The myth of talent

You have probably heard over and over again that the number one ingredient for success is talent and you are thinking that since you are not good at anything then you cannot be successful. This is far from the truth, the major ingredients for success are focus, determination and above all persistence.

Don’t get me wrong, talent is essential but on its own without the laser point power of focus, the doggedness that comes from determination and the staying power of persistence then we cannot be successful.

Focus: This according to the dictionary is ‘the clear and sharply defined condition of an image. the position of a viewed object or the adjustment of an optical device necessary to produce a clear image’. It is the ability to block out all distractions and maintain your gaze on the goal at hand. It is getting very difficult now that we have our mobile phones ready to provide us with distractions through various means but only those that are able to keep their eyes on the finish line would eventually reach it.

Determination: This establishes itself through firmness of purpose, it can also mean being resolute. We need this because there will be challenges and it is only those that are resolute in their pursuit that will eventually overcome. Life is not a fairy tale, it will test you and you will be pushed to the limit, it is the determination to go on despite the challenges that distinguishes those who succeed and those who don’t.

Persistence: This is the ability to pick yourself up again and again after each failure you are surely going to encounter. Someone said failures are the successful people that gave up too easily while successful people are the failures that refuses to give up. We are all going to experience failure at some point in the pursuit of our goals for our lives and it will be tempting to give up on the race and rather play it safe but it is only those that are bold enough to try again and again that eventually succeeds.

Talent: Now this is the natural ability to be good at something, especially without being taught. Yes we all have something God deposited in our lives that will set us apart and we are meant to discover it and work on it to develop it. But, we must understand that talent on its own will not produce the desired result without combining it with focus, determination and persistence.

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Don’t be bitter, change it.

We all have those situations in our marriages, the ones we want our spouse to do something about. We nag and nag and secretly wish one day they would take care of it without us lifting a finger, and when it doesn’t get done over time then the anger that has been building in us turns to bitterness and resentment.

The question is: who told you it has to be your husband/wife that would do something to change that situation?. This is especially true for women, we just sometimes loose ourselves in our marriages believing that we do not have a say in how things turn out. But the truth of the matter is that marriage is a union between two people, the failure and the success of that union rests upon those two people and not on one person.

The other person you are waiting for to do something might just be waiting for you too, he/she might just be as helpless about the situation as you are too. So instead of being bitter, convert that energy into working to bring about the change you want to see. You have the power to do it, all you need to do is believe in your ability to provide a solution.

Two things bitterness will do to you and your marriage:

1. Mark Merrill wrote in How to be set free from bitterness in marriage that “bitterness is like a small crack in the windshield of your marriage, it may look insignificant on the surface but left alone it branches out continues to split until the glass shatters into a million pieces”. It starts out as justified anger but continues to grow into a monster that destroys your home.

2. Cindy Wright wrote in The consequences of bitterness that “There seems to be a connection between bitterness and depression. Bitter people have a poisoned emotional life and therefore do not have the emotional resilience to circumstantial adversity they once had”. You are holding on to anger against your spouse but you end up hurting yourself instead, the hurt eats deep into you until it consumes you and all that you hold dear.

What is then the way out?

Do what you can to change what you can control and let go of whatever you can’t change, trust me you and your marriage will be better for it.

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God bless you.

The hope of a believer

I was going to write about something else this week but God has other plans for me and you reading this post. He hijacked me during my bible study and impressed this topic on my spirit.

1 cor 15:19 ‘If only in this earth we have hope in Christ, then we are the most miserable of all men’.

We can live in the bubbles of this world and forget that it is all going to end. Depending on which comes first, we are either going to die and exit this world or the the second coming of our Lord comes while we are still here and it all ends. Either way, this present world as we know it will come to an end. This is not to scare us and indeed if we are true believers we should not be because we are not of them that have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

It is easy to get caught up in our ambitions and day to day hustle that we forget to set our eyes on the higher goal; preparing for eternity. It is this mindset that will make everything we will pass through in this life worth it all. It is the hope of eternity that makes a Christian press on no matter the challenges and refuse to compromise his/her faith.

