learning to copy someone else who is making it happen is sufficient strategy for success. Most times, it’s just as easy as who you are following.