PurposePursuit

RELEVANCE

relevance

I once read an interview granted by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina in which the former Editor-in-chief of the Sun Newspaper discussed very passionately the future of the News print industry. He considered the challenge the industry may have to face considering the changing times and the invasion of Online News media and other very competing channels of news dissemination. As I ruminated over Mr Adesina’s words on this issue, I realized that change is perhaps the most certain feature of all human experiences. The key to thriving across times and seasons is to find a way to be relevant in spite of the changing times and seasons. I understood this principle better when I pondered on the scenario of the woman on the street of my office from whom myself and my colleagues used to buy boli (roasted plantain) and groundnut but who has now moved into the Corn and coconut industry since the season of plantain has long come and gone.

I love how Ernest Agyemang Yeboah illustrates the idea of relevance when he said the same tongue that tastes a cube of sugar when it is placed in a small cup of water and appreciates it, is the same tongue that tells the same cube of sugar how tasteless it is when it is placed in a large volume of water. Just like the cube of sugar must understand that a change in its environment can affect how well it tastes, it is important that we are awake to the realities of change as we pursue purpose so that we can devise the best strategies to stay relevant.

Thus, I’ll like to share some thoughts with you on some points I think are essential keys to staying relevant in an ever-changing world. I am certain you are going to find these thoughts helpful as you give yourself to the pursuit of your God-intended purpose.

  1. Consistency

Consistency is the currency of relevance. Before you can be relevant in the face of change, you must first learn to be consistent in generating results that meet real needs and answer genuine questions. You have to become a household name by virtue of your consistent demonstration of integrity and resourcefulness before you can last any wind of change. You also have to have gained a level of clarity in what your message is and be willing to share that message consistently.

  1. Innovation

In the face of change, innovation is key. You have to be flexible enough to try out new ideas and make attempts at exploring fresh opportunities to maximise your potentials and fulfill your purpose. What you must note here is that you should be innovative in your METHODOLOGIES and not necessarily your MESSAGE. Your message should remain the same in line with your core values across times and seasons, but how you get your message across to the people you lead will require innovation to stay afloat and remain relevant. You must learn genuine and innovative ways to reinvent yourself by forging such partnerships that may be necessary for your continued relevance and by exploring new ideas that do not betray your message but hold you out as a brand interested in growth. There are endless possibilities for those who are willing to be flexible and stretch their imagination.

  1. Connection

This last point is perhaps the most important of all. In Jeremiah 17, scripture describes a man who trusts in God as a tree planted by the river side. It does not fear when heat comes, its leaves are always green and never fails to bear fruit. In essence, this tree is able to bear fruits and produce green leaves irrespective of the season because it is connected to a source that never dries. I hope you see point then that the greatest secret to your staying relevant in your pursuit of purpose is to stay connected to God.

Dear friend, your story is too important to become “once upon a time.” This week, I challenge you to embrace consistency in the pursuit of your life assignment. Learn the wisdom of timely innovation. Above all, put your trust in God and let your confidence be in Him. You will be relevant for as long as He is relevant and that is for all ETERNITY!

Blessed? Let me hear your thoughts on this matter. Please leave a comment and don’t forget to share.

You matter to me always.

PurposePursuit

NAVIGATE!

Friday afternoon

Yesterday, I received a call from someone asking me to come pick up a package that was sent to me from Lagos. I was not familiar with the location of the pick-up centre. The caller gave me a description I did not exactly get, but I expected I would be able to find my way around town. So I got on the road joining different buses at different stops with my eyes focused on where I figured my destination ought to be- the left side of the road.

I was on the bus with a friend who advised me to ask for directions from the driver or his conductor. But I was adamant. I felt I knew where I was going and asking for directions make me look like I was new in town. You know what they say about men not wanting to ask for direction? Maybe, I am a living example after all. Anyways, to cut the long story short, it took the loving intervention of my friend who volunteered to ask the driver if he knew my destination on my behalf to help me realize to my own embarrassment, that I had already passed where I was going. Actually, my destination was on the right side of the road and the driver was very familiar with the place. My ignorant assumption and pride cost me additional money, energy and time loss.

I think there is a lot in common between my journey to Isior and our life journeys. I want to share with you very briefly three lessons I learnt from that experience. I’ll be glad to read your gleanings too. Please leave a comment at the end of this post.

