PurposePursuit

ATTITUDE

Attitude copy
Background image by Viviane Berty via flickr.com

There is a story about how the noted English architect, Sir Christopher Wren was supervising the construction of a magnificent cathedral in London. A journalist thought it would be interesting to interview some of the workers, so he chose three and asked them this question, “What are you doing?” The first replied, “I’m cutting stone for 10 shillings a day.” The next answered, “I’m putting in 10 hours a day on this job.” But the third said, “I’m helping Sir Christopher Wren construct one of London’s greatest cathedrals.”

Do you see how attitude can make the most difference in how we assess our experiential realities? The three workers were doing the same thing yet they approached the work differently. The three workers were doing the same thing but because of the difference in their attitude you can expect a difference in their outputs. Attitude may not be the most important determinant of success, it is however, an important factor- important enough to make all the difference.

When I think about how attitude is important in our pursuit of purpose, the story of Paul always comes to mind. The book of Acts chronicles stories of different occasions of persecution and pain to which the Apostle was subjected to. Yet, in all of his letters, Paul communicated a joyful attitude that I believe is worthy of emulation. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul repeatedly instructs his readers to rejoice and be thankful. (Phil. 4:4) This was despite the fact that he himself was in prison when he wrote the letter.  Somehow, the Apostle had learnt to choose joy in every situation. He had learnt to cultivate an attitude that does not depend on any external factor. I love what Viktor Frankl said that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.  I am certain the Apostle understood this and every single time, he chose a joyful attitude over despair, love over hate and grace over bitterness.

Of course, having the right attitude is not only about being joyful when things are not very comfortable. It is important to maintain the right attitude irrespective of times and seasons. Apostle James espouses that the right attitude is always a function of the right knowledge. (James 1:2-3) When we have become convinced about who God is and what He has undertaken to achieve through us, an attitude of hope, joy and delight is stirred in us because of the beauty of that knowledge.

I’ll like to close with the story told by Harry Emerson Fosdick about how as a child, his mother sent him to pick a quart of raspberries. Reluctantly he dragged himself to the berry patch. His afternoon was ruined for sure. Then a thought hit him. He would surprise his mother and pick two quarts of raspberries instead of one. Rather than drudgery his work now became a challenge. He began to enjoy picking those raspberries not because the job had changed but because his attitude had. We too can have a tremendous increase in the output of our pursuits of purpose if we cultivate the right attitude by thinking positively, keeping company with people with the right convictions and living our lives based on the changeless truth of God’s Word rather the ever-changing circumstances in our environment.

God is helping us. Amen.

Blessed? Let me hear your thoughts in the Comments Section and don’t forget to share this post with people in your tribe so they can be blessed too.

You matter to me always.

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PurposePursuit

DILIGENCE

diligence copy

When I talk to people about strategies of executing their discovered purpose, I usually have to emphasize that no matter how beautiful a plan is, without diligent execution, it remains nothing but an almost worthless paper. I once read a story shared by John Telgren about how he hated shining shoes in his Basic Military Training. There were other things he would rather be doing instead of sitting on the floor with a brush and Kiwi shoe polish. Meanwhile, if their boots and dress shoes were not well polished, they would pay for it dearly! So, when one of the guys discovered a “Shine Sponge” that was supposed to give them an effortless shine, nearly every single person in the unit bought one.

When they got back to the barracks, they applied the sponge (which appeared to be some kind of clear oil) to their footwear, and they shone like a mirror! Of course, they were confident that there was no reason to fear when the Training Instructor came by (as he always did) in the middle of the night, as he would meet perfectly polished shoes. Unfortunately and to their rudest shock, they were awakened on the cold floor with a bunk bed lying on top of them because their boots had no shine!

When the lights came on, they found that their boots were the ugliest things they had ever seen. The oil had soaked into the leather of the shoes and made the shoes duller than they were when they were first issued to them. The only ones who had been diligent enough to painstakingly shine their shoes were the ones who had neither dull shoes not punished faces.

There are some things in life that you can’t cut corners with; diligence is one of such. So, let’s consider briefly three tips to help us be more diligent in our pursuits of purpose. Remember, I always love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts on this subject in the Comment Section as you read along.

