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Ada Obiako: The Secret To Becoming Relevant

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I know you want to be relevant.

You want to know that your existence means something. You want to know that your life stands as significant. You want to feel valuable.  So, what’s the secret sauce? What will it take for you to become “relevant”?

Will it take a higher salary?

No. Surprisingly, there are a lot of people making loads of money that aren’t necessarily “relevant”.

Will it take getting a bigger house or buying more cars?

No.

Will it take recruiting a truckload of friends?

No. You could easily have a truckload of dragging-you-down-to-doom friends…that says nothing about relevance.

Will it take being “prettier” or “more handsome”?

No. You might think so but don’t forget, looks are a depreciating quality…it fades with time.

Will it take upgrading your wardrobe and becoming the best dressed guy or gal in town?

No. Although I will give a hearty cheer to the fellas in fine-tailored suits.

Will it take having the best social skills?

No. Charisma is charming but does not necessarily equate to relevance.

Then, for Pete’s sake, what will it take???

Alright, alright, I’ll tell you 🙂

Funny enough, the answer’s pretty simple:

If you want to become “relevant”, you have to become a GIVER.

Yes, you read that right…a GIVER.

Relevant people are the ones who’ve figured out that “it is greater to give than to receive”. Relevant people are the ones who’ve figured out that their natural gift is meant for their purpose (we all have purpose love – you, me, and cousin Lucy) and that their purpose is centered around service to others. Relevant people are the ones who spend the majority of their time finding ways to spread hope in the world and encourage the souls of others. Relevant people are the ones who are mindful of how they behave around others and how they inspire those around them. Relevant people are the ones who’ve figured out that the joy and fulfillment they seek will come from the spiritual impact they make on the lives of fellow people.

Relevant people are GIVERS.

Think of Mahatma Gandhi. He was, and still is, considered a relevant man. He led India to independence from British rule and inspired several movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. He also led nationwide campaigns in India to ease poverty, expand women’s rights, build religious and ethnic amity, and end “untouchability”. He was an advocate for nonviolent civil disobedience.

Last I checked, Mr. Gandhi wasn’t one of the “rich Indian crew” back in his days. Also, I never heard anyone say he was terribly handsome or wore the best designer clothes or had outstanding social skills. In fact, he wore simple traditional Indian attire and was known to be a PAINFULLY SHY man.

Yet, he is recorded in history as one of the most RELEVANT men of his time.

Why?

He was a GIVER.

If you don’t feel relevant in your life, trust me when I say YOU can change that. And no, you don’t need to have the biggest bank account or the trendiest clothes or the model-look or anything else of the sort to become relevant. All you need is to make the CHOICE to start living from a “givers” point of view.

You can give by using your gift of singing to create music that brings joy and hope into the lives of others. You can give by using your gift of writing and storytelling to lighten the spirits of others, share with others the life lessons you’ve learned, and encourage people (including yourself) to live better. You can give by volunteering at your local food bank to help package food or deliver meals. You can give by making it a habit to smile at strangers you pass by on the street or sit next to on the train. The list is endless.

You can give in a host of various ways.

Now don’t become overwhelmed by this. This doesn’t mean that you will have to become everything to everyone. Truth be told, there isn’t a time when you will be able to help everyone (at each given moment though, you can help someone). This doesn’t mean that you will never receive anything ever again from others either. That’s not what I’m saying.

What I am saying is that there are two vaults you can choose to primarily live your life from: the GIVERS vault or the TAKERS vault. But, it is only one of them that will make you “relevant”, and that my friend is the GIVERS vault.

If you want to become “relevant”, the secret is simple love:

The minute you become a GIVER is the minute you’ll become RELEVANT.

So, if you haven’t been feeling relevant lately, the question to ask yourself is this,

“How much of a giver have I been recently?”

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Michael Zhang

Adaeze Diana is a freelance writer, copy-editor, speaker, and vision coach who helps young Christian women feeling depressed/hopeless discover who they are and why they exist so that they can learn how to enjoy more fulfilling and fruitful lives. She blogs about the spiritual lessons she's learned at www.deserveyourgreatlife.com. You can follow Adaeze on Twitter and Google+.

52 Comments

  1. LOLS

    October 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Splendid !

  2. Jane

    October 9, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Sooooo true! Thanks. I was just wondering about purpose…

    Nigerwifediary.blogspot

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      You’re welcome, Jane! Purpose is our reason for being – once we’ve got this down, we can finally start LIVING 🙂

  3. valprewwy

    October 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    hmmmmm…i actually pondered for a while while reading it n asked myself,how much of a giver have i been.Thanks for d insight.

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      You’re welcome, Val! It’s the same question I have to continue asking myself 🙂

  4. beauty

    October 9, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    it is indeed better to give than to receive!

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      And the funny part is that the more you give, the more karmic returns of blessings you are creating for yourself (be it now or later; be it from the one you gave to or someone else completely). It’s just the way the Law of Attraction works 🙂

  5. Yomi-yummy

    October 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Lovely and inspiring piece. Thank you Ada.

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks, Yomi! You’re more than welcome 🙂

  6. Frances Okoro

    October 9, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    This actually made me think in the light of myself and ask myself some questions.
    Thanks Ada,keep using your gift to touch lives like mine positively just as this article has encouraged me to do also.

    imperfectlyperfectlives.com

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      You’re welcome, Frances!! And thank you for your encouragement and support. May your blog and writing continue to inspire many souls too:))

  7. x-factor

    October 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Deep!