  1. Always pursue CLARITY

I had an idea of where I was going. But I lacked clarity as to how to get there. I knew the bus stop and what buses would take me there. However, those were not enough. I still got lost. Without clarity, knowledge can hardly inspire any meaningful action. Without clarity, the tendency that you will miss your destination is higher no matter how much you know. Clarity is what gives you confidence. Clarity is what gives value to knowledge. It is good to know where ought to be your destination in life. However, it is critically important that you give yourself to seeking clarity about the dimensions of your operations and receiving specific instructions to help you get there.

  1. Pride goes before embarrassment

If I knew exactly where I was going and how to get there, it would have been okay to be proud and not even say a word to the driver. But because I was ignorant, my pride cost me more embarrassment than it ordinarily would.You see, if you were the most intelligent person on earth with no area of ignorance and no need to learn from other people, it may have been okay to be proud. However, this is really not the case. It is sincerely foolish to be proud in the journey of life because all you know is all you have learnt and all you have learnt is not all there is to know. So, save yourself some embarrassment by getting down from your high heels. Humble yourself enough to be able to freely ask others for help and be of help to others.

  1. Mentoring saves time, energy and money

The driver had the clarity I did not have. He had been to the place I was going before. He knew the way. By submitting to his superior experience, I would have saved time, energy and money. I’d like to think this illustrates the role mentors ought to play in our life journeys. The purpose of mentoring is not for unproductive attachments but for speed. Your mentor should be someone who has gathered the experience and who now has the heart to help you get ahead in life on time. The actionable insights from your interactions with him must save you time, energy and resources.

So, these are three lessons that I believe will profit your ability to navigate your way through life. Abandon your pride and give yourself to the pursuit of clarity. When you identify a man who can help you get to your destination, connect with him. Let him help you save time, energy and resources.

Blessed? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

You matter to me always.

I call you blessed.

PurposePursuit

Competent to Instruct 2

competence 2

I want to take the lesson we learnt last week further by sharing some thoughts on what I believe are the five elements of our competence to do purpose. If you have not read last week’s post yet, I suggest you read it first here. I am convinced that by considering the following principles, we can become assured of our ability to deliver God’s purpose for our lives and fulfill our mandate on this side of eternity.

1. Sympathy

This is a universal human ability to identify with others in their not-too-good times and to commiserate with them when they go through difficult times. I believe this is an ability we all need to be able to competently solve problems in our environment. We have to be able to understand what others are going through in our own unique way and be moved to help them.  We must learn to put others first and value above everything how people feel and perceive their own circumstances if we will move any close to helping them.

2. Empathy

This is a step higher than sympathy. It is our ability to literally wear the shoes of other people and feel their pain where it hurts the most. Unlike sympathy which is a natural human response to pain, empathy flows from the commonality of experience. While we all would feel sympathy for a rape victim, a person who has been raped would feel closer to a rape victim than any of us. This is the power of empathy. I believe God raises men to do purpose in areas they are most able to empathize and not merely sympathize with others.

3. Growth

Like we noted last week, our experiences are not enough to qualify us as competent instructors. It is important that we have grown out of those experiences. The fact that I have masturbated for many years does not make me a competent sex therapist if I still masturbate. It is only a person who is out of the water that can save a drowning man. No matter how good our intentions are, if we have not recovered from a problem, we are not fit to brand ourselves as “saviours” for others who still suffer from that problem. The stories of your struggles are not enough to liberate others without the testimonies of your victory.

4. Practical Wisdom

Most of us know one teacher who knows so much yet lacks the ability to transfer that knowledge to others. Such a teacher certainly knows what it feels like to be ignorant, he has also outgrown that ignorance by acquiring the requisite knowledge. However, his competence to instruct is defective if he cannot now help others conquer their ignorance. To be competent to instruct, it is important that you are able to turn both the stories of your struggles and the testimonies of your victory into practical wisdom that others can profit from and this will require knowledge, skill and training.

5. Calling

J.G. McConville once remarked and I agree with him, that often, we may have to accept that the work which we would dearly like to perform in terms of Christian service is not that for which we are best equipped and not that to which God has in fact called us. The truth is, your experiences are great pointers to why you are here. However, your purpose goes beyond your experiences. Thus, while you may be deeply sympathetic and even empathetic about a problem from which you have recovered yourself, it is disastrous to go ahead in the pursuit of that vocation without a sense of divine calling to drive your passion and solidify your competence.

Blessed? Please let me hear your thoughts.

You matter to me always.