Is it really that time of year again???
Is it really???
Feels like only a few days ago that I sat down to determine my dos’ and don’t s for 2012!!!
So what happened?
How did twelve months pass by with such lightening speed???
Do you sometimes feel as though the older you get the quicker each year passes???
Anyway – enough questions.
Time for some answers.
A few days ago a wise man (yep – that’s right buddy, you can be very wise – sometimes anyway) asked me how I was doing.
I was about to send the usual reply of ‘everything is just great’ but suddenly thought to myself – ‘yes I know the bible says that we should always speak positive words, but surely it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be honest with close friends and family?!!’
So I told him the truth.
“Bro, I’m doing my best to hang in there. I’m working really hard and I believe the future is bright but right now things are really difficult.”
Aside from sending a few comforting words my way, my good friend said something that reminded me of my deepest belief and value – love and service to others.
“You just need to think about how you can impact lives and add value. Do that and the cash flow will come. Think about this for a second …..Julius Berger has probably the best connections with Government and oil companies in Nigeria. Yet it’s not the most valuable company on the Nigerian stock exchange. The most valuable company focuses on delighting its customers, and that’s Heineken. Motorola leveraged heavily on Government contracts yet Apple focused on delighting customers: one company is dead, the other is the most valuable company in the world with a mission of making life changing technology accessible.”
Quote – Wise buddy and dear Friend
When you take a few moments to assess the kind of year you’ve had I suggest you do things a little differently this time.
Ask yourself the following questions.
1. What four things do I desire?
2. What four things excite me?
3. What four things do I consider to be fun?
Please note – ‘fun’ and ‘excitement’ are not the same at all. I can be very excited about taking Naomi Campbell out to dinner – due to the fact that she’s delightfully fine and so damn sexy. But that doesn’t mean that I consider her to be fun.
Then ask yourself what your top five values are.
Then find the connection between your values and questions 1, 2 and 3.
What I’m about to say next is not for the sake of making you feel good about yourself.
God created you in a specific way – to find certain things exciting; to desire certain things; with specific values.
You are the way you are for a reason.
You are the way you are because you have a specific mission and purpose here on earth.
But in order to find out what that is you must first of all do some digging – and find out who you are and why you are the way you are.
The reason most people run around like headless chickens – easily swayed right or left by the slightest suggestion or the slightest hint of discomfort is because they don’t know who they are; they don’t know why they’re here; they have absolutely no idea what their purpose is.
God gave you a purpose – not for yourself but for the sake of others; for the sake of mankind – to add value and impact lives.
God says “my people fail for lack of……”
This Christmas, as we approach a new year, do less of the dos’ and don’t s; less of the self castigation; less of the self condemnation.
Rather, first of all thank God that you are alive and well.
Then thank Him for what I’m about to tell you.
“Dig, dig, and dig some more.”
This Christmas, spend some valuable time away from the noise and the parties doing some digging – into yourself; into your character; into your nature, and why you are the way you are.
In order to find out how you can impact people’s lives you need to first of all find out who you are, accept and embrace the gifts and talents that God so blessed you with, and figure out how to use them to serve people – to add value to people’s lives.
Please note – this doesn’t mean that you should leave your job.
The best place to practice and hone the talents that God blessed you with is in your place of work – right now.
Even the greatest talents and skills have to be developed.
Yes – you are naturally gifted in a certain area. But to get the very best out of it you need to develop it; then practice, practice, and practice some more.
Yes, you are indeed awesome, and you most definitely have a great future.
But that doesn’t mean that everything will happen overnight.
You will most probably have to go through some very challenging times on your way to fulfilling your purpose.
In fact there’s no ‘most likely’ about it.
You WILL go through challenging times.
But those challenging times will mold you to be the person God created you to be.
The challenging periods of your life are a necessary part of your preparation and development.
God sees the end from the beginning.
So there will be times when He shows you glimpses of your future – to encourage you; to give you a vision to hold on to; to give you the courage and strength to keep going when everything around you is screaming;
“stooooop!!! You’ve failed. There’s no point. Just give up now and go for a safer option.”
Remember Joseph and his dreams?
How he dreamt that his brothers prostrated before him?!!
Yes – God was showing Joseph how great he would become.
But I sometimes wonder whether Joseph would have opted for his path had he known that he would be sold to slave traders and later spend years in prison.
Would Nelson Mandela have opted for the same path if he had known from the age of nine that he would have to spend 27 years in the tiniest of prison cells to achieve his mission??!!!
It’s a journey of growth and development.
It’s a journey in which there will be tough times.
It’s a journey in which there will be highs and lows.
So don’t kid yourself.
God has indeed blessed you with specific and unique talents.
As you start digging, your vision and mission will naturally unfold.
But the journey will at times be so grueling that every fibre of your being will tell you to give up.
It is the knowledge of who you are and where you’re heading that will enable you to keep going.
It is during difficult times that you are refined and molded to be the person God created you to be.
This Christmas – don’t just party.
Do some digging.