  8. dupre

    October 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Taken

  9. tee tee

    October 9, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I love your take on this!

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks, Tee! I had to share it as I believe it to be 🙂

  10. bukola

    October 9, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Good one. Tnx Ada.

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks, Bukola. You’re very welcome 🙂

  11. 1 + The One

    October 9, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Nice one Ada.. Makes me think..
    How you affect the lives of others is what matters most..

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:31 pm

      Muchas gracias, Ayo! It makes me think too – I know I’m not a perfect gal and won’t be winning the award for “the greatest giver” (sometimes I fail o! lol) but I also know that I can intentionally give and serve others MORE through my gifts and purposefully make a positive impact on the spirits of others.

  12. minime

    October 9, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Nice! I’d work on smiling to strangers and sharing my experiences through writing

    • Nedoux

      October 9, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Me too 🙂

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      Yay! I try to remain mindful that my smile might be the only one a stranger I encounter gets so it’s important I offer it more.
      And please, write! Do you plan on starting a blog? I want to read o!

  13. osuigwe Uzor

    October 9, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    May God bless and strengthen u for being such a great inspiration,

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      Thank you, Osuigwe!! I appreciate you! May God bless you too 🙂

  14. Me Myself and I

    October 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Inspiring write up 🙂

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      Well, thank you, “Me, Myself and I” 🙂

  15. Moyo

    October 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Nice one, I will keep this to heart

  16. F

    October 9, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    excellent write up and thought provoking.

  17. H

    October 9, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Charisma is charming but does not necessarily equate to relevance………love this!
    After reading this article the only question i could ask myself is…… how much of a giver have i been recently? I know change cannot happen immediately but what matters is the desire to change and the step we make towards making that change. I have no issues with smiling and giving but then maybe a little more act of kindness would not be a bad idea. Once again thanks for this article!

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Thank you for reading and commenting!! And you’re very welcome:) I’m happy you enjoyed the article and I’m happy those thoughts came to mind for you – that was my hope:) The more mindful we are, the more intentional we can be with our choices, and the greater of an impact we can make on the spirits of others.

  18. Okaro

    October 9, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Thanks for this.
    I’d truly love to know how to smile at strangers.I just dont know how to smile at strangers without appearing as a fool.

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      I understand, Okaro! Even I worry at times that I might look silly or ridiculous – which I’m sure to some I do. But, I then remember those times I’ve had the bravery to do it and seen the faces of some people light up with such shock and appreciation and then I know that it’s more necessary than not.

      I encourage you to use it is a courageous opportunity to offer to someone a smile that they just might not get at any other point throughout their day – it can truly make a difference in their hearts.

      Not to say that you have to go around town in pain from excessive smiling lol – I just mean try to be mindful of it and do it more than you usually would 🙂

  19. sum1special

    October 9, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    make sense

  20. Bhee

    October 9, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Awesome article, thanks!

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Thank you! It was my pleasure to share:)

  21. Dr. N

    October 9, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Very inspiring. Our resources should make d world a better place

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 9, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks, Dr. N! My sentiments exactly 🙂

  22. Milly

    October 9, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Especially in a country like Nigeria, where people are so superficial that they forget that life is about its essence! Not what you have,but how you impact others with whatever you are by giving back love, hope and truth! Nigerians are so full of agrgression,that is is why most of them walk sound with anger, the system is so messed up that when you are out of the country is like paradise, having peace, being courtesied like people holding the door for you and staying in line until it’s your turn.
    But thank God for sane writers like you have, who have still got their sanity, and seasoned bloggers like BN who are on top of what they do, promoting quality and genuity.

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 13, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Milly! There’s clearly a desperate need in our communities for love, hope, and truth (like you mentioned) and that is why now more than ever, we need to find the individual courage within ourselves to become the beacons of light that we know is lacking. You know the saying, “monkey see, monkey do”? Well, not to call anyone a monkey (I’m not oh!:) but I do believe when we make the choice to start living differently, it will inspire others to do so too (maybe not everyone, but definitely some – and some is GREAT).

  23. maguire

    October 9, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I dunno hw to smile, how can I give?

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 13, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Lol! Then I suggest you pick one of the other ways I mentioned in the post 🙂

  24. wewe war

    October 9, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    simplified and beautiful message

  25. Chinagorom Martin

    Chinagorom Martin

    October 10, 2014 at 3:26 am

    I feel like that question should be by my door so i can see it when i step out every morning.

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 13, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      Lol, you and me both! I’ve become more mindful of the question and try to intentionally give something (in some way) each day – I’m not perfect o! I have moments where I get off track but then I simply do my best to get back on track as quickly as I can 🙂

  26. Ehi Ade Mabo

    Ehi Ade Mabo

    October 10, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Great Write up Ada, i share the same thoughts..service is the key to greatness.

    Thanks for sharing your gift of writing and inspiration.

    • Adaeze Obiako

      October 13, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      Thank you, Ehi!! “Service is the key to greatness” – I love that! It’s not always easy and you won’t always feel like/do it (oh, do I know it lol) but I can’t deny that the more you choose to do, the greater you become. And truth be told, greatness is why we’re here 🙂

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