We all wonder how the early Christians were able to endure the levels of persecutions they went through and yet still able to spread the gospel. They were subjected to terrible tortures and killed through the most gruesome means yet they would not deny the message of Christ. The answer is in Heb. 11:16. They were looking forward to a better home, they knew the glory that would come after they had endured this world to the end. The same joy that Jesus was looking forward to that made him endured the cross. Heb. 12:2

As a Christian, the devil will not try to convince you there is no eternity, he knows he cannot do that for that is the basis of our belief in Christ. All he needs to do it to take your eyes off it and make you go through this life as those that have no hope of eternity. This makes you live for in despair and hopelessness, which is not our portion as believers. If you have lost sight of eternity in any way, get your focus back on the fact that after you have lived a victorious life on earth, there awaits you a home with your heavenly father where you are going to live forever with Him.

Note that if you have not given your life to Christ, you do not have this hope and it is such a terrible way to end your sojourn on this earth. All you need to do is believe that he died for you and confess Him as your Lord and saviour today and you can begin to enjoy this new life in Christ Jesus.

God bless you.

Stay under your covering.

No organisation can succeed without a level of hierarchy. At every level in the organisation, there has to be the leader and the led, every one must have someone who gives them instructions and who they report to. Even the CEO should have the board members to report to.

The first reason for this is accountability, when you remember you have to give account, you tend to perform your duties more carefully to reduce your chance of failure. Another reason is for protection, whenever there is a problem in any organisation, it is the leader that takes responsibility for the failure and accepts the consequences in order to protect the followers.

So it is in marriage,the correct hierarchy is God over both of you then the husband over the wife. There is no compromising or debating this, it has always been this way from creation and it will continue to be so. When your marriage is under God, you both stay accountable to him and obey his instructions. Now, his instructions are not to grieve you but for your own protection. Take ‘do not commit adultery’ for example, it is more about your own protection from it’s consequences(heartache, divorce, diseases) than the religiosity in obeying the commandment.

So also is the wife subject to the husband. This is not about being inferior to or being a slave for, it is a spiritual covering that the husband provides that God put in place when he instituted marriage. Even though the woman must strive to live out all of her potentials, she must not be tempted to think that she is no longer subject to her husband. He has been placed over you by God himself and there is no amount of success you can achieve that will change that. (1 cor 11:1-16)

This should not be misconstrued for being weak and unable to achieve greatness on her own or that she cannot have access to God except through a man. This is the argument by those in opposition to this line of thought, they ask ‘what about the single women? are we saying they are not protected because they are not under a man?’

The truth of the matter is that the instruction is not to every woman but to every married woman. We cannot lay claim on the blessings of marriage without obeying the instructions that comes with it. We have to bear in mind that marriage was not created by man, it is an institution created by God and so we cannot go into it on our own terms. Doing so will only lead to chaos in the home and ultimately to divorce. As every other instruction from God, it is for our own good and not about Him, we can only enjoy marriage when we do it His way and not our way.

Do you agree with this or you have a contrary opinion? Share your thoughts with me in the comment section. God bless you.

Overcoming powerlessness

We all have situations in our lives we feel powerless over, we desperately want a change but don’t seem to know how to bring about that change. So we keep hoping, praying and wishing things will get better or change on their own accord.

According to the Newton’s first law of motion also known as the law of inertia, “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an external force”. This is to tell us simply without applying any mathematical analysis that nothing changes until we make them to. Our situations remains the same until we rise up to say ‘enough is enough’ and begin to take steps to bring about a change.

Take for example a woman in a physically abusive relationship that keeps hoping that one day her husband would magically become a gentleman that wouldn’t raise his hands on her anymore rather than take action by leaving the marriage. Or the wife in a home that is suffering from financial setbacks that is afraid to venture out to make a living so as to support the husband in providing for the family.

Without taking action, the former may eventually die as a result of the constant beating from the husband and the latter may eventually loose her marriage due to the frustrations that arises in the home due to lack of money.

For many of us, we know the end result of our lack of action yet we still feel powerless in changing it due to the following reasons:

Fear of the unknown: What if I try and it doesn’t work out? What if? What if? and a lot of What ifs? But we would never know what the outcome will be until we try. Hebrews 11:1 says that ‘faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’. What are you hoping for? take a step towards it today having a clear picture of your desired outcome in your heart through faith. Keeping your eyes on the picture will prevent you from focusing on the obstacles you may encounter on the way.

