I am beginning to slowly figure out this thing called life. It’s taken a while, but I am slowly getting there. For the most part, I have been crawling into the labyrinth of life, ignorantly and without guidance, sense of direction, purpose or focus. Its been a crazy ride defined with an abundance of tears, regrets, and most importantly, valuable lessons.
Granted, I have made mistakes. Stumbled. Hurt people. Disappointed many. I have ignored wise counsel and paid the price. I have wasted time and money and lived to regret. I have squandered opportunities. Taken advantage of friends. Been taken advantaged of. My heart has been broken. My hope has been quashed many times. I have cheated and been cheated on.
I have been falsely accused, called names. Friends have deserted me, others have betrayed me. I have been lonely. I have shed tears at night. I have been on top of the mountain and down the murky valley. I have tasted success and also wallowed in failure. I know what it feels to have abundance. I also know what it feels to have nothing.
This thing called life
Without mentorship and godly guidance, I was left to discover this thing called life on my own. And boy! did I make a mess out of it! Most of what I know now has been as a result of trial and error and tasting the waters with both feet.
I have blown 50K in one sitting ‘pleasing’ friends with rounds of alcohol. I have had a woman I was to marry cheat on me and get pregnant, while we were still dating. I know what a broken heart is. I know how cold, those tears feel when they roll down your cheeks in the middle of the night. I have been to hell and back.
I have been in debts to the point of contemplating suicide. I have slept hungry because of foolish financial decisions. I have been sick because of an unhealthy lifestyle. I have regretted. I have cursed. I have blamed everyone around me for my failures, instead of taking full responsibility for my life.
I was young, foolish and restless. Trying in my own ability and ignorance to figure out this thing called life. It backfired on me, and it backfired big time. Well, despite all I have gone through, years later, here I am, alive and still going strong, all by the grace of God.
I am now wiser, stronger and more determined. Life has beaten me down to my knees. Broken me into pieces, and spat in my face. But then again, life has also been good to me. It has preserved me. Tolerated my ignorance, and over and above, taught me valuable lessons that the educational system and parenting were unable to.
Life’s little lessons
It’s those little lessons I want to briefly share with you with the hope that I will help someone not go through what I went through. And if you ever wondered why I am so passionate about mentorship, there is your answer. It’s amazing how God in His grace and mercy has a way of weaving your mistakes, failures, and weakness into something wonderful that He uses for His glory.
No wonder 1 Corinthians 1:27-28 says that “God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. He chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. He chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.” WOW! this is so amazing.
So, if you feel you don’t qualify, you are a failure, you don’t add up, you feel despised and useless – I want to encourage you that you are the best candidate, fully qualified for God to use.
Life has taught me the following valuable lessons that money would never have bought. Lessons that I have hung onto with the very last thread of my life. Lessons that have made me who I am today.
From a village boy who grew up herding his dad’s sheep, while battling jiggers and malnourishment to a corporate chap who is now brushing shoulders with the high and mighty, all for the glory of God. Well, get your pen and paper, class begins now:
Put God FIRST above anything or anyone else.Don’t live like you will never die, and end up dying like you never really lived. Be not wise in your own understanding. Put God first and your life will be so fulfilling. Understand that we are here on earth only for a SEASON and for a REASON.
Therefore let God be the number one priority in your life. Put God in your life for guidance and counsel. Don’t try to do things with your own little wisdom. Don’t live like you know everything, or you can fix everything. There’s a greater power, a greater person than you.
Proverbs 14:12 says “There’s a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Allow me to quote for you Proverbs 3:5-6. It’s a Scripture that has always brought balance and guidance to my life.
It says: “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil.” (Message Bible)
Anything that does not affect your destiny and purpose in life should never worry you.Life is about priority, so let the most important thing be the most important thing. Stop worrying about things that do not affect your destiny and purpose. Stop being so concerned about what people say about you. Stop forcing yourself in someone’s life. Live your life. Be you. Be happy with you. Mind your own business. Pursue your destiny.
And finally, whatever and whoever you cannot control or whatever or whoever does not matter should never be a priority to you. You are not the CEO of the world, and neither are you the savior of the world. Live your life. Concentrate on what matters to you, your destiny, your purpose in life and your God. For by end of it, it’s the only thing that counts in life.
Don’t be defined by the opinion of others. Stop living your life for others, and being a people pleaser. Don’t allow to be defined by other people’s skewed opinion about you. Be yourself. You have your own SELF-ESTEEM. It’s self, then esteem. It’s yours, so you determined it yourself. More importantly, don’t be defined by the things you own, the clothes you were or the car you drive. Don’t be defined by your education or career.
Be defined by your character and morals, integrity, humility and a good heart. And finally, don’t measure your progress in life using someone else ruler. Galatians 6:4-6 says “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.”
Choose your friends wisely. Remember you are an average of the friends you hang out with. Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are, it’s said. Your friends can make or break you. They can build, or destroy you. If a friend doesn’t positively add any value in your life, that’s extra baggage, cut them off un-apologetically.
You’d rather have one quality friend, than a quantified bunch of back-bitters, gossipers and envious friends who will bite they tongue when they see you succeed. A fool is a wise man’s ladder, goes an African Proverb. Lesson: Choose your friends wisely, some of them are only using you as a ladder for their selfish ambitions.
When it comes to love, not all that glitters is gold. We all have our own ideologies and expectations about this thing called love. I, therefore, won’t belabor the point. However, allow me to say this when it comes to love and relationships, looks and appearance can be deceptive. Beauty fades, eventually, s don’t use it as a measure for love. Looks can be manipulated by makeup and diet.
What remains after the tall, handsome and rich, or the sexy and beautiful sheds off, is character and morals. So, if I was you, I will save myself a tonne of heart breaks and depressions, and consciously look for someone who’s God-fearing, has a good character and is morally upright.
Ensure you have a mentor. Have someone in your life you respect and look upon to be your mentor. Someone with integrity, good morals, God-fearing and mature. Someone who will offer wise counsel, guide you, help you in crucial decision-making and be there for you. Mentorship is super important in your personal and professional development. Don’t be a know-it-all. Don’t live like you have the monopoly of knowledge and wisdom. You don’t know everything.
Be humble enough to learn from others, especially the ones who have gone before you. What better person to teach you than the one who’s been there and done it all? Proverbs 15:22 says “Plans go wrong for lack of advice (mentorship); many advisers (mentors) bring success”.I wonder, could it be you have been struggling in life because you lack mentorship?
There are so many precious little lessons life has taught me, but I cannot document all here. Its one of the reasons by God’s grace I founded the Living Effectively Mentorship Program (LEMP) with the aim of equipping individuals to discover their purpose in life and maximise their God-given potential to live effectively on earth as they also become agents of change. Don’t let your plans to go wrong, because you simply lacked advice.