I got a number of questions during the course of the past week. And interestingly enough, they seemed to border around a similar path.
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels,[a]
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
7 All sheep and oxen—
Even the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea
That pass through the paths of the seas. (Psalm 8 :4 – 8)
There was a time in my life when I operated on auto pilot. I wasn’t really interested in anything, had no real passion for anything except for watching television (cartoons in particular). As I progressed in school back then, I wondered where I would fit in the world. Would I just get a job and earn a salary and live happily ever after or was there more to my life? Back then I bought every self-help and inspirational book I could find, read them from cover to cover. I needed to find my purpose so I could begin to fulfil it. But the big question then was what was I passionate about? All the self-help books referred to one’s purpose being tied to one’s passion.
I was with a life coach once and she asked, “What are the three words that you would use to describe yourself?” According to her, within these three words, lay what was most important to you. To the reader who asked about knowing her life passion, I ask you a question; “What are the three words that you would use to describe yourself? And what are the three words those closest to you would use to describe you?” Take note: don’t live your life by the words and expectations of people, live your life by the words of God. I used to think I do not have talent, but I have come to know that there isn’t one person created by God who doesn’t have a talent, a gift, or a purpose. And from where can one find this purpose? From the life you have lived so far and experiences you have gathered. If you desire more from your life, you will pursue more and if your pursue more, you will achieve more. But where do you start from?
Someone asked how does she improve her life financially? How does she get financial independence? Does one’s level of education determine their level of success? My answer, No it doesn’t. Start from where you are. Start from your comfort position. Same thing goes for finding one’s passion in life. Start from where you are, start from your comfort position. I was once in a seminar where Life Coach Anna McCoy spoke on purpose. She described a three stage process in going after dreams and ambitions in life;
the ready stage,
the set stage and
the go stage.
The ready stage has you focused on the goal. It quite comfortable as it mostly involves being able to see in your mind’s eye the goal. That is the daydreaming stage, where you see the kind of life you want to live in your mind’s eyes and you can imagine all the things you want to achieve if only. Then she talked about the Set Stage. The Set stage has you stretching in a very uncomfortable way to reach for the goal. Like athlete on a track to run, the set stage positions you for motion, without having to move much. The set position hurts. The set stage can be very tiring and weary especially if the command to go is taking a long time in coming. In life the set stage is where you take the first step to go after your dream. At the very beginning of going after a dream, it may seem like nothing is happening despite all that you would be doing. The set stage is where you learn more about the place you want to go to. If it is a business, the set stage is when you begin to learn all you can and practice to improve yourself in your business. Sometimes it may mean becoming an apprentice under someone. And if it is in finding your purpose and passion in life, the set stage is when you apply and stretch yourself in the little things you do easily. Things may be hard and tough, but that is the set stage. Wait for the command to go.
In a race, if you run before the command to go is given, you may be disqualified. In life, if you don’t prepare well for your dream and ambition, you might fail and suffer shame. Many times, I had given up while in the set stage. The pain was too much to bear and breakthrough seemed so far away, so I give up and become a spectator. I realise much later that if I had kept at it, I would have gotten my breakthrough. So today, instead of looking at the past, at what might have been, I look to the future and prepare myself for the “go command” The go stage is when things finally pick up. Once in motion, things are easy.
Of Love and Understanding
A reader asked about love: Her partner has withdrawn from her, possibly due to him not trusting her and possibly due to something that happened in his past that makes it difficult for him to love anyone.
Sometimes loving someone is not enough. Beyond love, we need understanding. Sometimes we wonder why some people always fall in love with the same type of people, either falling in love with kind and loving people or falling in love with difficult and troubled people. Sometimes it is because they think that is what has been predestined for them (especially those in difficult and troubled relationships), and some think it is just their luck. Don’t seek luck in love, seek understanding.
Just the way one’s life experience guide him into his purpose, they also affect one’s understanding and expectation of life. But like the psalmist said in the bible verse quoted in the beginning, God has crowned man with glory and honour. It is not God’s plan that any should live a troubled, love less life.
As much as we all want to be loved, let us learn also to love others, not in the way we want to be loved, but in the way they understand love. Just as successful business means different things to a police officer and a thief, so does love mean different things to different people. The secret to unlocking what love means to each person, is understanding the person, and the secret to keeping the love of each person is being able to trust one another. Understanding without trusting leads to betrayal. Trusting without understanding leads to heartbreak. It is not enough to say you love, understand your partner and when you do, keep their trust.
Have a blessed week and remember, you have dominion to rule over all of God’s creation.
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