Fear of failure: We may have tried before and failed, this creates in us fear that cripples us and prevents us from trying again. 2 Timothy 1:7 ‘for God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind’. We can claim victory over every spirit of fear and free ourselves from its effects. Even if we fail, we would have just learnt one of the ways that won’t work. Then we keep trying until we get it right.

What do you feel powerless over? What situations needs to change? And what actions do you need to take to make it happen? Go ahead and work out your desired outcome for your life knowing that you have the power of God backing you up.

The journey towards self discovery.

I know this might not be an issue for some women but for most of us, our culture and environment has conditioned us into believing that we can never really achieve much in life except through our men.

We grew up with the story of women in distress that are waiting for the knight in shining armour to come save them. These stories are good but they did limit the dreams of a lot of young girls to just meeting a dashing young man to settle down and raise a family with.

Young women that are supposed to think about how to build businesses that will change the world are rather thinking about how to meet the man that will make their world complete.

Then eventually we do meet them and go into marriage expecting our lives to be perfected by our husbands. We throw ourselves into the marriage and into raising our children which is good because it is our primary responsibility but then forget that we have been created with a unique gift that is meant to bless the world and make it a better place.

I was a victim of this kind of mentality. I did not have a clear cut picture of my purpose before I got married. I went into marriage believing that the sole purpose of my existence was to help my husband achieve his dreams. I never believed I had something to offer the world on my own. Until God started opening my eyes to the fact that as much as he created me to be a help meet to my husband, he also deposited in me gifts that he expects me to explore in order make my own contribution to both my marriage and the society.

This brings us to the story in the Bible (Matthew 25:14-30) of the master that distributed talents to his servants before he went on a journey. He expected them without being told to trade with it and make profit so they could pay him back when he returns with interest. Some did and were rewarded for doing so, but there was one that decided to bury the talent rather than trade with it. The master was very angry with him and ordered what he was given to be collected and given to one of the people that traded with theirs.

This is to show us that God hates waste. He has deposited greatness in us and he expects us to discover it and and live to the fullness of our potentials. Failure to do this is showing ingratitude and is a sin on it’s own.

I am not making case for feminism or for starting a competition in the home. This is not a case for the home to be turned into a battle ground where both the man and the woman are trying to outdo each other at the expense of their marriage or the children. This is just a call on all women to rise up and discover all that God has deposited in them to fullfil it.

We should remember that our daughters are watching and they are the ones that will carry on the torch, what legacies would you like to leave behind?

Think about this and she your thoughts with me in the comment section, I will love to hear from you.

God bless you.

3 ways to enjoy where you are now on the way to where you are going.

Do you find yourself constantly fretting about what you do not have rather than enjoying what you have right now?

Is it a constant battle to reach the next level that you do not even take your time to relish the moment and appreciate what you have achieved so far?

God has not designed for us to live this way. Even though he doesn’t want us to settle, he also wants us to enjoy every moment of our lives. Whether we are in the valley or on the mountain top, our attitude is a big factor in showing God how qualified we are for the next level. Fretting means we do not trust God to take care of us and that we would rather do things our way. It means we are not ready to let go and let God.

It shows ingratitude; constantly worrying about the future shows that we are not grateful for what God has done for us in the past. There is a saying that the person that is not grateful for the favours received yesterday will not be qualified for tomorrow’s favours. Behaving this way is just like a petulant child that has been given so many toys, but would refuse to play with them because there is a particular toy he/she wants and you have not bought.

This should not be an excuse for complacency, we must always strive for the best life that God has in stock for us. The goal is to strike a balance between finding joy in our present circumstances and looking forward to a better future.

How then do we strike this balance?

By maintaining an attitude of gratefulness: My pastor will say if you have ever lost something, God is the reason you have not lost everything. So your life has not gone the way you planned, but you know it could have been worse. Why not be grateful for how far you have come even as you are waiting expectantly for that desired future.

Doing things better: You must have heard of the saying that it is foolishness to keep doing things the same way and expect a different result. Ask yourself this question, ‘What do you need to do better in order to change your life?’ Provide an honest answer to this question and start doing them.

By putting our total trust in God: We all want a better life than we have right now, but worrying will never take us there. Trusting God is not absolving us of all responsibilities; it just means that after we have done our part, we rest in his ability to do His.

Have another point in mind? Why not add yours in the comment section, will love to hear from you.