There are billions of individuals all over the world. However, despite the similarities we have as humans all over the world, we are in one way or the other different from one another. Asides the cultural, religious, socio-cultural and political differences that we have, there are distinctive features about ourselves as individuals that we need to discover to ensure that our sojourn on earth is fruitful, fulfilling and rewarding. If this is done, we can avoid the risk of being a mere statistical data within the world population rather than an impacting influence in the world. This discovery of self is a journey that everyone should at one point in life embark on. In our discussion, we will be looking at some critical steps we can take to discover ourselves and contribute more effectively to the world we live in:
Having the right mindset about money
It is erroneous to think that money rules the world. Money in itself holds no value apart from what man ascribes to it. What we mean to say is that money is not useful until is transferred into the hands of men. As such profit does not profit money, it profits men. With this in mind, when a man’s sole pursuit is to acquire money, he debases himself. Money is a human creation. How then does the creator chase after that which was created? As money is a medium of exchange and a reward for adding value or solving problems, it is a by-product, an end result and not a central focus point. When we focus on the things that add value, money comes along as a by-product. Also, when you start learning what you should learn, you prepare the stage to earn what you should earn. When you generate value, you increase in value.
Focusing time on what is fundamentally important
Whether rich or poor, we all have twenty four hours in a day. Regardless of our educational, professional and societal backgrounds, we have been given the gift of time by our Creator. What makes the difference however, is how we use our time to generate results that set us apart from others who don’t. If we follow the 80/ 20 rule also known as the Pareto principle, we should focus our time on what gives us the most productive outcomes. We should focus our time on what give us comparative and competitive advantage rather than what we struggle at. We should focus our time on strengths, natural gifting, abilities and skills and not what we are not excited about or interested in. When we focus on these areas of strength, we operate at an advantage and build a foundation for an exciting, fulfilling, productive and rewarding life journey. Those who focus on the right things, are more likely to do things right and get the right results. That makes sense doesn’t it?
Identifying one’s gifts
A gift is essentially something of appreciable value that we receive. It becomes something in our custody that we can use for our benefit and add value to our lives. Everyone has gifts or talents that they have come to be associated with and have the potential of adding value to their lives. One task for the recipient or owner of a gift is to understand its functionality and usefulness and make good use of it. For instance, the term ‘human resources’ used by organizations implies that they have identified and recognized that there is a resource in human beings. It shows that when human unlock these resources or gifts, they can add value to their environment, community, society and the world at large. However, before your gifts or resources can be appreciated and celebrated by others, you must first of all discover them and put them to use yourself.
Identifying one’s gifting is a vital step to discovering one’s self. When you say Innocent Idibia is a musician, you are saying that he has at one time identified his gift of music and made waves from it. When you say Basketmouth is a comedian, you are saying that he has discovered his gift of comedy and risen through the ranks in the comedy industry. When we call out your name, what gifts come to mind? Identifying them today can create the platform for an unfolding greatness in your life. It is time to start discovering what makes you different from others and the good news is that it is already in you! What do people say about you? What do people appreciate about you? What do you naturally excel at? What do you love doing? What are your strengths? Answering these questions could point you in the direction of your gifting.
Looking for matching opportunities
When you have found your gifts after the needed soul searching and reflection, the next step is to look for opportunities to groom, cultivate and express them. A tragedy in life is that some people look for opportunities first and then begin to look for the right mix of gifts to make the most of the opportunities that they find. As such, they become square pegs in round holes. They operate in a technically compromised and dysfunctional misfit mode. They are only happy at work on payday and struggle at work day after day, week after week and month after month. Their only attraction was the name of the company and the size of the pay cheque. On the other side, there are those who are excited, self motivated, energetic, fulfilled and committed and are like fish in water as they are within their natural habitat. These people match the description of what happens when opportunity meets talent. They are exciting to watch as they are themselves excited about work.
Taking yourself seriously
Talent is just not enough. Attitude is equally as important. Many have shipwrecked careers and businesses because they did not manage themselves well. In sports, business, politics and the society, there are several examples of individuals who failed to reach the peak of their productivity because of bad decisions, poor attitude and other negative personal traits. When you walk the gifts and talent lane, you can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. You can either be hard on yourself and become better or indulge yourself and become worse. Taking yourself seriously involves doing all you can to make sure you don’t hinder yourself from being the best you can be. When you put yourself in place, your journey to the higher place becomes more than just a dream, it gets closer to becoming reality.
No man is an island and if you belong to the species called mankind, neither are you! You need the support of friends, colleagues, siblings, spouses, mentors, coaches, trainers, spouses, clients and partners to get to your desired dream destination. No great feat is accomplished alone. A business without clients is heading for disaster. No business in the top 20 businesses in a leading economies is a one man business. With all the skills of the acclaimed footballer, Lionel Messi, he enjoys the support of his team mates who throw him passes which he uses to access the opponent’s territory and bring his individual brilliance to bear. We all need people that can throw us a pass in life. Find yours and your journey to achieving your life goals will be easier.
No one celebrates learners. There is nothing distinctive about them. Everyone can be a learner. However, learners are not tested and as such, cannot be trusted. The world gravitates across those who are tried and tested and as such, can generate the required results. The world gravitates towards the masters and celebrates them. Having talent is not enough. Refining them with learning, practice and experience, help sharpen them into skill and mastery. Serena Williams has gained mastery in tennis and recognition and rewards follow her whenever she has the opportunity to show the world a touch of her mastery. Ali Baba’s mastery in comedy is what has set him miles apart from others. There is something about people like Professor Pat Utomi and Bismarck Rewane that make people invite them for television interviews or public presentations. They are masters. There is something about Aliko Dangote that keeps him in the news when it comes to business. He is a master of it. What about you? The same can be said about you if you put yourself through the essential requirements for gaining mastery in your field and profession.
Having the courage to take little steps
Little steps are steps in the right direction. Too much analysis can lead to paralysis. The only way to getting something done is to start doing something about it. Procrastination not only steals time, it only steals opportunities. The check against procrastination however is action. Big dreams start with small steps. A giant castle starts with one block. Aliko Dangote mentioned at a time that his entrepreneurship journey began decades ago. Taking small steps in the present is starting your own future journey now. Don’t be afraid to take small steps. You can always get up, dust yourself, take your lessons and keep moving. Momentum is only gained when you are consistent. Keep moving, keep growing and soon your light will start glowing. No one attains adulthood without first going through infanthood. Life indeed is a journey. To start a journey, the fundamental requirement is to move in a specific direction towards a destination. Make your move now and reach for the sky. You will be better for it.
Photo Credit: Karin Hildebrand Lau | Dreamstime.com