Right, I want you to stop whatever it is you’re doing right now.
Now I want you to picture your ideal home.
Pay attention to every detail – the way it looks from the outside; the surrounding environment; inside your house – the look and feel of all the rooms; the colours; the furniture.
Be very very detailed.
Close your eyes and walk around your house for three minutes then open them again and continue reading.
A few weeks ago I asked some course delegates to do this particular exercise.
Then I asked them to outline how they would get to the point where they would be able to afford to purchase or build their ideal home.
One of the delegates asked me the following question;
“What if it has nothing to do with size or material beauty?”
“It’s whatever your ideal is”, I replied.
“Cool, because my ideal home is not big or special to look at. But it’s full of joy and love. There’s only one step I need to take, and that’s to stop working and become a full time house wife so that I can take care of my family.”
I must confess that I was shocked by this response, not because of its substance, but because of its honesty and simplicity.
She recognises that her purpose / mission in life is to raise a great family and she has embraced it, without fear of what society or anybody else might think or say.
The fact is, raising a great family will most likely do wonders for the environment she lives in.
Not everyone is destined to be the next Aliko Dangote or Nelson Mandela.
Indeed not everyone wants to be the next Aliko Dangote or Nelson Mandela.
We are all different and each one of us has his or her own particular purpose.
Nobody’s purpose is more important than another’s.
As the great anthropologist Margaret Mead put it, “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world, indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Changing the world starts with changing our own community. That happens person by person, business by business, family by family.
1. Your Role In Creating Your Ideal Environment
The first of today’s ‘necessities’ is having a vision of the kind of environment you want to raise your children in, and your role in making it happen.
When I say environment I’m not only talking about your house or compound, but also your community, town, city, country, society.
2. Recognise and Understand Your Values
If there’s one thing I always find infuriating, it is when people don’t have the basic courtesy to reply text messages.
Many months ago a friend of mine introduced me to a very pretty young lady (yep – he’s desperately trying to get me out of the singles market as soon as possible).
I telephoned the pretty dame in the evening and we had a reasonably interesting chat. After speaking with her, I sent her a text message saying “Nice chatting with you. Have a good night.”
She didn’t reply.
I was a little irritated but decided to give her the benefit of the doubt – in case she didn’t have credit on her phone or something.
The whole of the next day – still no reply.
That was it. As far as I was concerned she could be the most adorable girl in the world and I would still run a mile from her.
A few days later, my friend asked me how it went.
I was a little shy in my response, conscious of the fact that I might seem a little over the top in my reaction.
“Well, it was ok. But…..em…she did something that I’m a little uncomfortable with; something that, though I’m trying to, I simply can’t tolerate.”
“Really? What’s that?” enquired my friend.
“Well…I sent her a text saying nice chatting with you and have a good night, but she never replied. Sorry, but that’s just rude. It’s a matter of basic courtesy. Not sure I want to be with such a person.”
Much to my surprise, my friend replied, “I know exactly what you mean. I can’t stand people that lack manners or basic courtesy. I used to think I was weird or too strict or something, but then I realised that courtesy is simply something that is very important to me.”
In other words courtesy is a very important VALUE to him, as it obviously also is with me.
Very often, when something happens that makes you uncomfortable, upset, or incongruent in any way, an important value is screaming out at you – in this case courtesy and respect.
I have no doubt that the lady in question is a lovely person. Indeed, bearing in mind Nigeria’s more than erratic mobile phone networks, it’s all too likely that she didn’t even receive the text message.
The second of today’s three ‘necessities’ is recognising and understanding your most important values.
Your Values are powerfully intertwined with your purpose.
The third ‘necessity’ today is Belief.
Believe in yourself and most importantly, believe that God is more than capable of making it happen.
I’ve tried to avoid using this example as I don’t want to come across as been a bible basher – not today anyway.
But there’s simply no better example than that of the young David.
Going face to face with Goliath was not only an unenviable task but surely dumber than dumb!!
However, David recognised that the power lay not in the sword, the shield, or even in Goliath’s forearms, but in the Almighty God.
He believed that God would do it and he believed that God would use him to do it.
Remember – your purpose was given to you by God.
He has already given you everything you need to achieve it.