Key SecRETs In NaVigating life
We get so busy living our lives, that we sometimes forget the essential aspects of being alive. Until we are reminded by the death of our loved ones and our heros.
Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
I woke up very early Saturday morning in my room in Lagos State, Nigeria, to hear the sad news of Chadwick Boseman’s death. How is that possible I wondered? I refused to believe it at first as I saw the notification by CNN on my phone.
Then I gathered myself and began to read the news in the media and on social media. One thing was exact; everyone had great things to say about him. He had left an impact on us all through his movie roles, but also through his service to humanity when it came to community service.
Know who you are
Many of us walk around without a clue about who we are right at the core and centre of our lives. Because of this error, we end up making the wrong choices time after time. For many of us, we have believed in the lies that society often tells us through socialisation and media. Many start to think that we are not much simply because we have a particular hue when it comes to our skin, or we belong to a specific gender or tribe. Many of the people we admire today like Chadwick Boseman knew who they were and that dictated how they lived their lives. Knowing who you are is the first step in learning how to embrace the life you have been given. It saves you the time and energy of running after trends and fads that distract and limit you from being who you were meant to be.
Know what your purpose is
Knowing who you are is the first step; knowing your goal is the second step. Sadly a lot of people go through life without ever discovering what their purpose is. Yes, they know what their gifts and talents are, but because they lack sense and direction. They use their skills and abilities as they see fit. Imagine if King David never grew past being a shepherd boy. Or if Joseph had used his interpretation of dream skills for his interests. Or if Chadwick had never decided to be smarter and wiser when taking roles. Knowing what your purpose is to acts as a guide when it comes to navigating and defining how you are going to pursue your goals. Knowing your purpose helps you prioritise what it is you need to do as you journey through life. It saves you time in the long run because you know what activities to avoid that are not in line with your purpose.
As a believer, I believe the best way to know your purpose is when. You are grounded in your relationship with God. The best source in figuring out what your goal is comes from the one who made you.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hopeJeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Learn to harness apparent failures and setbacks
“Whatever you choose for a career path, remember the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose,”Chadwick Boseman
Many of us dwell too long on our setbacks and failures. This is probably because we have failed to understand what how purpose truly is. Often setbacks and failures are pointers that maybe we need to look at things from another angle and try a different approach that is more suitable for us in the long run. Often setbacks and failures are only setting us up for tremendous success in the future. Think of Joseph in the Old Testament being taken as a slave to Egypt and ending up in prison. On the surface, one wonders how any good can come from such tragedies. But Joseph, in the end, saw how everything led to great blessings for him, his family and the entire kingdom of Egypt. Through those challenges, we build stamina, resilience, and gain knowledge that often comes
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.Genesis 50:19-20 (NIV)
never settle for anything that devalues you and your purpose
Many times as we go through life and meet obstacles on our way to achieving our goals, there is the temptation to give up, or just settle for what is available. But this is not the action of those who have learnt to live their lives with purpose. This might mean you take measures that might sound stupid or even strange to friends and loved ones who may not understand your meaning and calling. Imagine the stares Abraham got when he left his extended family and the place he had called home for an unknown location.
Along the way, he could have settled in what looked like prime territory, but he pressed on until he got to the promised land. Unfortunately, his nephew Lot did not get that memo, so he ended up settling in what appeared to be the creme de la creme, which turned out to be a grave mistake. Because Lot soon found out that the culture around him devalued his values.
Likewise, a lot of us are going to have to make some tough decisions as we travel along our path. That might mean we lose out on financial benefits or social clout in the interim, but it is often the wise choice in the long run. Because it proves that not only do we know what our purpose is, we also have integrity in living our lives according to our professed values.
find ways to make an impact wherever you go
Life is very transient, yet a lot of us live life as we have forever to live on this earth. We spend too much time pursuing things that fade away with time. If we are to embrace and live a truly fulfilling life, we have to be deliberate and conscious of making an impact in the lives of others. Often we think we have to make it big first before we begin to create an effect. But that’s all lies. You can start making an impact from where you are right now. Many people need to hear your voice and what you have to say. Other times we think we have to be rich before we can help others. But we can begin to share from the little we have. The truth is that when we die, we will not take with us any of the wealth we made, we will leave all that behind. The question will be what legacy have you left behind.
A common refrain that has been shared since Chadwick’s death is how much he gave to others in his community and how he cared for young cancer patients. It is clear that he not only understood what his purpose was, but he also had learnt over time to find ways of leaving an impact wherever he went.
learn to be present in your daily life
- Be present in your current situation and affairs: Many of us rush through our days that we sometimes forget to smell the roses and appreciate the beauty and love of those around us. We work hard, saving for the future that we forget to foster the relationships in our pursuit of wealth.
- Give your all in whatever you do: Sometimes we are tempted to do average work. But you never know who is watching, and if this particular experience could be a window of opportunity to more opened doors in your future. However, when we give out best, we not only encourage others but we also inspire others and leave behind a great name that speaks for us in places we have no access to at the present moment.
- Live like you only have today: Often we procrastinate and put off acting on important issues because we figure there is always tomorrow. However, a wise person knows and lives as if tomorrow is not promised.
You have to cherish things in a different way when you know the clock is ticking, you are under pressure.Chadwick Boseman
How do you want to be remembered when you leave this earth? How you live will determine how others will remember you. We have all been given talents and a purpose, I hope that despite all the challenges that life throws at you, you never lose sight of who you are and what your goal is.
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;Psalms 90: 17 (NIV)
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.