  1. Seek CLARITY

Have you ever had to drive in the rain without a car wiper? How fast your can go will be the least of your concern, isn’t it? Clarity is the fuel of effectiveness. Sometimes, what you need is not speed but clarity. When you are suffering from a cloud of confusion, you can only do little no matter how efficient you are. To be consistently diligent, you have to safeguard the quality of your sight.

  1. Embrace ACCOUNTABILITY

In 2015, I created a group of 12 young people with accountability as our core objective. We agreed to push each other to do what we believe God has called us to do. We are helping ourselves to stay busy with our life assignments. I have learnt that it is easier to be diligent when you are surrounded by people who are diligent in their individual pursuits of purpose. Accountability is a powerful force that drives diligence. When you walk with the diligent and hold yourself accountable to them, you will be pushed to be diligent.

  1. Accept RESPONSIBILITY

Can you imagine, if most of the inventors we celebrate today never accepted responsibility for the things they created? Would they ever have gone down in history as people of impact? You see, at the end of the day, diligence in the pursuit of your purpose is a responsibility you owe the world and it is important you accept this as your solemn duty. Your indolence is too costly and if you don’t realize this early enough, you may never find the courage to be all you are capable of becoming. God expects you to be diligent and our society needs you to be up and doing.

I’ll close with these assuring words of the wise Hebrew King Solomon to wit, “See you a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before obscure men.” Proverbs 22:29

Blessed?

Let me know, leave a comment and don’t forget to share with your tribe.

You matter to me always.

PurposePursuit

CRITICISM

Criticism

Last month, popular Gospel Artist, Nathaniel Bassey organized what was called the Hallelujah Challenge – a one hour worship broadcast on Facebook and Instagram. The programme was widely viewed by thousands of people all over the world. But the Challenge was also widely criticized. I read quite a number of pieces on the social media questioning both the relevance of the Challenge to the demands for societal transformation and the scriptural accuracy of OLOWOGBOGBORO, a name attributed to God and that was made popular in the course of the Challenge.

This post is not about either the transformational relevance of the Challenge or the scriptural accuracy of OLOWOGBOGBORO. Instead, I hope you can see that even the most beautiful and innocuous visions attract criticisms and opposition. The only way to avoid criticism is to disarm innovation and abandon creativity. EVERY VISION ATTRACTS OPPOSITION JUST LIKE SUGAR ATTRACTS ANTS.

So, I want to share very briefly three things you must do in response to criticism. I’ll love to hear your thoughts too. So, as you read, please do well to note and share your thoughts in the Comment Section.

  1. LISTEN

Contrary to what motivational speakers may tell you, it is actually good to listen to your critics. Sometimes, the voice of the critic is the voice of wisdom. This is not to say that every criticism is worth your time. The point is to not just wave aside your critics as dogs barking only to deride your vision. You should listen.

  1. ANALYZE

After listening to your critic, you must now analyze the issues raised vis-a-vis your vision and the tenets of your convictions. You have to be willing to deal with the issues raised in the place of prayer and in fellowship with the God who gave you the vision. Consider the merits and demerits of your critics’ points. Consider the accuracy of their estimation of your preoccupation. You don’t have to spend too much time at this stage. But it is important that you are open to the possibility that your critic may be right.

  1. DECIDE

Listening and analyzing what your critics say is not enough if you don’t make decisions after reviewing your analysis of their criticisms. No matter what, you must not abandon your God-given vision. It may be necessary to re-strategize. It may become apparent that you are on the right track. You may decide to go ahead with your plans and ignore anything else. Whatever be the case, you must consciously deal with your critics.

I know we have been taught to distinguish between destructive and constructive criticism. I think the difference between the two is only important when we are the ones doing the criticism. When we are being criticized however, we should learn not to first interpret the criticism as either destructive or constructive. If growth and success are our supreme objectives, then we must embrace the idea that criticisms are tools for clarity and proofs of progressive action. When we are criticized, it is our duty to seek what is true and act on it. There is greater wisdom in profiting from criticism than in wishing it away.

Blessed?

Don’t forget. I’ll love to hear your thoughts, please leave a comment.

As always, I call you blessed!