Everyone desires a good life, and every dusk brings hope for a better tomorrow. As the year draws to a close, here are five tips for a fruitful 2015.
5. A good wardrobe
We have a saying that says, “You meet your in-laws on the day you look your worst.” This is enough reason to watch your wardrobe keenly. There is a popular belief that “the first impression is the last impression” and this is why people strain to dress up for interviews or first date. It is possible to look good on all occasions, as most people will judge you by how you look.
Even though the work environment is fast changing and CEOs are now cladding in t-shirt and jeans, you still need to have a functional wardrobe. It is still possible to tell the difference between Mark Zuckerberg’s hood and the late Steve Jobs t-shirt from those worn by a farmhand at work.
4. A source of income
You cannot groom well if you do not have money, and so the next thing you need is a source of income. Dr Wale Akinyemi teaches that there is more money in the world than there are people, and so money is not as scarce as we have been made to believe.
You do not need to be employed to earn a living. A good job is one that taps into your expertise. If you are not using your acquired skills and God-given talents, then change course. The only reason people are hopping from one job to another is because they are yet to identify their purpose.
Do not waste your energy doing things that do not bring you fulfillment; identify your passion and deploy yourself for success. As the late Dr Myles Munroe put it, “We need to stop training our kids for employment and start training them for deployment.”
3. Good company
One day a friend made a comment that really tickled me. He said: “If we meet on Monday and I ask how your weekend was, it would be weird for you to say ‘I had great a great time; I enjoyed sitting on my coaches’.”
However comfortable your house might be, you will need people around you. Personally, I am an introvert but always look forward to spending quality time with a trusted friend; it always revives me!
You can never underestimate the value of people in relationships. If mobile phones and technology fail today, only your real friends will cheer you up. Even though social media has enhanced our networking skills and changed the way we connect, we cannot replace people with gadgets; real communication with real people is essential in relationships.
When nothing seems to be making sense, you need a friend. A chat with a good friend is like massage of the heart. Create a circle of quality friends who can add life to your years. It is said that if by the time you die you have had five good friends, then you have lived a great life.
Books can also be great companions if you enjoy reading. Personally, I find solace in reading the Bible as it always answers all my questions. It also gives me great promises and reading it feels like talking to God! Great books not only increase your well of knowledge, but also mentor you to become a better you. Remember, you become what you read.
2. Beautiful heart
The world is in short of good people. Love, kindness, empathy and faithfulness have vanished from the world. If you can love from your heart, then you can handle anybody in the world.
People will let you down, but this should never put you down. If you are keen enough, you will realize that people hurt you most have deep wounds in their own hearts. You cannot go revenging on everyone who hurts you. An eye for an eye will make the world blind, so you need to learn to overcome evil by good.
Abraham Lincoln once said that the best way to destroy enemies is by making them friends. Have you encountered people who work effortlessly to frustrate you? Try to ignore them and see guilt and regret will eat into them.
Anger hurts the keeper, and so learning to always forgive and forget will do you a lot of justice. You are in charge of your happiness and every minute that you spend frowning is disservice to your own heart. Don’t give other people the opportunity to plant disease into your heart; erect a fortress of forgiveness on your heart and take charge of your happiness. Remember, circumstances expose you and so every challenge is an opportunity to polish your character.
One time a friend told me he was looking for a better job because his salary could not meet his financial needs. I challenged him to present his budget to God and He would supply for his needs. Scornfully, he replied: “God does not give you a salary; your boss does.” Quietly, I thought myself: “Then ask your boss to double your salary!”
The reason I ask people to present their needs to God is because it has worked for me. When I did not have a stable job, I drew a budget and presented it to God. Friends who saw it thought I was out of my mind as I did not have vast experience or big papers to secure me a job to fund such a huge budget. But God worked to prove them wrong by providing the funds. It is for that reason that I still believe your education, family background, work experience, own effort, or even connections cannot provide for you; Jehovah Jireh is our Provider.
You can either accept or deny this, but when I am in need I rush to Him and the door of providence swings open before me. Every pay rise or bonus I have ever received (since I became born again) had already been budgeted for, because I understand where my provision comes from – He prepares my table even in front of my enemies. That is why the psalmist said: “Young lions grow hungry and weak, but he who hopes in the LORD shall never lack any good thing.”
God is the same reason I am never driven by fear. With sudden retrenchments, violence against women, frustration in the city, betrayal by friends and many other challenges in the city, I still hold on to the promise of Jesus that ‘Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
No single day passes without me asking God to rate my work and conduct. And He is always faithful to reveal my weaknesses and direct me on the way to go. He also reveals the deep secrets in people’s hearts and warns me of any impending danger, guiding me on how to evade traps. In everything, I am always sure that things will work out for my favour. It is for this reason that I attached ‘Favour’ to my name-because God favours me.
Your job can end. Your business can collapse. Your best friend can become your worst enemy. You can lose the taste for good literature. Your memory can fail. You too can become your own enemy and a source of disdain! But where or whom do you run to when the unexpected happens?
It has been said that change is the only constant under the sun, but there is One that never changes; the Creator of the universe. He is still the same God who was in the beginning of times. The earth rests on His palm like a bubble in many waters, and it never sinks! In the same way, He controls your life and will never let you down. The moment you learn to surrender everything to Him, knowing that everything happens for a reason, life will be fun.